Groups allow you to notify a set of users, devices, dynamic teams and other groups as a single recipient. Groups may be simple collections of members or they can employ complex shift schedules, escalation timelines, and rotations to allow you to notify only the members that are actively on duty.
Groups can represent departments within your organization, employees with a certain skill set, or any other set of people with a common purpose. (However, you may prefer to use sites to represent users at the same physical location.)
You can restrict which xMatters users have the ability to view, notify, and modify each group. This allows you to prevent certain message senders from being able to send notifications to sensitive groups; for example, you may want to allow someone to notify the IT group when a database goes down, but you may not want to allow them to send notifications to the Company Executives group.
If your group is part of an organization that has working hours and off-duty hours where members are required to be on call, you may want to build out a shift schedule to define when group members are on duty. Shift schedules enable xMatters to contact on-duty employees without sending unnecessary notifications to group members who are off-duty or whose participation is no longer required.
If your group is used to broadcast emergency messages to a large number of people, you may not require a shift schedule. When a group is created it uses a default 24x7 shift that is always active and notifies all group members at the same time.
For more information about working with shift schedules, see Schedule shifts.
When you send a notification to a group, xMatters determines which of the group members are currently on duty and then notifies them according to the shift's escalation timeline. This allows you to ensure that off-duty group members do not receive notifications and that the first members in the timeline have time to resolve a notification before the remaining group members are notified. Escalations work in conjunction with rotations, which periodically change the position of group members within the timeline so that the responsibility of being the primary responder is evenly distributed.
You can configure escalations and rotations for shifts that contain 200 or fewer members. Larger groups, also known as "broadcast groups" are generally used for mass communication and usually require all members to be notified immediately.
Access to groups is controlled by a user's roles and permissions. Groups are configured so that users with certain roles have the ability to search for the group and send it notifications. Additionally, users that are named as group supervisors have permission to notify and modify the group, including adding group members and adjusting shift schedules.
Users that want to view the Groups tab in the user interface (which displays group properties and the shift schedule) must have permission to view this page in the user interface. This is usually accomplished by assigning the Group Supervisor role, but may be different if your organization uses custom roles.