Differences in Sensor Reading Actions and Advanced Actions

Monnit offers two types of Actions which can be similar in operation but have some key (but subtle) differences which may determine the manner in which you operate with notifications. This article will outline some of these difference as to provide an understanding of the different Action types and how to implement them.

A common question

A very common question that might trigger the need to understand the difference between Sensor Reading Actions and Advanced Actions is related to the sensor’s Aware State Threshold. Many customers new to the Monnit platform start out by configuring the sensor’s Aware State Thresholds of the sensor, thinking that simply setting these thresholds will trigger an Action after the thresholds are applied. It may not be until later that they realize that the Aware State operation of the sensor (for basic information on this, see Understanding Sensor Heartbeat, Aware State, Assessments, and Rearm) is not tied to an Action unless the user sets this up. While the Aware State configuration does control how the sensor communicates and operates, it is not inherently tied to any Action unless the Action is created and the sensor is assigned to the Action.

Another important detail is that Sensor Reading Actions are not tied to the Aware State Threshold settings of the sensor. With Sensor Reading Actions, you configure the trigger point on the Action itself. Advanced Actions, on the other hand, are triggered by a sensor’s Aware State, and thus are directly tied to Aware State Threshold settings on the sensor. Therefore if you are wondering why your sensors’ Aware State Thresholds do not seem to be triggering an Action when the sensor reading breaches them, check the Action type. Only Advanced Actions are triggered based on the sensor’s Aware State.

Note: Advanced Actions are only available to Premiere subscribers.

Sensor Reading Actions

Sensor Reading Actions have the trigger point configuration under the Action settings. As mentioned above, these are not inherently tied to the sensor’s Aware State Threshold. Therefore you could have a sensor with a specific Aware State Threshold, and a Sensor Reading Action with a completely different trigger point. Sensor Reading Actions generally give a Greater Than, