How to get and configure an Everbridge API Key

The Everbridge API is an add on feature that requires Everbridge activation and a little setup on your end. This post is meant to get an API key in your hands ASAP while sprinkling in a few best practices along the way.

Before you contact Everbridge

Even if you already have an API account it is a best practice to scope your accounts
You may already have an API user account configured. Since there is no way to tell an activated API account from a user record, check for API sounding user names. If you don’t see any, create a new user keeping in mind:
  1. How many user accounts do you need? To Everbridge, API calls are identical to actions done by users in the browser. If you have multiple use cases or systems using the Everbridge API, make sure you have a user account for each of them. This is critical to permissions and event logging.
  2. Determine the least amount of privileges required for this API’s usage. For example, if it’ll be used for contact updates, Set the permissions to Data Manager.
  3. Give it a good user name. Example: Sentworks API. All actions done with this API key will be stamped with it’s user name. To enhance audit, dedicate an API user account for each vendor or app that uses the API.
  4. Give it a strong password
  5. Do Not log in with this account. This will ensure that password expiration rules are never applied.

You’re now ready to engage Everbridge. To ensure speedy configuration, give them:

  • Your Account Name
  • Your Company Name
  • The API’s “User ID.” Open the users record and copy the url. The users id is at the end of the URL.

Need it now?

If you need an Everbridge API key right away, choose one of the following options:
  1. Ask your Everbridge Account Manager
    • Your AM will work with Support to ensure proper API configuration.
    • Once configured, they will let you know what user account they created and activated with API access.
    • Skip to “How to create the Everbridge API Key” below.
  2. Ask Everbridge Support
    • Support will gladly configure API activation as long as you’re configured in the Everbridge CMS with an API license. If Support is unable to determine that you’ve purchased the API, coordination with your Account Manager is required before proceeding.
    • Skip to “How to create the Everbridge API Key” below.

How to create the Everbridge API Key

The Everbridge API uses a base64 encoded version of the activated accounts username and password to authenticate. It’s OK if none of that makes sense, just do the following.
  1. Get the username and password of the API user account
  2. Encode the user name and password here:
    1. Example username:password will equal dXNlcm5hbWU6cGFzc3dvcmQ=
    2. Don’t forget to put the colon in-between the username and password.

Test the Key

  1. Use to test your API key.
  2. Expand “/contacts”
  3. Expand “GET /contacts/{organizationId}”
  4. Paste the API key into the “credentials” field.
  5. Paste your Org ID into the “organizationId” field.
  6. Click the “Try it Out!” button.
  7. You should get a “message”: “OK” result.
 In closing, make sure you keep your API key in a safe place.

Template Backup for Everbridge

Sentworks now offers backup of the content changes made within your Everbridge templates. This process of template versioning can be used to view changes over time, increase content auditing and help to improve the quality of messaging content over time.

Each Template backup will capture:

  • Date and time of backup
  • User that made the change (user that made the most recent modification)
  • Title
  • Message Body
  • Rich text used for email and ContactBridge.

Backups will occur on an automated schedule as well manually within Sentworks.

This is the first of two backup options Sentworks is working on for templates. Full backup of templates will join content backup to be delivered later this quarter. Full backup will cover all template settings and offer a restore option. This addition will stand alongside our other template investments such as the Template Wizard and Template Copy.

Be sure to check out all the ways Sentworks is helping Everbridge customers administer Notification Templates.

Convert Everbridge Notifications into Templates!

Are you sitting on a Template goldmine?

Many of the notifications built in Everbridge are sent right away and not saved as Templates for future use. This is either done out of expediency or oversight and over time the collection of perfectly configured notifications builds. If only you could take that gold mine of notifications and turn them into reusable templates.

Sentworks; in an effort to live up to the ‘sent’ in its name, is happy to announce that you can now convert a sent notification into a template.

Here is a listing of what is converted to get an understanding of the time and effort saved:

  • The notifications role assignment
  • The notifications content, including the rich text for “Include a separate message for email notifications.”
  • Recorded messages
  • The selected contacts, groups and rules
  • The notification settings

This feature is currently live for all customers licensed with Sentworks Professional.

