SIGNL4 supports the remote execution of automated tasks or workflows in IT or IoT systems using Remote Actions. These remote actions offer a wide range of applications. You can execute remote actions in response to an alert to trigger some kind of remediation action. But there are many more possible use cases. This article provides some examples and ideas about what is possible.
The benefit of remote actions is to predefine frequent tasks that would otherwise require the user to logon to their computer and manually perform a task. These tasks can now easily be executed from within the SIGNL4 app with the press of a button.
A typical use case when you get an IT alert is to trigger a remediation action. This is useful for reoccurring errors that require some kind of human intervention or decision. That means you do not want to trigger the remediation action automatically and immediately, but you decide when and if to do so.
A remediation action can be a restart of a service or machine or to trigger a script that purges a database or does some more complex operations or batch jobs.
Right now, SIGNL4 supports sending HTTP requests for Remote Actions. So, in order to trigger a script you need to receive the HTTP request and then execute the script, e.g. PowerShell, Bash, Node.js, as a result. One easy way to achieve this is by using the workflow automation platform n8n. You can install the Desktop version of n8n on your machine and then setup a workflow that receives HTTP requests and from there executes a command line script (e.g. the PowerShell) on your host machine. The nice thing about the n8n Desktop installation is that it provides you with a public webhook URL without the need to open an inbound port.
You can receive SIGNL4 alerts from IoT platforms, production systems, or devices, e.g. if the temperature is too high or if a sensor does not send heartbeats anymore. On the other side, it is also possible to trigger remote actions in such systems, e.g. clear off an alert state, switch on / off heating or cooling, or activate / deactivate an acoustic alert or siren.
There are many IoT platforms out there and SIGNL4 can easily integrate with them, both for alerting and for remote actions. One example is Node-RED that can even run on a Raspberry Pi. A SIGNL4 remote action sends an HTTP request that then triggers a flow in Node-RED. This flow executes an action like setting a GPIO contact to switch on / off heating, e.g. in a green house, or opens / closes a windows when it is raining.
There are many more possibilities for remote actions and here are some ideas:
- Trigger alert tone / siren to alert production workers on the shopfloor
- Set signal lamp in a production hall (green, amber, red)
- Remotely take a photo with a surveillance camera and get the result as a SIGNL4 alert
- Trigger a Flow in Microsoft Power Automate
- Integrate with Make (formally Integromat), Zapier, Crosser, Tray.io, etc.
- Use the SIGNL4 REST API to punch in / out other users
- Use Enterprise Alert remote actions (including parameters)