How to get integrated

In xMatters, creating an integration (or tailoring an existing integration) to suit your particular needs is as easy as 1-2-3. The overall steps are the same whether you want to customize the information gathered from the source application and sent with the notification from xMatters or you want to link one application to the next in a powerful, automated incident resolution process.

Of course, if you want a plug-and-play integration with one application, we have a bunch of integrations built into xMatters that only require basic setup to get started. And you can ignore everything below...until you decide you need to tweak things just a little.

1. Make a plan

The first thing you need is a communication plan. The plan defines the framework for related events, things such as message templates, available event properties, possible response options, and what happens when something changes. It also controls permissions and how you can kick off an event (for example, from the Messaging tab in the user interface, from a form in the mobile app, or programmatically from an integration).

There are a few ways you can get a communication plan: convert one of our built-in integrations, install one of our packaged integrations, or create your own from scratch (or even try an experimental xM Labs integration if you're feeling adventurous).

Once you have a plan, you can customize it. Some of the alterations you might want to make are:

  • Changing which properties are brought into xMatters from the source system, which ones are available to use in a particular form, and which ones are sent in any messages from the integration.
  • Editing the content and appearance of messages that are sent (for example, putting things in a table or matching your company's branding).
  • Customizing response choices.

2. Inject information into xMatters

Inbound integrations are primarily used to create an event in xMatters. They're the part of the communication plan that processes the request from the source application and parses the information coming in.

You can set them up to simply trigger the event and send the notification defined in the form builder, or you can configure the inbound integration to parse and modify the incoming data, enrich it using additional web requests, and finally create an event to send notifications.

Use the Integration Builder to add or edit inbound integrations. If you want to see how it's done, check out our example.

3. Trigger the next step

Finally, if you want to truly unlock the power of an automated toolchain to facilitate your digital services availability and incident resolution processes — while still using the tools you already use every day — you can set up an outbound trigger. This trigger starts another action based on changes in an event, and can pass on key information from the source application into other downstream events, notifications, and applications.

You can use the following changes to trigger the next step in the flow:

  • Event status updates: the event is started, suspended, resumed, or terminated.
  • Event comments: a user adds a comment from the mobile app, xMatters Inbox, email, Tracking Report.
  • Escalations: an escalation occurs in a group.
  • Device delivery updates: a notification is delivered to a device, or notification delivery fails.
  • Notification responses: a user responds to a message.
  • Targeted recipient failures: none of the targeted recipients could be immediately notified for an event.

We go into detail on each of these triggers in Outbound triggers. You can also see samples of the parameters available to send downstream in the scripting reference.

4. Go further

But you said it was easy as 1-2-3? It is, and you can stop here. But there's more you can do if you want to.

With one integration up and running, you can create more and link them in an automated toolchain where information from that first system flows through xMatters to the other tools you use everyday, getting enriched and annotated with event information along the way.

What does that mean in the real world?

Here's an example:

Using the event status trigger and a little bit of scripting, you can create a flow where an alert in your application monitoring tool kicks off an event in xMatters, which not only sends the notification to the on-call resource of the appropriate team but creates a channel in your chat app so the responder can easily call in additional expertise.

You can then set up a response option (say, "Create an IT ticket") and use the notification responses trigger, so when the on-call resource selects "Create an IT ticket", a ticket is created in your ITSM application with the information from the application monitoring tool and the event information from xMatters.