MKSLLP - Automated Text Notifications

This Help File Page was last Modified on 11/06/2018

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MKSLLP - Automated Text Notifications

This Help File Page was last Modified on 11/06/2018

In today’s digital age, customers are constantly looking for new, additional ways of interacting with your Company.

Micro Key Solutions is now offering the services of the Clickatell SMS Platform to manage your Company's Central Station Notifications more effectively.

SMS can reach your Company's Subscriber Contacts (People To Call) even when steady, reliable internet access is not available.

 

Automating the Notification process for low Priority level Alarm Signals with an SMS Text Message delivery service

Operators are busy, sometimes extremely so.

Therefore, anything which reduces the tasks assigned to your Central Station Operators - while also increasing the accuracy of their Notification requirement - is a genuine benefit to your Company.

The MKS LLP (Low Level Processing) service enables an SMS Notification (contact a via cell phone text message) of low Priority level Alarm Signals to those Subscribers who have opted into this service.

This MKS LLP service intercepts low Priority level Alarm Signals produced by SPA before a Central Station Operator would have a need to process them.

 

How?  The MKS LLP (Low Level Processing) Service uses an alternate AlarmStackSpa table - versus the regular Alarm Stack - to store incoming alarms.

DO NOT activate this MKS LLP (Low Level Process) Mode unless the Central Station has ordered and funded a ClickatTell.com Account (https://www.clickatell.com/), and the SMS Notification Service (MKSLLP.exe) module has been properly configured and is running (see the "MKSLLP Pre-Setup - The Automated Text Notification feature may be activated as follows" and the "Installing the MKSLLP.exe as a Windows® Service" information below for those instructions). 

Otherwise, no incoming low Priority level Alarm Signals will be processed as expected.

 

The MKS LLP Service watches the alternate AlarmStackSpa table for low level Alarm Signals and transmits them as SMS messages to the Subscriber by describing the Alarm Signal (assuming they have opted-in for that service). 

Then , that Subscriber can send a text back to the MKS LLP Service indicating their desire to Cancel or execute a Dispatch for the Alarm Signal

The Subscriber can also send other commands to the MKS LLP Service (e.g., opt out, ask for help, etc.)

 

If the Subscriber does not respond in a timely manner, the MKS LLP Service will "time out" after a set number ( NN ) minutes (see "SMS Max Reply Minutes" below).

If a "time out" condition occurs, that Alarm Signal will be moved to the regular Alarm Stack for a Central Station Operator to process in the normal manner.

The original Alarm Signal Priority level remains the same.

 

If the Subscriber messages back to Cancel an Alarm Signal then that Signal is deleted from the AlarmStackSpa table (also, previously that Alarm Signal was placed into History at the time it was received). 

The MKS LLP Service sends a Cancel confirmation Text message to the Subscriber

 

If the Subscriber opts to Dispatch, then that Alarm Signal is elevated by one Priority level (decremented numerically) and moved to the regular Alarm Stack for a Central Station Operator to process in the normal manner based on the adjusted Priority level.

The MKS LLP Service sends a Dispatch confirmation Text message to the Subscriber

 

Note:  The functionality of this MKS LLP (Low Level Processing) feature was formerly referred to as "Wedge" which was activated with a Check box field in the SPA -Setup - System tab

The MKS LLP service now uses ClickatTell.com (https://www.clickatell.com/) - an international SMS Text Messaging Service.

 

MKSLLP Pre-Setup - The Automated Text Notification feature may be activated as follows:

Before you Start using the MKS LLP (Low Level Processing) service:

Your Company must setup a Clickatell account (at Clickatell.com) and has activated the automatic account payments using either a (company or personal) credit card.

When initially signed up, the SMS  notification system will work for a few days and then quit if no funds were posted,  or when the account balance has been exhausted.

The MKSLLP.log file will report something like "You have run out of money" if this happens.  

MKS LLP Notifications will not occur until the account balance is topped up!

 

In the Company Settings list accessed from the Company tab of the User Options Form:, set these SMS Texting Options as shown below:

1.SMS Max Reply Minutes - By default, the SMSMaxReplyMinutes option is set to a Value of '3'. [The SMSActive option must also be set to True ("T")]

2.SMS Priority - By default, the SMSPriority option is set to a Value of '6'.  [The SMSActive option must also be set to True ("T")]

3.SMS Active - By default, the SMSActive option is set to False ("F").

