Java TM Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics > Part II: Special Topics > 8: Events and Alarms > Levels of Severity   Previous Next Contents/Index/Search


Levels of Severity

Each alarm event has a level of severity--known as the alarm's "severity." An alarm's severity indicates the order in which users should handle that event relative to alarms of other severities.

Levels of severity can help an application's users prioritize their work, especially if the application can display many alarms at the same time. Table 19 lists the standard levels of severity for alarms.


Severity Description


There is no response from the monitored entity (or from the device on which it resides).


An alarm condition occurred that seriously impairs service and requires immediate correction.


An alarm condition occurred, impairing service but not seriously.


An alarm condition occurred that does not currently impair service, but the condition needs to be corrected before it becomes more severe.

Each level of severity has an corresponding alarm graphic , which you can use to help users identify alarmed entities. (For information about alarm graphics, see Alarm Graphics.)

Some applications can generate many alarms at the same time. To avoid overwhelming users, such applications should enable users to control:

  • Which events trigger alarms
  • Which severity is assigned to alarms

These capabilities help users eliminate irrelevant alarms and notice important alarms.

 Enable users to modify alarm conditions and define new alarm conditions.

 Provide only the levels of severity in Table 19. Of those levels, provide only the ones that your application's users will need.

 Enable users to adjust the thresholds that determine each alarm's severity.

 When displaying or logging an alarm, indicate its severity.

Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines: Advanced Topics.
Copyright 2001. Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Table 19   Levels of Alarm Severity 
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