Office 365 Outage Notifications the Way You Want Them – Announcing Webhooks at Office365Mon

From day one Office365Mon has made short work of letting you set up monitoring for your Office 365 tenant in a couple of minutes and notifying you by text and email when an outage occurs. Today we’re happy to announce that we’re taking the next step forward in keeping you in the know by releasing support for webhook notifications. Now you can decide exactly what processes you want to kick off whenever your Office 365 tenant experiences an outage, or even when the status of one of the Office 365 features change.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with what a webhook is, it’s worth a short explanation. A webhook consists of a web site that you host, and that site includes a “place” where another application can send it data. You can then configure another application – in this case Office365Mon – to send data there so that you can process it. With the Office365Mon webhook that’s exactly what we do – when there’s an outage starting for example, we send over a JSON payload that describes what Office365Mon subscription is being impacted, what type of webhook it is, and what resource is being impacted; for example, your SharePoint Online site.

As noted above though, we do this for more than just those times when an outage starts. We send notifications to your webhook under the following conditions:

  • When an outage starts
  • When an outage ends
  • When an Office 365 feature enters one of the following states (NOTE: you control which of these states you want monitored when you configure your Office365Mon subscription):
    • Investigating
    • RestoringService
    • VerifyingService
    • ServiceRestored
    • PostIncidentReviewPublished
    • ServiceDegradation
    • ServiceInterruption
    • ExtendedRecovery
    • Scheduled
    • InProgress
    • Completed
    • Canceled
    • ServiceOperational

If you compare this to how notifications are handled today, you can quickly see the power of the webhook. When an outage starts you get an email and/or a text message; then what do you do? You pull up a laptop or get on your phone and start emailing people, start updating your service status on internal sites, let your help desk know there’s an issue, maybe check in with your Technical Account Manager (TAM) at Microsoft, etc. You probably have a whole checklist of things to do.

Now imagine this same scenario with a webhook. You automate everything. You’re no longer manually working through a checklist of tasks. You can create your own workflows that take different actions depending on the information you get in your webhook. For example, you can have it automatically update an internal Help Desk portal with an alert status that SharePoint Online is currently experiencing an outage. That informs users, reduces Help Desk phone calls, and keeps your team focused on fixing issues. Your workflows can automatically send out an email to your Help Desk organization letting them know an outage is occurring. It can fire off an email to your TAM letting him or her know that you have an outage going on so they should be prepared in case you need to open or escalate a support case. You can kick off a triage process with your engineering teams to start assessing the impact. You get the idea – you can do whatever you want – because now its notifications the way you want them.

To get started creating your webhook you should download our developer documentation for our Subscription Management API from here: https://www.office365mon.com/DeveloperInfo/subapi. It explains the particulars around what data is sent to your webhook, the requirements that your webhook needs to support, how to process the webhook data that is sent to you, etc. We’ve added support for webhooks in both our website and through our Subscription Management API. That means that you can add and remove a webhook, as well as test a webhook entirely using our Subscription Management API. You can also do the same thing when you go to configure your Office365Mon subscription in our site. In the Notification Info section you can add or remove a webhook, as well as send a test webhook right from that page:

NotifyWebhook

As a developer, I love the possibilities that a feature like this opens up. I hope that you’ll find many useful ways to take advantage of this for your own organizations. This is also a good time to point out that this is yet another example of a feature that we added based on suggestions and feedback from you, our customers. Please keep them coming, we love hearing them.

From sunny Phoenix,

Steve

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