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This is for internal use by the PaaS team. Public-facing documentation is located at

Notifying tenants

Every now and then, we need to let our tenants know that something has happened or will happen on the platform. For example, letting teams know about security fixes, CF/stemcell/buildpack upgrades, new features and incidents.

Depending on what it is we want to tell users, we have three different channels for sending these notifications:

Sending incident alerts and updates

Follow the guidance in the incident management process section of the team manual if you’re managing incident comms and you need to send alerts and updates to tenants.

Sending platform change and new feature announcements

Changes, upgrades and fixes

Write a draft email and share it here.

Get a Product Manager to proof-read and add any ‘product-y’ elements - we want to make sure our notifications are consistent and meet the GDS style guidelines. If the email is time-sensitive and there are no Product Managers around, get another member of the team to proof-read the email before it’s sent.

Announcing new features

These announcements are our chance to showcase how we’re developing GOV.UK PaaS and will be written and sent by the product managers. Product Managers may ask the team member who worked on the story to provide some technical details that can be inclued in the email.

Sending marketing emails to tenants

Use the google group interface to send the email.

  • Select New topic
  • In By select: Post on behalf of GOV.UK PaaS announce
  • The Subject should help identify immediately the purpose of the email. Ex: “Incident with…”
  • In Type of post select: “Make an announcement” to emphasize this is one way communication
  • Body: paste the content of the reviewed draft. You may have to adjust formatting.

Sending (critical) technical emails

Essential information and actions tenants need to carry out in order to ensure their service remains live.

  1. Write email body copy to tenants to populate the email

  2. Your email must contain the following header

    Dear GOV.UK PaaS tenant,
    We (GOV.UK Platform as a Service - PaaS) are contacting you to inform you of
    [BODY COPY].
  3. Your email must contain the following footer

    This communication complies with our data protection policy.
    As we outline in our Privacy Notice:
    In order to make GOV.UK PaaS secure and available we need to collect, process and store personal data from tenants. We store the data you provide to:
    get in contact to reply to your queries
    make your user account function correctly
    manage your user account
    send you updates and notices
    If you have any questions, please contact
    Kind regards,
    The GOV.UK PaaS Team
  4. Get tenant email addresses

    • Tenant email addresses can be pulled from Cloud Foundry. There is a Make target for this, which produces a CSV that can be uploaded to GOV.UK Notify

      make prod show-tenant-comms-addresses > addresses_prod.csv
      make prod-lon show-tenant-comms-addresses > addresses_prod-lon.csv

      If the information being sent is critical, and not carrying out the required action will result in service downtime the CRITICAL=true flag can be passed. This will include org managers, org auditors and space managers and auditors in the output.

      If the information being sent is not suitable for developers or they are unlikely to have the information required the MANAGEMENT=true flag can be passed. This will include org managers, org auditors and billing managers in the output.

      By default, only space developers are included.

  5. Create template to GOV.UK Notify

    1. Login to GOV.UK Notify. If you do not have login details speak to a senior member of the team.
    2. Create a new template in GOV.UK Notify, with the body of the email.
  6. Navigate to where you stored the CSV files, and import it.

  7. Select ‘Send X emails’, where X should be the number of people to contact.

  8. Send emails to the contents of both CSV files

CF upgrade email template

Subject (ex): GOV.UK PaaS - Cloud Foundry changes - 17th March 2017

The body should contain:

  • Changes and bugfixes to highlight and new features enabled.
  • Downtime or service impact if any
  • Summary of buildpack changes.

 CF buildpack emails

We generate our buildpack notification emails using the (semi-)automated process described in the documentation about upgrading buildpacks.

NB Incident comms email templates are saved in Statuspage.