If you aren’t a Sentworks customer, there is some hope. You can use “Rebroadcast” and “Send Follow Up” buttons located in the sent notification. Do be aware that “Rebroadcast” doesn’t allow you to configure the message before it’s broadcasted. This leaves you with “Send Follow Up,” here you can save the notification as a template however it replaces all the different ways you’ve selected contacts in the original notification, via groups, individually, rules, etc with a flat list of contacts which will be much harder to manage down the road.

The fine print: As with all actions in Sentworks, it is required that you test or visually inspect the templates created with this feature.

Measuring Everbridge Usage

How do you measure your organizations use of Everbridge?

Let’s start with sent notifications, this is pretty easy to understand. At minimum Everbridge lists the last 18 months worth of notifications. This stat alone is a great way to understand how often notifications are being sent, but how about the care and feeding of those notifications or the contacts they’re sent to? How often do people log into update and build templates, check confirmation statistic, manage the permissions of users, or edit the membership of groups and roles?

The Sentworks dashboard will capture both of these graphs, in addition to registration and contact growth over time. What are we missing? The chart above shows the total number of daily unique user logins per day. What else could we build to give you a greater understanding? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or

Creating Roles from Groups

The Group Manager & Dispatcher roles in Everbridge are extremely powerful. It allows you to segment the audience a particular set of users can broadcast messages to. A common example of this is office locations and ensuring that message senders from that office can only send notifications and view contact information for those in that office.

Sounds great, right?

But what if you have 100+ offices around the world?

I worked with a customer that had this very challenge and the click fest it created was not fun.

Today I’m pleased to announce that Sentworks has a new feature that will significantly increase the speed and accuracy of creating multiple roles from the groups that you already have.

First, the steps to create the foundation for security trimmed templates across 100 offices. Let’s assume you have 100 office “Groups” to work with. The groups can be pulled in with the contact upload.

  1. Create a new Role
  2. Type the name, best if it matches the Group name it’s modeled after
  3. Pick the permission level from the drop down
  4. Update the “Permissions” with the exact Permission Scope that you’d like all the offices to have, for example, delete contacts, remove contacts from groups, etc. Side note: what if you forget a check box? Sentworks has a report to help compare permission scopes.
  5. Choose the assigned group(s)
  6. Save

At minimum it’s 10+ clicks along with typing the role name, times 100!

The screenshot below highlights the steps this same task would require in Sentworks. As a teaser; once the 100 roles have been created, Sentworks can also copy a set of perfectly configured templates to all the offices. After they’re created, the Template Wizard offers multi template update for content or settings changes.

Changing Many Everbridge Templates at Once

I once worked with a customer that needed to make changes to hundreds of templates. The templates were assigned to offices around the world and it wasn’t just settings that needed updating, the message content also needed to be consistent.

Doing this manually is beyond time consuming. Changing from one Group Manager role to another, not losing your place as you work down the template list… want to check your work? Sure, but you’ll have to open each template in order so don’t lose your place.

I’ve been there, and I’m happy to say there’s a solution. The Sentworks template wizard enables admins to make sweeping changes to as many templates as you’d like to select. All you need to do is make changes to one template which acts as a model for the others. Simply choose what values you’d like to apply from the source to target templates, it’s that easy. The wizard will launch with 5 settings and no cap to the number of templates you can change. The settings are, Message Title, Body, Priority, Confirmation and Category.  The screen shot below demonstrates how easy it is to use, even if the scenario isn’t based in reality.

Daily Contact Count

Welcome to the first post in a series going over some of the exciting features we’re building for Sentworks to be released in Fall of 2017.

Today’s little nugget is contact count over time. It’s one thing to know how many contacts you currently have, even better to see that growth trend-line in a chart. We know you don’t live in Everbridge so we’ll take care of some of these stats for you.

Why is this important? Everbridge licensing is primarily based on contact count and over time this number will fluctuate as head count changes, bring on new new department or citizens sign up. With your total purchased contact count in mind, Sentworks will give you a visual of this change to be compared to what you’ll need at true-up time.

What other stats like this should you expect to see? How about logins? That’ll be in there too. Why? It’s a great way to see how much usage Everbridge; even from a high level, is experiencing.

Bonus: daily “registered contacts” count.

What are we missing? What “over time” stats like logins, contacts and registrations would you like to see? Make a case in the comments below, we’ll add it to the list.