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CheckCentral Mobile App Improvements!

August 21, 2019

We're happy to announce that we're rolling out some updates to the CheckCentral mobile apps! The apps are updated with a new framework, and most of the changes are behind the scenes improvements. Here's the full list:

  • Improved device support (including support for Amazon devices)
  • The Microsoft Store (UWP) app now supports push notifications
  • We've made some reliability improvements to the push registration process
  • The Android apps have been posted to the Play Store and Amazon App Store, and iOS is coming soon

If you're not already using the CheckCentral mobile app, we encourage you to try it out. As always, if you have any feedback, we'd love to hear from you!

CheckCentral Mobile App
CheckCentral Mobile App
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CheckCentral API Documentation: createUser Endpoint

August 19, 2019

The CheckCentral API provides an endpoint for adding users programmatically. All of the configuration options are available through the API, detailed below. To add a new user through the API, you will require an API token for your organization with Read/Write access. Organization administrators can create tokens through the API portal on your dashboard.

The endpoint is located at https://api.checkcentral.cc/createUser/?apiToken=APITOKEN where the APITOKEN placeholder is replaced with your valid token. The request must be made with the Content-Type header set to application/json. The body of the request should contain the properties below to configure the new user's settings. Any properties not passed will be set to their default value.

For example, to add a new user you could send the following json in the body of the request:

Code

The user data must include an email property as well as an accessLevel at minimum.

The complete list of possible properties for user creation are as follows:

User Structure

Parameter Type/Allowed Values Default

email

The email address of the new user.

The email parameter is required.

String

accessLevel

The access level to grant the new user.

The accessLevel parameter is required.

One of:

  • disabled
  • custom
  • readonly
  • user
  • editor
  • manager
  • administrator

name

The name for the new user.

If the name parameter is not included, the user's name will be set to their email address.

String

sendWelcomeEmail

Pass the sendWelcomeEmail flag to have CheckCentral send an introductory email to the new user.

Boolean false

userGroups

Pass an array of user group IDs to add the user to those user groups. User group IDs can be retrieved with the getUserGroups API endpoint.

An array containing user group IDs.

[]

notifications

Pass an array of json objects to configure which services CheckCentral should use to communicate with the user.

Array[NotificationConfig] []

NotificationConfig

Parameter Type/Allowed Values Default

type

Pass the type of notification to configure.

The type parameter is required for NotificationConfig objects.

One of:

  • digest
  • failures
  • warnings
  • unmatched

services

The list of services that CheckCentral should use to alert the user about the configured type of notification. Any services not included in the array will be disabled for the notification type.

Any of:

  • email
  • sms
  • push
  • pushbullet
  • pushover
[]
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Introducing User Groups, Check Group Permissions & More!

July 2, 2019

We’re pleased to announce some great new CheckCentral features that have recently been rolled out. These new features make organizing your checks and users easier than ever.

NEW! Creating User Groups, Setting Security on Check Groups

It is now possible to manage access to your individual CheckCentral check groups thanks to the introduction of user groups, and check group permissions. To get started, simply head to the user groups page via the Organization tab to quickly create new user groups.

Create User Group
Create User Group

Once you have user groups created, they can be used to assign permissions to a check group. Simply visit the check groups page (under the Checks tab) and select the check group you’d like to modify the permissions for. You’ll see a Permissions section where you are able to add a permissions entry for your new user group, specifying what level of access that group should have.

Add Permission
Add Permission

NEW! Improved Organization via Labels

You can now set labels on your checks. Checks with the same label will be grouped together on the Dashboard and Checks page, allowing you to organize checks within a check group.

Check Labels
Check Labels

You’ll see the new Label field when creating or editing a check. You can also set labels in bulk via the Checks page.

Improvements to custom dashboards and more!

Custom dashboards can now be configured to only display specific check groups, making your custom dashboards even more flexible.

As always, we welcome your feedback about these updates, as well as the service as a whole, so please feel free to reach out.

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CheckCentral API Documentation: createCheck Endpoint

February 21, 2019

The CheckCentral API provides an endpoint for creating checks programmatically. All of the configuration options are available through the API, detailed below. To create a new check through the API, you will require an API token for your organization with Read/Write access. Organization administrators can create tokens through the API portal on your dashboard.

The endpoint is located at https://api.checkcentral.cc/createCheck/?apiToken=APITOKEN where the APITOKEN placeholder is replaced with your valid token. The request must be made with the Content-Type header set to application/json. The body of the request should contain as many of the properties listed below as required to define the check. Any properties not passed will be set to their default value.

For example, to create a new check that:

  • Receives messages at the address "demo+apicheck@mycheckcentral.cc"
  • Expects messages every two hours
  • Expects messages only on weekdays
  • Is set to Failure unless the message subject is "Message Success" or the message body has the text "No Errors Reported"

you would send the following json in the body of the request:

Code

The check data must include a name property, as well as at least one of email_alias and matching_conditions to allow the check to be matched against incoming messages.

The complete list of possible properties for check configuration are as follows:

Check Structure

Parameter Type/Allowed Values Default

name

The name for the new check.

The name parameter is required.

String

email_alias

The plus alias for the check. This will be used to generate the custom email address for the Check along with your organization account name: account_name+email_alias@mycheckcentral.cc.

At least one of the email_alias or matching_conditions parameters must be specified.

String

matching_conditions

The rules that will be used to match incoming messages. See the definition of a ConditionGroup below.

At least one of the email_alias or matching_conditions parameters must be specified.

ConditionGroup {}

group_id

The ID of the group to assign this check. IDs may be retrieved from the getGroups API endpoint.

String

description

A text description for the check.

String

interval_type

The interval unit CheckCentral will use to calculate the expected arrival time of incoming messages

One of:

  • minute
  • hour
  • day
  • week
  • month
day

interval_value

The number of interval units (see above) used when calculating the expected arrival of incoming messages.

Integer 1

overdue_minutes

How many minutes after the interval has elapsed CheckCentral will wait before flagging the check as failed.

Integer 30

window_start

An optional time of day when messages will begin to be received.

String 00:00

window_end

An optional time of day when messages will cease to be received.

String 00:00

active_days

Pass an array of days to indicate which days the check should expect to receive messages.

An array containing either "all", or any of:

  • sun
  • mon
  • tue
  • wed
  • thu
  • fri
  • sat
[ "all" ]

enabled_notifications

Pass an array of personal notification services to configure the check to send alerts via those services.

An array containing any of:

  • email
  • sms
  • push
  • pushbullet
  • pushover
[]

enabled_integrations

Pass an array of organization notification services to configure the check to send alerts via those services.

An array containing any of:

  • slack
[]

notify_returned_to_success

Checks with this flag will send an alert when they are restored to a success state by an incoming message.

Bool true

notify_outside_window

Checks with this flag set to false will only send alerts during the time window and active days configured above.

Bool true

notify_consecutive_failures

This parameter controls when CheckCentral will send alerts about failure messages.

One of:

  • always
  • first
  • after_n
  • every_nth
always

notify_consecutive_failures_limit

If notify_consecutive_failures is set to either after_n or every_nth, this parameter configures how many consecutive failures will trigger alerts.

Integer 1

notify_failure_grace_period

The number of minutes this check will wait to send alerts about failures. If the check is returned to successful status before this period elapses, any pending alerts will be cancelled.

Integer 0

default_status

The default status for incoming messages that don't match against any of the conditions below.

One of:

  • success
  • warning
  • failure
failure

success_conditions

The rules that determine whether incoming messages will be set to success. See the definition of a ConditionGroup below.

ConditionGroup {}

warning_conditions

The rules that determine whether incoming messages will be set to warning. See the definition of a ConditionGroup below.

ConditionGroup {}

failure_conditions

The rules that determine whether incoming messages will be set to failure. See the definition of a ConditionGroup below.

ConditionGroup {}

ConditionGroup

Parameter Type/Allowed Values Default

required_conditions

This parameter controls whether incoming messages must meet any or all of the conditions defined below to be considered a match.

One of:

  • all
  • any
"all"

condense_whitespace

If this flag is set, all of the conditions defined in this group will treat multiple whitespace characters as a single space.

Bool false

conditions

The list of conditions for this ConditionGroup to match messages against. See the definition of a Condition below.

Array[Condition] []

Condition

Parameter Type/Allowed Values Default

message_field

Which part of the incoming message will be examined for this condition.

One of:

  • subject
  • body
  • to
  • cc
  • attachments
  • attachment_text
  • from
  • originally_to
subject

matches

What matching rule this condition will use.

One of:

  • contains
  • not_contains
  • exactly
  • empty
  • not_empty
  • has_attachments
  • has_no_attachments
  • filename_contains
  • filename_not_contains
  • filename_exact
  • text_contains
  • text_not_contains
  • complex_match
  • complex_filename_match
  • complex_text_match
contains

value

The value to use with the above matching rule and message component.

String
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Checking Website Certificate Expiry Dates with CheckCentral

February 4, 2019

If you have websites that you're in charge of maintaining the SSL certificates for, you can monitor them for expiring certificates using this PowerShell script. The script can be run from anywhere, as it connects to the public URL for the website, and it will email the results wherever you like. You can set it up to email yourself, or you can configure it to email the results to CheckCentral so that you can automate the status parsing.

    Setting Up the Check Schedule

  1. On your CheckCentral dashboard, click the "New Check" link.
  2. Give the Check a name. It can be whatever you like, for example "Website Certificate Expiry Check."
  3. Choose an existing Check Group to add this check to, or create a new one if you like, by clicking "New Group."
  4. For this guide, we'll assume that you're going to run the script every day. In order for CheckCentral to notify you when the Check is overdue (e.g. if the script didn't run as scheduled, or got hung up on its last run), you'll want to configure the "Emails are expected every" setting to "1 Day."
  5. Notice that there's nowhere to assign the time of day that the email is expected. This is because CheckCentral will automatically adjust the expected time based on when the last email arrived. If your script runs at 9am and finishes at 9:01am today, then the next email will be expected at 9:01am tomorrow. In case the script runs slightly late one day, you can configure the Check to only notify you if the email is late by more than a certain amount of time. We'll leave it at the default of 30 minutes for this example, which means that you won't get an "Overdue" notification until 9:31am tomorrow. This allows an extra 30 minutes for the script to run before any action is taken.
  6. The Description field is optional, but can be helpful for documentation purposes.
  7. The Check Information Section
    The Check Information Section

    Configuring the Matching Rules

  8. The "Matching Rules" section is where you'll tell CheckCentral which emails should be processed by this Check. By default, the Check's email address will be populated with a custom email address based on the Check name. For this example we'll change it to "demo+certexpirycheck@mycheckcentral.cc." You'll see where this gets used later in this guide.
  9. The Matching Rules Section
    The Matching Rules Section

    Configuring the Status Rules

  10. In the "Status" section, you'll set what you want the default status to be when an email matches the check, but doesn't match any of the Success/Warning/Failure rules. Generally it's best to leave this set to Failure, then specify your Success and Warning criteria. This way it's only marked as successful or warning if it matches your given rules, anything else is marked as a failure so that you get notified and can investigate further.
  11. The "Success Rules" section is where you'll set the criteria that will mark the Activity as successful. Click the "Add Success Rule" link. A successful run (no certificates expiring soon) of the script will have the word "Success" in the email Subject, so we'll set the rule to "Subject contains Success"
  12. The "Warning Rules" section is where you'll set the criteria that will mark the Activity as a warning. Click the "Add Warning Rule" link. The email notification for a the script will have the word "Warn" in the email Subject if one or more certificates are expiring soon, so well set the rule to "Subject contains Warn"
  13. The Status Rules Section
    The Status Rules Section

    Configuring Notifications

  14. In the Notifications section, you can choose how to you want to be notified about changes to the status of this Check. In this example, enabling the checkbox for "Email" will send an email when the Check status changes, to everyone on the CheckCentral Organization > Users page that has Email notifications enabled. If there are consecutive Success emails, a notification won't be sent every time, only when the status changes from Success to Warning/Failure, and back.
  15. Click the "Save Check" button to finish setting up this Check.
  16. The Notifications Section
    The Notifications Section

    Setting Up the Script

  17. Now that our Check is setup in CheckCentral, we'll need to setup the script on a machine that can run it every day. First, download the script: CheckWebsiteCertExpiry.zip, and extract it to somewhere on your computer. (e.g. C:\Scripts)
  18. Go to the new folder (e.g. C:\Scripts\CheckWebsiteCertExpiry) and edit websites.txt with the list of websites you want to check. Make sure to put one URL on each line.
  19. Open a PowerShell console and run the script to make sure it works. For example:
    .\CheckWebsiteCertExpiry.ps1 -Websites (Get-Content websites.txt) -EmailFromAddress <Email From Address> -EmailToAddress <Check Email Address from Step 7>
  20. Now refresh the Check page for the Check you created and you should see the new Activity that was sent in by the script.
  21. You're ready to setup the Windows Scheduled Task now, so that the script will run automatically every day. First, edit the parameters at the top of the "CreateScheduledTask.ps1" script and save the changes.
  22. Open an administrative PowerShell console and run .\CreateScheduledTask.ps1.
  23. If everything was successful, you should see the new Scheduled Task in the Windows Task Scheduler. Double-check that the schedule looks good, then run it and verify that a second Activity shows up in the CheckCentral Check.

