Update of the interfaces of our monitoring tool

You can take advantage today of an initial update to improve the visual appearance of the Hitflow manager interface.

The colors of the navigation menu have been changed and the display of the input forms has been modified to improve their readability.

In addition, always in a concern of user comfort, we have reviewed the action menus of the lists of availability tests, servers, SSL certificates and domain names. Thus, by passing your mouse over the new action button, you will discover a list of possible choices as shown in the image below.

We will continue our efforts, in the coming weeks, to harmonize and improve the interfaces of our monitoring solution. If you wish to help us, please do not hesitate to submit your proposals for improvements via the integrated support interface.

Please note that new features awaiting validation should also arrive soon, so see you soon!


Managing alerts in third-party applications

Since the addition of alerts in SMS format, we continue our efforts to diversify the solutions on which our robots can send you notifications.

Today, an important step has been taken, as we have finally completed the module called “integration”. The objective of this module is to centralize all third party services in which our robots can send alerts.

For the time being, we have preferred to work with a service we know well. We have transformed the old “Webhook Slack” so that it now uses our new integration module.

To receive alerts in your Slack workspace, you will first need to associate your Hitflow account with your Slack account:

  1. Go to your Hitflow account manager
  2. Open the integration module from the navigation menu: “Settings > Integrations”.
  3. In the new page, click on the “Add integration” button to open a popup.
  4. Enter a name for your new integration.
  5. Click the “Allow Access” button to be redirected to Slack.
  6. Grant access permissions for our bots to write to your Slack workspace.

Once you have completed the association of your Hitflow account with Slack, you will finally be able to add the new integration to your contacts.

  1. Go to the “Alerts > Contacts” section of your Hitflow manager.
  2. Edit or create a new contact.
  3. Add a new method of type “Integration” and then use the drop-down menu to select the integration of your choice.
  4. Validate the configuration by clicking on the “Save” button.

When you save this configuration, you will see a message in your Slack channel telling you that the configuration has been completed. From now on, alerts will be sent to your Slack workspace.

We will be adding new services in the near future and we invite you to contact our support team to let us know which ones you would like to see added as a priority.


Addition of search filters in the different lists

Some of you are real fans of our monitoring solution! Is it to the point that these people (they will recognize themselves) have several dozen availability tests, SSL certificate or domain name reminders.

To help them find their way back into their Hitflow account, we’ve been working on a major enhancement to be able to filter the different watch lists.

Using these filters, simply enter information in the search bar to update the list with the relevant items. We have also added a button named “filter” with some options that can be checked.

To date, you can find these filters on the following lists:

  • Availability of services
  • SSL Certificate Renewal Reminders
  • Domain name renewal reminders
  • Server monitoring

We will soon generalize the use of these filters on pages that do not yet benefit from them and we hope that this novelty will change your life!


API documentation online

Depending on the monitoring offer you have subscribed to, you can use our APIs to integrate our solution into your tools.

To help you in the development of your own monitoring applications, we have put online today the documentation of our APIs.

This documentation is divided into eight broad categories:

  • Availability: concerns all tests of availability of websites or services connected to the Internet.
  • Servers: allows the management of server monitoring.
  • SSL Certificates – Configure SSL certificate renewal reminders.
  • Domain names – set up reminders before your domain names expire.
  • Contacts-Manage who should receive alerts.
  • Public status pages: Configure public status pages related to the account.
  • Maintenance: Schedule maintenance to disable Hitflow alerts for a period of time.
  • Integrations: list the links made between your Hitflow account and a third-party application.

You will also find in the documentation the different steps needed to generate an authentication token if you want to use these APIs.

Some elements of the documentation are still being written and will be quickly available in future updates.


SMS alerts available

Because emails can get lost or end up in spam, we regularly add new ways to warn you if your websites are down.

Today, we have just completed the integration of a solution designed to allow the sending of SMS.

Setting up SMS alerts

To take advantage of SMS alerts, nothing could be simpler:

  1. Login to the Hitflow manager.
  2. Go to the contact list from the “Alerts > Contacts” section.
  3. Display the form for editing a contact by clicking on the edit button.
  4. Add an alert method such as “Phone” and fill in the contact’s number in international format (+33…).
  5. Save the change by clicking on the “Save” button.

You will be able to receive SMS alerts according to your account settings.

Note that to take advantage of SMS alerts, you must subscribe to a monitoring offer offering this option.

SMS account information

To view your account’s SMS information, go to the dedicated page from the navigation menu by clicking on “Settings > SMS”.

Once on this page, you will be able to view the following information:

  • The quantity of SMS that can be sent and the date of the credit reset.
  • The list of SMS messages that have already been sent with the recipient’s number and the message.
  • The history of changes to the SMS credit of the account.

To avoid using up all the SMS credit on your account in a single outage, you can set up the following two items:

  • Limit the number of SMS messages sent in an hour
  • Do not send an SMS when the service is detected as being functional again.

To access the configuration form, you must click on the icon in the top right corner of the block entitled “Limitations”.

By clicking on this button, a popup will appear and you will be able to change the settings.

The functionality allowing the purchase of additional SMS credit is planned, but will not be developed in the near future.


