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Description template for alert conditions

For some types of conditions, you can define a description template that passes useful information downstream for better incident responses or for use by other systems. You can create a description template in the UI or with GraphQL.


The description template feature is available for:

  • NRQL alert conditions
  • Infrastructure monitoring alert conditions

The description template field has a maximum character size of 4000.

What is a description template?

For some types of conditions, you can create a description template that passes information about a condition and its incidents downstream. Using a description, you can:

  • Capture the reason for the condition
  • Define the signal being monitored
  • Define next steps
  • Add metadata to downstream systems

The Description template field allows you to use a general template structure that, when an incident is generated, substitutes the generic sections with specific values. For example, let's say you used this in a description:

This is my condition name : {{conditionName}}
The hostname is : {{tag.fullHostname}}

An incident resulting from this condition would fill in the details and you'd receive a notification like this:

This is my condition name : My Great Alert Condition
The hostname is : ip-123-45-67-89.us-west-1.compute.internal

Create a description template

one.newrelic.com > All capabilities > Alerts & AI > Alert conditions (Policies) > (select a policy) > (select a condition): Click + Add description template to open the field.

You can create a description template using the dedicated field for NRQL alerts, or the Describe this condition section for infrastructure alerts.

Description template template example

Here's a description template template example:

This is my condition name : {{conditionName}}
The hostname is : {{tag.fullHostname}}
Owning Team: {{tag.label.owning_team}}
Product: {{tag.label.product}}
ec2VpcId: {{tag.aws.ec2VpcId}}
Service name : {{tag.label.Name}}
AWS Region : {{tag.aws.awsRegion}}
AWS Availability Zone: {{tag.aws.awsAvailabilityZone}}
Department : {{tag.label.department}}
Environment: {{tag.label.environment}}
Cluster: {{tag.clusterName}}
Cluster Role: {{tag.clusterRole}}
EC2 Instance Type: {{tag.instanceType}}
EC2 InstanceID: {{tag.aws.ec2InstanceId}}
EC2 AmiId: {{tag.aws.ec2AmiId}}
EC2 Root Device Type: {{tag.aws.ec2RootDeviceType}}

How to use attributes

The attributes you can use in a description template are a subset of attributes attached to the incident event. Here are some details about the available attributes and how to use them:

  • Incident event attributes: For any of the standard attributes available for use in a description template, use the format {{AN_ATTRIBUTE}}. For example:

    The target name is : {{targetName}}
  • Tag attributes: For tags, you would use the format {{tag.TAG_NAME}}. There are two types of tags:

    • Entity-related tags: For infrastructure conditions only. You can find available entity-related tags by going to the entity explorer and looking under a service's Metadata and tags, or by viewing incident details. Here's an example of using tags in a description template:

      The AWS region is : {{tag.aws.awsRegion}}
      Responsible team : {{tag.label.owning_team}}
    • Facet clause tags: For NRQL conditions only. If a NRQL condition uses a FACET clause, you can use tag formatting to use those values in your description template. For example, if the NRQL query included FACET hostName, cluster, you could then use this:

      The host is : {{tag.hostName}}
      The cluster is : {{tag.cluster}}

Please note that tag names cannot include whitespace. The expanded values can include whitespace, but not the names of the tags themselves.

Create a description template with GraphQL

You can create a description template on a NRQL alert condition through a GraphQL mutation with that description.

Here's an empty mutation template:

mutation {
condition: { description: "" }
) {

Here's an example mutation with a description template:

mutation {
accountId: 123456
id: "123456"
condition: {
description: "timestamp : {{timestamp}} \n accountId : {{accountId}} \n type : {{type}} \n event : {{event}} \n description : {{description}} \n policyId : {{policyId}} \n policyName: {{policyName}} \n conditionName : {{conditionName}} \n conditionId : {{conditionId}} \n product : {{product}} \n conditionType : {{conditionType}} \n RunbookUrl : {{runbookUrl}} \n nrqlQuery : {{nrqlQuery}} \n nrqlEventType : {{nrqlEventType}} \n targetID : {{targetId}} \n targetName : {{targetName}} \n commandLine : {{tag.commandLine}} \n entityGuid : {{tag.entityGuid}} \n entityName : {{tag.entityName}} \n fullHostname : {{tag.fullHostname}} \n instanceType : {{tag.instanceType}} \n processDisplayName : {{tag.processDisplayName}}"
) {

Mentioning users or notifying channel in Slack

When creating a description that you know will be sent to Slack, you may wish to @mention a user or generate a channel-wide notification (for example, @here or @channel). To achieve this, simply include the User ID or a channel-wide notification in the description surrounded by < and > characters.

Here's an example for mentioning a user:

Attention <@LewCirne>

Here's an example for generating a channel-wide notification:

Attention <!channel>


Note that the Slack convention for channel-wide notifications in Incoming Webhooks is to use a ! prefix instead of @. For example, !here or !channel.

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