As always, if you run into any trouble configuring your Checks, please feel free to contact us and we'll be glad to help out.

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Check Frequency Settings and Dashboard Updates

January 21, 2019

We're pleased to announce several updates to CheckCentral, with improvements to Check schedules and dashboard interaction.

We have streamlined the frequency settings for checks, with options for simple and advanced scheduling. With advanced schedules, you can now specify both a daily time window to expect emails, and choose which days of the week emails will be sent.

Check Frequency Settings
Advanced Check Frequency Settings

As well, check filters on your dashboard can now be bookmarked, as the filter will be remembered when refreshing the page or sharing the URL. Also, filtering the checks on your CheckCentral dashboard will only display checks from uncollapsed groups, solving an issue that resulted in displaying all checks from a group when uncollapsing it with filters applied.

Filtered Collapsible Dashboard Groups
Filtered Collapsible Dashboard Groups

Additionally, the CheckCentral Data API can now return the recent history of a check's activity if requested.

If you have feedback or questions about these updates or any aspect of CheckCentral, please let us know!

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Monitoring Comet Backup with CheckCentral

November 27, 2018

Comet Backup is an excellent tool for MSPs who manage file backups for their clients. By using CheckCentral and Comet Backup together, you can have a clear and easy view of your client backups without having to wade through mountains of email notifications. This guide provides details on setting up Checks for Comet Backup notification emails.

    Setting Up the Check Schedule

  1. On your CheckCentral dashboard, click the "New Check" link.
  2. Give the Check a name. It can be whatever you like, but we would recommend something like: {comet username}: {protected item name}. For this example, the name will be "User01: Documents"
  3. Choose an existing Check Group to add this check to, or create a new one if you like, by clicking "New Group."
  4. For this guide, we'll assume this Comet Protected Item has a schedule assigned to it. In order for CheckCentral to notify you when the Check is overdue (e.g. if the Protected Item didn't run as scheduled, or got hung up on its last run), you'll need to configure how often you expect the email to come in. Typically you'll set the "Emails are expected every" values to match the schedule on your Protected Item. In our example, the Protected Item is set to run every day at 9am, so we'll set this to 1 Day(s).
  5. Notice that there's nowhere to assign the time of day that the email is expected. This is because CheckCentral will automatically adjust the expected time based on when the last email arrived. If your Protected Item runs at 9am and finishes at 9:15am today, then the next email will be expected at 9:15am tomorrow. Since the amount of time a backup takes to complete can vary day-to-day, you can configure the Check to only notify you if the email is late by more than a certain amount of time. We'll leave it at the default of 30 minutes for this example, which means that you won't get an "Overdue" notification until 9:45am tomorrow. This allows an extra 30 minutes for the backup to complete before any action is taken.
  6. The Description field is optional, but can be helpful for documentation purposes.
  7. The Check Information Section
    The Check Information Section

    Configuring the Matching Rules

  8. The "Matching Rules" section is where you'll tell CheckCentral which emails should be processed by this Check. By default, the Check's email address will be populated with a custom email address based on the Check name. Since email notification addresses are set per-user in Comet, you'll want to click the edit icon (looks like a pencil) next to the custom email address, and change it to something more generic for that Comet user. In this example we'll change it to "demo+user01@mycheckcentral.cc." You'll see where this gets used later in this guide.
  9. The Matching Rules Section
    The Matching Rules Section

    Setting the Default Status

  10. In the "Status" section, you'll set what you want the default status to be when an email matches the check, but doesn't match any of the Success/Warning/Failure rules. Generally it's best to leave this set to Failure, then specify your Success and Warning criteria. This way it's only marked as successful or warning if it matches your given rules, anything else is marked as a failure so that you get notified and can investigate further.
  11. The Status Section
    The Status Section

