Action Maps

Articles based on common support questions.
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Action Maps

Post by varghesesa » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:45 pm


Not really sure what this article will become. Right now, I am using it as a placeholder for gotchas based on tickets associated with the action map and creating alerts.


Gotcha 3: Push notifications

Update to the latest version or the latest stable version of the BI server. Update to the latest version of the app.
Features/functionality on the mobile app are not guaranteed to run with older versions of the server.

Divide the problem into server vs mobile app.
Did the BI Server send the Push alert?

Confirm alerts are being sent from server

Must understand the logs to know what is going on.
status log confirmation.png
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Furthermore, confirm the Alert is sent soon after BI senses Motion. The gap between the MOTION event and the Alert should not be more than 1-2s.

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Logs state the Push notification was NOT sent.

If the logs state the Push notification was sent, scroll down to Log states alerts are sent section.

You know something with the server (or server settings) is the issue.

Something is very likely broken between Cameras -> Trigger settings -> Alert settings.
Or your server settings are incorrect.

Are the cameras working?
See Camera Stream Optimization article.

Permissions / Global Settings
If you have multiple users on phones and some Push notifications work for some users on their phones but does not work for others, then you very probably have a permissions issue.

Check the below permissions for the user / phone that is not working.

Global settings -> Users tab
The Users tab sets permissions for the user logged into the mobile app.
Accessible times and profiles
Make sure the user is allowed remote access. LAN only is unchecked.
Make sure the user is allowed access to BI during the appropriate profiles.

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Camera groups
If you are using camera groups, the user must have access to a group that contains the camera executing the Push.

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Push notifications
Confirm Push notifications are active in the user's profile for the appropriate profiles.

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Global settings -> Mobile devices tab
You can also set permissions on a mobile device.
Maybe executives receive certain alerts.
Maybe security staff receive other alerts.
This is another reason why Push notifications may not be going to your device.
Push notifications
Confirm Push notifications are enabled for the user's phone.

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Mobile Tags
If you are using tags make sure the mobile phone in question has the tag associated with the alert.
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Legacy GCM
Make sure Legacy GCM is unselected.
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Firewall settings
Maybe your firewall is blocking ports for Push notifications?
Highly unlikely. Most firewalls never prevent outbound traffic.
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Trigger settings
Are you still receiving motion triggers? The Alerts tab in the Clips List will tell you! If not, there is a problem with the Trigger tab.

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Alerts tab - Action Map
If the motion trigger is present, there is a problem with the Alerts tab.

I would look closely at my Push notification settings.
One common mistake is the Profiles for the alert are NOT active for the Profile you are testing.
Camera settings -> Alerts tab -> On Alert.

mobile gotchas action map profiles.png
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If you do not know how to debug alerts, watch the Triggers and Alerts webinar. The information is also available in the Alerts and Actions section of Help (Testing the Action Set).

Alerts tab
Alerts are turned off (accidentally) on the camera.

Revisit the Camera settings -> Alerts tab.
A common mistake is you accidentally turned off Alerts.

mobile devices gotchas_recent alerts.png
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One user accidentally switched Any to All. With all the Zones checked you are effectively telling BI the Motion had to cross ALL zones for an alert to trigger.
I have yet to see a use case where a user had all zones set. Basically, he turned all motion alerts from the motion sensor OFF.

Log states alerts are sent

Send alternative alerts
Leverage BI functionality to test further.
If all of the above permissions are set correctly and Push notifications are still NOT working, then create/test an Email / SMS alert.
If those alerts work, then you know the issue probably does NOT reside with your Server permissions or motion trigger settings.
This is a strong hint that something is wrong with mobile phone settings or the mobile app.

Mobile phone settings:
1. Mobile phone settings: If the Push Alert is sent based on the logs, check the mobile phone settings.
Are Push notifications allowed for the mobile app? See Server settings section.

2. BI Server - Mobile Devices tab: Maybe a permission issue associated with your phone and the BI server setup exists? The BI server is not sending alerts to your phone, but may be sending alerts to other phones. See the BI Server activation section.

3. BI Server - Other user permissions: Review the Permissions/Global settings section above as well.
Maybe your user account does not have access to the camera sending the Push alert.
Maybe the alert requires a security tag that is NOT set for your camera.

Apple / Android Push servers
It's very possible, the issue could reside with Apple/Android Notification Servers, your mobile device or maybe even your cellular provider.
If you created an SMS alert as stated above and the SMS alert is responsive, you can assume BI sent the Push correctly as well.

Network settings
The network setup is critical for push notifications. Debugging port forwarding and network issues is the responsibility of the user.
We recommend using NGROK or other DDNS services because the utility bypasses all the complexity associated with networking. The Networking section of the Mobile Devices article walks through setting up NGROK correctly.

Alert Images
Push notifications also include the Alert image by default.
If you receive the Push notification, however the Thumbnail image is not included, pay attention to this section.
The mobile app needs to request the image from the BI server once a notification is received from Apple/Android.

action map_alert image.png
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Issue: The alerts take almost a minute to come through and the notification does not show the preview image.
Works fine if the phone is connected to Wi-Fi. Notifications are instant and the image is included.

