Apple added notification center to iOS 5 in late 2011. It does an excellent job of allowing applications to send you notifications while preserving battery life. The out-of-the-box notifications include applications such as Weather, Stock Alerts, iMessages, Emails and Reminders.

The Case for iDevice for EPM System Notifications

What could be really cool though is that iDevices with iOS 5 opens up a whole new world of receiving up-to-the-minute alerts, including those from your Oracle EPM and Hyperion systems! A good example is to look at how Hyperion Essbase is being monitored in a lot of companies. Usually there are scripts written that would email the system administrators of process notifications or errors with backups, performance or online status. However, the problem with this is that if the administrator isn’t actively reading his/her emails, any issues that are being monitored may not be alerting the administrator on a timely basis.

This is where iPhone/iPad could be invaluable if we could marry these notifications (be it legacy or not) with iOS 5. In this post, we will show you how easy you could be sending your Oracle EPM system notifications to your iPhone/iPad/iTouch in real time. That way, you will be alerted on any system related issues and take actions, without needing to watch your inbox 24 by 7. What’s more, you won’t have to change a line of code or any of your existing notification infrastructure.

OK before we start, we need an application that has the ability to send us real time notification to our iPhone/iPad.  Simply go to the App Store and download Boxcar directly to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch or download it through iTunes. Boxcar is free if you don’t mind the ads or you can pay $4.99 if you wish to disable that.

Next you will need to register an account within the app and then log into their website. With Boxcar, it can send you a notification when you forward an email to it. Boxcar will assign your account an unique email address that you can forward the notification to. You can obtain this by clicking on Add a New Service and then choose Email Account. From here you can click on Get Your Boxcar Forwarding Address.

After that, what we need to do is to forward our system notifications/alerts from our primary email account e.g. Microsoft Outlook. This can be done by creating inbox rules that will forward selective emails to our Boxcar email address (that we obtained above).

In order to forward selective emails from Outlook: As an example below, we configure this within Outlook Web by choosing Options | Organize Emails | Inbox Rules. In this rule, we are filtering any emails with an email subject of ‘[Hyperion Alert]‘ be forwarded to our Boxcar email address.

And that’s all you have to do. Any time a Hyperion alert email is sent to your regular inbox, it will be forwarded to Boxcar, and within 5-30 seconds, your iPhone/iPad/iTouch will receive the alert even when your iDevice is in locked state. Is that a Key Performance Idea or what?

What’s More?

Boxcar has a nice feature which allows you to silence its notifications for a period of time. For me, I have mine set up to be silent from 10 pm to 7 am so that my iPhone doesn’t continue to send audible alerts during those hours. This is a very nice touch from the developers because I am sure my wife appreciates it.

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