Setting this SMSActive option to True ("T") will implement the Automated Text Notifications feature.

4.SMS Outbound Msg Host - The SMSOutboundMsgHost option establishes that ClickaTell will be managing the SMS Texting process for your Company.

5.SMS Acct Balance Host - This SMSAcctBalanceHost option identifies where Balance information will be available.

6.SMS Api Key - This SMSApiKey option holds the Clickatell API Key code.

7.SMS Source Phone Number - This SMSSourcePhoneNumber option holds your Company's Clickatell Contact Telephone number.

8.Customer Support Phone - This CustomerSupportPhone option holds your Company's Clickatell Support Telephone number.

9.SMS Auth User - This SMSAuthUser option holds your Company's Clickatell User Name

10.SMS Auth Password - This SMSAuthPassword option holds your Company's Clickatell Password

 

Note:  The SMSApiKey, SourcePhoneNumber, SMAAuthUser and SMSAuthPassword must match your Company's Clickatell account settings exactly! The values shown above are for example purposes only!

 

Installing the MKSLLP.exe as a Windows® Service.

Installation is available from Technical Support by appointment.

a)Install MKSLLP.EXE as a service using the /install command line parameter (specifix steps are based on the Windows® version currently installed).

b)Copy ssleay32.dll and libeay32.dll into the same folder as MKSLLP.exe.

i.Both DLLs should be v1.0.2.12  or higher.  

ii.To confirm, Hover your mouse cursor over each one to pop up the properties/version number of the DLLs

c)Configure the customer's DNS (at their ISP) to route traffic to their desired external IP address.

i.We recommend you use something like "mksllp.companyname.com" where companyname.com is their normal domain name.  

ii.The static IP this new domain routes to should not have any web servers running on it.

d)Configure the internal company firewall to port forward TCP/IP port 778 to the IP address of the PC running MKSLLP.

e)Insure the PC running MKSLLP allows outbound traffic on TCP/IP port 80/443

i.You may need to adjust the workstation or server firewall (not to be confused with the main firewall) to allow this to occur

f)Verify that MKSLLP has not been blocked by any Anti-Virus ("AV") software

i.Some AV software products block any executable that sends/receives TCP/IP because they interpret them as "malware."

ii.You will need to white-list Anveca if the AV blocks it.

 

Launch MKSLLP

a)Confirm that the SQL Anywhere Network Server is up and running and that Connection Manager is pointed to the server.

i.Make sure that the database has been scripted to support MKSLLP  

ii.You may wish to update the DB so that all phone numbers in the ContactPhones table use your personal cell phone number.  

iii.Note that the database engine will periodically overwrite ContactPhones with subscriber phone numbers, so work quickly.

b)Launch the MKSLLP service by Starting it in the Windows Services dialog.  

i.Make sure the service is configured to autostart

c)Launch SPA and make sure it is sending low level alarms to the alternate AlarmStackSpa table

 

Testing MKSLLP

You should see SMS text messages on your phone every time SPA processes a low level alarm.  Failure to Open/Close/Test are a good source of low level alarms

Using your cell phone, send a "YES" text message to the SMSSourcePhoneNumber number that was assigned by Clickatel to the customer.  After a few seconds, MKSLLP should respond with a text reply.  

The contents of the reply is dependent on any existing alarms and if your cell phone number exists in ContactPhones.  

Any reply indicates that the system is largely working.

Verify that alarms that are ignored via SMS text to not come to screen for the CS operators

Verify that alarms that were NOT ignored do come to the CS Operators screen.

 

Security Notes

MKSLLP is a web service making it an attractive nuisance to hackers.  

If it can be demonstrated that Clickatel uses a narrow range of IP addresses to send us SMS text replies, then it may be advantageous to block any connection attempt not coming from that address range.

That should make the MKSLLP server somewhere between boring and invisible to hackers.

The best place to do that is at the main company firewall.  

Some unsophisticated firewalls may not allow blocking remote address ranges attempting to connect to a specific public IP address owned by the company.