Testing Notifications WITHOUT sending email!
How many times have you created a complex notification rule or escalation and wanted to test it before going live but just wish you did not have enable all of your notifications and cause heartburn for your users?
I get this question all of the time and discovered that we added this capability in version 10.1.2.
The key is the use of the out of box, "Console" channel plug in. What it does it log the email notifications in the ns.log file so you can ensure that the right notification, notifies the right people at the right time. As a bonus, it will also show up in the Work Center UI notifications.
Here are the steps to implement:
1. From Configurator, edit your notification server properties. You do not want to have an email server identified in here, so if you restored your db from production, make sure to remove the server information. This functionality still works without your server information in there, hence the brilliance of the channel :-). Here are my settings from my test system.
2. From Configurator, add the Console plug in to your mail services. Before you leave the configurator, be sure to start the notification service. Don't worry, the emails will not be sent because you took out the email server information in the step above.
3. From Web Admin, add a new Channel from the Channels area.
4. Add a new Channel of type User.
5. From Web Admin, go to your notification, and select your new channel. This is typically where you would select Email, but for your testing you will select your new console channel.
6. Now it is time to test your notification. Here is a snippet from my ns.log. First, notice the entry with the time stamp 13:42, this is from the console Channel. It lets me know the notification was sent and who the recipient(s) were. The last entry with a time stamp of 13:58 is without the channel and without an email server definition. So this is where the difference is, you get a lot more data with the Console Channel.
7. Now for the kitschy TV sales, "But wait there's more!"......The console plugin will also post notifications to the Work Center UI. I see two scenarios here. a. You are rolling out the Work Center UI and want to familiarize your users with the new notification feature in work center. b. Not only can you see the notifications in the log file, but you can login as those users and see them from their perspective too.
I hope this feature helps you finalize those notifications and stop spamming folks from your test environment :-).