    Configuring the Success and Warning Rules

  12. The "Success Rules" section is where you'll set the criteria that will mark the Activity as successful. Click the "Add Success Rule" link. A successful run of a Comet Protected Item will have the word "Success" in the email Subject, so we'll set the rule to "Subject contains Success"
  13. The "Warning Rules" section is where you'll set the criteria that will mark the Activity as a warning. Click the "Add Warning Rule" link. The email notification for a Comet Protected Item will have the word "Warning" in the email Subject, so well set the rule to "Subject contains Warning"
  14. The Success/Warning Rules Section
    The Success/Warning Rules Section

    Configuring Notifications

  15. In the Notifications section, you can choose how to you want to be notified about changes to the status of this Check. In this example, enabling the checkbox for "Email" will send an email when the Check status changes, to everyone on the CheckCentral Organization > Users page that has Email notifications enabled. If there are consecutive Success emails, a notification won't be sent every time, only when the status changes from Success to Warning/Failure, and back.
  16. Click the "Save Check" button to finish setting up this Check.
  17. The Notifications Section
    The Notifications Section

    Configuring Comet

  18. Now that our Check is setup in CheckCentral, we'll need to configure Comet to send its emails to CheckCentral for this user (User01). In the Comet admin interface, go to Accounts > Users > User01, and add the email address for the CheckCentral check that you created in step 7, and make sure to click the "Save Changes" button.
  19. Adding Email Address to Comet User
    Adding Email Address to Comet User

    Testing it Out

  20. Now we're ready to run the Protected Item to test it out. Go ahead and run your Comet Protected Item manually.
  21. The Comet Backup UI
    The Comet Backup UI
  22. After the job is done running, if you refresh the Check page, you'll see the new Activity listed in the "Recent Activity" section. You can also see a new Activity dot for it on the main Dashboard for your organization.
  23. The Recent Activity Section
    The Recent Activity Section
    The Main Dashboard
    The Main Dashboard
  24. Clicking the Activity's dot on the Check page or the Dashboard will show the email contents in a modal dialog.
  25. The Activity Details
    The Activity Details
  26. As always, if you run into any trouble configuring your Checks, please feel free to contact us and we'll be glad to help out.
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New Filtering Options for Activities and Stats Pages!

October 23, 2018

We're happy to announce updates to both the Activities and Stats pages! The searching and filtering on these pages has been improved and expanded, with new and more detailed options available.

The Activities page now provides the ability to filter activities by group, date range, and even the source of the activity: email messages, overdue activities, user-set statuses, or updates from the CheckCentral API.

Activities Page Filtering
Updated Activities page filtering

The Stats page has also been updated to allow filtering by the activity source, as well as by only a specific check. As always, any search on the Stats page can be saved as a PDF or CSV format report.

Stats Page Filtering
Updated Stats page filtering

We hope these updates will make it even easier and more convenient to find and report on only the information that is important to you!

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Check Management Updates

September 28, 2018

We're excited to announce a recent update to the Manage Checks page for CheckCentral. Reordering Groups is now much faster and easier, with all your groups displayed in one place in a sidebar. You can also drag and drop checks directly on the group in the sidebar to move them between groups. In addition, the page and its content have been streamlined to improve the performance and responsiveness for organizations with large numbers of checks.

We hope this update will make it faster and easier to manage your checks. If you have feedback or questions, please let us know!

Manage Checks Page
Updated Manage Checks page
Drag and drop Checks between Groups
Drag and drop checks between groups
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TOTP Now Available for Two-Factor Authentication!

August 15, 2018

Today we're happy to announce that we've added another two-factor authentication (2FA) method. In addition to the current SMS 2FA method, you can now choose to use time-based one-time password (TOTP) 2FA instead, allowing you to get your 2FA codes through your favourite authentication app.

The TOTP method will work with any app the supports TOTP, including Google Authenticator, Duo, Authy, and more! With TOTP you also get an upgrade in security for your 2FA codes, since they can't be intercepted like SMS messages.

If you've already got SMS 2FA enabled, you'll get a prompt when logging in that suggests switching to TOTP. You'll have to disable SMS 2FA first, then setup TOTP. All of the 2FA configuration is done on your account page: https://www.checkcentral.cc/Account/

TOTP on the Account Edit Page
TOTP on the Account Edit Page

We highly recommend enabling TOTP 2FA on your account for better security, and as always, if you run into any trouble at all, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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