Test: Unselect Send rich push (3D) notifications
Do the alerts come through instantly on the cellular network? If so, the mobile app has a connectivity issue back to the server.

Revisit the Remote access content of the Checklist to make sure the network is setup correctly.

Revisit the Server settings on your mobile app.

If issue is still not resolved, include mobile app info to the ticket for BI engineering to review.
See Next steps / Submitting a ticket section in Mobile devices article.

Gotcha 2: Email/SMS alerts are not working

Global settings -> Users tab
Similar to above for Push notifications, check permissions.

Global settings -> Users tab
Make sure the user is allowed access to BI during the appropriate profiles.
users access.png
users access.png (12.47 KiB) Viewed 3054 times

Confirm alerts are being sent from the server

status log confirmation.png
status log confirmation.png (21.95 KiB) Viewed 3060 times

Furthermore, confirm the Alert is sent soon after BI senses motion. The gap between the MOTION event and the Alert should not be more than 1-2s.

motion-alert-trace.png (20.46 KiB) Viewed 3060 times
Log states alerts are sent
If the log states alerts are NOT being sent, scroll down to Log states alerts are NOT sent section.

If the logs state alerts are being sent, then you can be confident your global permissions and motion triggers are set correctly to generate an alert.
The issue must reside with your alert settings.

Send alternative alerts
If you are only sending one type of alert, e.g. an email notification, create an SMS alert to try and isolate the issue. Does the other alert work?
If only the SMS notification is working, I would look very closely at my email alert settings.
If only the email notification is working, I would look very closely at my SMS alert settings.
If both alerts are not working, the issue is probably with the email server setup since both alerts rely on the email server.
Global settings -> Email servers.

Email process: BI Server -> Email server -> Email notification
SMS process: BI Server -> Email server -> Mobile provider email to text service -> SMS message

Easy to check if SMS and Email alerts are being processed correctly by your email server.
Simply login to your email server.
Go to the sent folder.
If you see sent emails to your cellular provider (for an SMS text) or to the email address specified in the Email alert settings, your mail server processed the alert correctly.
BI emails are easy to spot because the subject starts with Blue Iris.
If you do not see any BI sent emails, your email server is not setup correctly.

If your SMS messages are not being received or received after a long delay AND you confirmed your email server is responding in a timely manner, then you will need to inquire with your cellular service provider as to why their email to text service is slow or not responding.

Log states alerts are NOT sent
The issue must be with Server settings (Permissions or Trigger settings)
If the logs state NO alerts are being sent, then you can be confident there has to be an issue with Server permissions or your Motion triggers settings.
Go through same checks listed above for Gotcha 3: Push Notifications. The Logs state the Push notification was NOT sent section.

Gotcha 1: Alert images

Alert images are the images that are associated with SMS and Email alerts.
Push notifications also provide Alert images (thumb nails).
The issue is often users want the Alert Image, i.e. the Trigger image to be in high resolution and sometimes it appears as a low resolution image.

Background info:
The thumbnail image which is actually stored in the database and associated with the Alert is 240px.
In earlier versions of 5.x, the thumbnail image was 480px, but the increased size really did not add much value, but did eat up database storage so was changed back to 240px.

The fix:
To get higher resolution main stream Alert images, select Hi-res JPEG files for Add to alerts list:. Camera settings -> Trigger tab.

alert image hi-res.png
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If your camera has dual streams and Hi-res JPEG is selected (as stated above), but the alert image is not the higher resolution, the issue is often the main stream does not have a key frame.
The fix is creating a pre-trigger buffer.
A 5s pre-trigger buffer is always a good practice. Camera settings -> Record tab.
A pre-trigger buffer assures at least one key frame exists for the main stream.
A 5s pre-trigger buffer assumes your kfps is at least greater the 0.2 (1/5).

If the above two fixes do not resolve the issue, right click on an alert -> Open containing folder.
Is the corresponding JPEG the correct resolution? 240p is what's in the database. However if there's a hi-res JPEG file, this should be served instead.

If the Open containing folder selection is greyed out, then there is an issue.
  • The most obvious cause is you did not set Add to alerts list = Hi-res JPEGfiles
  • OR There is an issue with the setup of the Alerts folder (image below), folder permissions or something else.
    Check the log for errors, in particular Storage errors.
alert image alerts folder.png
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Note on email alerts
Email alerts provide many more options.
The Motion leading-edge image will always come from the sub stream.
The Trigger leading-edge, aka the Alert image, will only be high-res if you select Hi-res JPEG (as stated above) AND the main stream has a key frame in the buffer (thus, the need for a pre-trigger buffer as stated above).
The Additional images will always be hi-res (if you have a main stream key frame in the buffer).
Finally, the Email alert dialog also provides quality controls (default is 50/50).
action map email quality.png
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