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      4 min read

      Avantra 21.11: Extend Avantra with critical checks and automations

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      What makes the Avantra platform incredibly powerful for our customers is the ability to extend the standard checks and automations available with your custom business logic. While Avantra has an opinion of the key things to monitor in your landscape, we often hear of our customers building business critical checks and automations to extend Avantra and add features to look after the things your business cares about.

      We’re excited with Avantra 21.11 to bring this extension functionality to our notification system to allow our customers to write custom business logic in an output channel. Not only have we added this new extension point to Avantra, we’ve also looked at how customers are creating JavaScript based checks and automations and have brought a number of quality of life improvements to these processes too. Let’s dive in.

      New test functionality

      Starting with Avantra 21.11, we’ve introduced a new function to test JavaScript based custom checks (RUN_JS) directly from the editor in the Avantra UI. We love this feature internally as it takes code/test cycles down from minutes to seconds and makes coding new custom checks a joy. For a productivity hack, you can keep the test window open while you code to save those extra steps!

      New test functionality in Avantra 21.11

      JavaScript APIs enhancements

      We make heavy use of JavaScript extensions to prototype new checks and automations and we’ve helped our customers create many JavaScript custom checks themselves. We’re always looking for ways to make these scripts as easy to understand as possible and with Avantra 21.11 we’re bringing two new API enhancements to customers.

      The first API is an enhancement when making SAP Remote Function Calls (SAP RFCs) from Avantra. We’ve greatly simplified the process of supplying parameters and getting results. Developers can use the new `withParameter` and `withParameters` methods to supply any type of function parameter. And with `result` and `results` methods get the results as JavaScript objects and arrays so you can better process them in your code. This makes it so much easier to call SAP RFCs from Avantra as it removes the boilerplate code that was required before.

      The second enhancement is a brand new API for making web requests called `web`. This API provides a greatly simplified method for making new HTTP requests and cuts out any unnecessary code. No longer do you need to do things differently if you want to make multiple requests in the same script.

      We’ve also taken care of processing the response of HTTP requests you make. If we detect JSON or XML, we convert that response into a JSON object accessible through our API. If the response is XML, we run through an XML parser so you don’t have to do anything special in your own scripts.

      So how do you find out more information about our new JavaScript APIs? We’re proud to announce that we’ve put together a new technical API documentation site that will take you through writing your first script to advanced features of our API to get the most from Avantra.

      Script Based Output channels

      And finally, our notification management system has been designed to be very customizable. For example, we provide output channels for sending emails and mobile alerts, updating log files for auditability and outputting to third party systems such as ServiceNow to integrate with your IT workflows. One request our customers have had is the ability to embed custom business logic in these output channels to decide not just what messages to send, but how to send them.

      With Avantra 21.11 we’re introducing a new Script Based Output channel as an option to embed custom JavaScript logic into our notification system. With this feature, customers can code your own business logic to handle the sending of a message to an external ticket system, by using our new `web` API from above. We’ve provided access to system, check, and customer information as an API too so you can decide what type of ticket to create based on the system type affected or the SLA assigned.

      Create space for innovation with Avantra.

      Customers can also link a ticket to a system. For example, a new critical alert might generate a new external ticket with the highest priority. With a Script Based Output channel, we can save that newly created ticket ID in Avantra when it’s created. If the status subsequently changes, we can choose to update the existing ticket, perhaps reducing it’s priority so your team members aren’t woken up for an issue that’s resolved itself.

      We use JavaScript based extensions at Avantra to prototype new features for the product so we’re excited to share these new features with you as they’ve helped us out a lot bringing Avantra 21.11 to you. We can’t wait to see what you build with these new features and how they help you out. If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know.

      We are very excited about our latest release and believe there is some great new stuff, and we hope you as our customers and users will find it useful.

      You can get additional details in the release notes. If you would like to learn more please schedule time for a 21.11 overview.