Availability tests: adding new protocols

We have just completed an important update that will allow you to perform availability tests with new protocols.

To take advantage of these new features, go to the “Monitoring > Availability” section where you can create new tests with one of the types below.

UDP Protocol

Just like the TCP protocol, our probes can now test exchanges using the UDP protocol.

Testing an application via the UDP protocol is done by sending a request to a remote application defined by its IP address and port number.

As an option, we allow you to test the response of the remote application by defining an expected string in response or conversely, a string that must never be present in the response.

To perform such a test, go to the test creation form, select the “UDP” type and fill in the “IP Address”, “Port” and “Request” fields.

FTP Protocol

You can create a test that will regularly check that access to an FTP server is possible. To do this, select the FTP type in the creation form and enter the IP address and port number.

Note that if you do not add a username and password, our probe will log in as an “anonymous” user.

Web Socket Protocol

The third protocol added allows testing applications with an open Web Socket port.

From the list of availability tests, click on the “add a service” button. In the creation form, select the “Web socket” type and then specify the URL to access the application via the “WS” protocol or the secure version, i.e. “WSS”.

As an option for Web socket type tests, you can define a request that will be sent to the remote application during the test.

In addition, if the application must return information, you can define the string expected in case of success or, conversely, define the string that must never be present in the response.

If you would like our monitoring solution to be able to test other protocols, do not hesitate to request it from the support interface in your manager.


Adding a Hitflow Wizard

As new features are added, the forms for configuring our availability tests are becoming more and more complex.

To help you during your first connection, you will see a popup to welcome you and offer help with the configuration of your first test.

To date, you can create the following availability tests:

Note that this wizard is also available by clicking the icon at the top right of your screen.

We will soon be adding new questions to facilitate the configuration of other tests.


Public Status Page Statistics

Many of you have asked us to generate statistics concerning the consultation of your public status pages.

Not wanting to compete with experts in this field, we preferred to allow you to integrate existing audience measurement tools.

As a first integration, we have added the option to allow you to configure a Google Analytics code in your page.

To add this identifier, here is the procedure to follow:

  1. Login to your Hitflow manager.
  2. Display the list of public status pages you have created from “Alerts > Status Pages”.
  3. Edit the page of your choice by clicking on the “edit” button.
  4. Go to the “Customizations” section to find the line titled “Google Analytics ID”.
  5. Fill in your GA ID looking like “UA-xxxxxxxxx-x” then validate by clicking on the “Save” button.

We will soon be able to add support for other audience analysis tools. Don’t hesitate to ask us for it in the support tab from the manager!


Webhook alerts: adding an authentication token

When an incident is detected by a robot, you can take immediate action by developing scripts that will be triggered by Webhook.

Webhooks Security

Until today, security was based on the fact that the URLs you set up were “hidden”. However, the importance of the tasks performed by these scripts could be major (service restart, process stop…) we felt that this was not enough.

We want to provide you with a high level of security without sacrificing the simplicity of configuration to which we are committed.

Authentication token

Based on the realization that we could significantly improve the security of Webhooks, we have modified their operation by adding a new parameter.

This parameter named Hitflow-Webhook-Token is located in the request header and allows you to verify the legitimacy of the sender.

The authentication token will be generated when you add one (or more) Webhook URL(s) to a contact, a unique token will be generated.

As a reminder, the Webhook token of a contact can be retrieved by going to the contact edit form, in the “Alert settings” section, in the line “Webhook authentication token”.

Other evolutions such as a “user/password” type authentication are under study and may be available soon.


Server monitoring: management of false positives

We have recently noticed that a functionality developed for website monitoring was sorely lacking regarding server monitoring.

That is why today’s update proposes to correct this problem and we will explain it to you.

Website monitoring

When our robots monitor your websites, they perform tests from probes located around the world as we explained earlier.

As our probes are not infallible, it is possible that one of them may encounter temporary difficulties such as a DNS resolution problem or network slowdowns.

To avoid alerting you for no reason in case the problem comes from the probe, our robots will perform new tests before concluding, if necessary, that your website is out of order.

This is what we call at home the control of “false positive” tests. This rule explains why you can sometimes see several tests at the same time in your availability reports.

Server monitoring

The most obvious case to illustrate the problem of false positives for server monitoring is when the CPU alert threshold was too low.

In this situation, if at the time of data collection the CPU usage temporarily exceeds the limit, an alert will be sent. The next time the CPU usage is below the threshold again, the anomaly will be cleared.

To limit unwanted alerts, a double-checking option has been added and can be activated like this:

  1. Login to your Hitflow manager
  2. Go to the list of servers via “Monitoring > Servers”.
  3. Edit a server by clicking on the “edit” button.
  4. Go to the “Alert settings” section where you will be able to check the “Double-check” box to activate the option.
  5. Save the changes.

From now on, it will take two reports with an exceeded threshold to consider that the server is not working properly.

In the case of a website, false positive control is not an option. However, for servers, we prefer to let you be the judge of the situation.

Indeed, while a website test is initiated by our robots, in the case of monitoring the resources of your servers, it is your server that must send the information.

It is therefore up to you to decide whether or not you want to wait for a second report before sending an alert.