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Text messages

As of version 4.5.6, operators can post notes to the Dash via text messages.

Feature under testing

You can help us by sending a text message from your cell phone to tethysadmin@mbari.org with content like the following (for the 'sim' vehicle, which is used for testing purposes in general):

    Sim. A test note.

If your message is not recognized you should get a reply also via text with a hint about the problem. This is mainly intended to facilitate the testing at this point.

Note that Mimecast may quarantine your message. Just let us know if you don't see your note reflected on the Dash or don't get any reply on your phone after a few minutes. We can then look into releasing the message from Mimecast if that's the case.

This feature is based on the regular email mechanism used by various carriers. When operators get event notifications from the Dash system on their phone, they can now reply with a text message to post a note, that is, not having to open the Dash webapp for that purpose.

Note, typically you would reply to a notification, but you can also send a direct text to tethysadmin@mbari.org at any time.

Even with Slack and other possible direct messaging means available, the immediate reply via text message may still come in handy. Notice also that you can use the regular note syntax to "tag" any Slack channels or users, try, for example, texting Sim. {@username} A test note, where username is your Slack account name, or Sim. {#lrauv-operations} test.

The TethysDash backend will recognize the incoming email corresponding to such text message only if:

  • the "from" email address has a sequence of digits before @, presumably corresponding to a phone number in some "extra" email address associated to a user in the system, which is the expected typical case;
  • such user has the operator (or admin) role;
  • the email content is plain text with the format <vehicleName>. <note>, that is, the name (case-insensitive) of a valid vehicle, a dot, and then the text for the note.

Example of a text message:

Daphne. Will look into that ASAP!

Note

The name of the vehicle is required as it makes the message more self-contained (also, there's no practical way to correlate the text message with any previous notification from the Dash); and, again, noting that you can also send the text directly, not necessarily as a reply.

Any feedback? Let us know.

One possible enhancement is to even allow some commanding via this mechanism, for example, with a text syntax like Daphne. cmd: restart logs.