Automating Your Comments – Prompt Commands

By Josh Tafoya, Technical Trainer

(This is the sixth and final in a series of training blogs about automating your account comments for faster alarm handling. Links to the other blogs in the series are available at the end.)



We started several weeks ago with the above list of comments and have worked our way through automating each one. Today, we will tackle the last item!

Based on what we are reading, the first thing that needs to happen is the operator needs to ask if there is an emergency. So far, we haven’t used the prompt command, but we will now.

We need to assign a variable name to the question we are asking. Since we are asking if this is an emergency, the variable is @EMERGENCY (The “@” is added automatically).

The Type of prompt is going to be List, although it could be Number, A Hexidecimal Value, Text, or Uppercase Text (which we will explore shortly). Since we are looking for a Yes/No answer, it is far easier for the operator to select Yes or No from a list. Our prompt will be “Is there an emergency?” This is the question that will be presented to the operator.

To populate the list, we need to add all the items to the Mask section, with each choice separated by a pipe symbol. Here are the details for our prompt.



Please note that the “Auto Run” box is marked. This will force this prompt to happen as soon as the previous action was complete.

The next thing we want to do is log the answer to the question. For this, we will use the Log command under the Data Handling section. Our details should look like this:



Note again, the “Auto Run” box is marked.

Now we need to act on the answers to the question that was asked. For this, we will be using the If/Else functionality under the Logic Handling section of the Action Patterns. If our Variable (@EMERGENCY) is YES, then we will log the answer to another prompt, then follow traditional contact commands (Fire Department, keyholders, etc.)

In our “If Yes” section, the first thing will be a new prompt:



Once again, “Auto Run” is marked. But also note that, since the type is Uppercase Text, there is no need to specify a Mask.

Again, we will be logging the result of the question, with “Auto Run” checked.



As it is still a part of our “If Yes” section, we will be contacting Fire, then keyholders, then closing the alarm.

But the other part of our statement is the “Else” section. (Else, in a yes/no scenario like this when “yes” has already been specified, can only be “no.”)

In our “Else” section, we want to ask a new question, which is “does anyone else need to be contacted?” So the next prompt is going to be:



And of course, we want to log the result of this prompt:



Did you notice we just nested another “If/Else” statement within the first “Else” statement? (Don’t worry, this will all make sense when you see the final product!)

If the result of the prompt (does the customer want the operator to call someone else?), is “Yes,” then we will bring up the list of keyholders. If the result is “No,” then we will simply close the alarm.

Finally, we need to End the “If” statement for both “If” statements. The result of all this should look like:



So what does this look like to an operator? When we attach this to an alarm and run it, after the first contact they will receive this prompt:



If they select “Yes,” they will receive this prompt:



Upon which, Manitou will log the details:



Alternatively, if the customer had chose “No” (to the question of “is this an emergency?”) the operator would have received this prompt:



If the answer to this one is “Yes,” it would bring up a list of keyholders. If the answer is “No,” it would bring up a Close Alarm screen.



That finishes it! Our final comment item is automated, and this blog series is complete. Of course, these blogs are not intended to replace full training for these subjects. There is always more to learn, and I could never get through all the scenarios in brief overviews like these.

If you are interested in learning more about Enhanced Action Patterns, I would again refer you to all of the hard work Caryn has done in her Coffee with Manitou sessions. (Check the “Coffee with Manitou” box under the “Interests” section)

If you are interested in learning more, or if you need to have custom Enhanced Action Patterns created, please feel free to contact your sales rep.

To summarize the last few blogs, it is important to remember that Manitou is ALARM AUTOMATION software. If you can take advantage of its automation functions, why not do it? Especially if you can reduce errors and improve efficiency.

Of course, most of you have too many comments on too many accounts to do this for each one, but do it for the ones who have notes your operators see every day. And do it for the ones who are VIPs. Or are responsible for more revenue. Or just MUST be handled right, otherwise, you’ll hear about it.

If you remove comments and automate as much as you can for the customers listed above, your operator’s workload will decrease and their accuracy will increase.

Thanks for reading!



This is the sixth and final in a series of training blogs discussing how to automate comments for better efficiency and fewer errors. See the previous entries here:

An Introduction

Programming and General Schedules

Transmitter Programming

Enhanced Action Patterns

Enhanced Action Patterns – Part 2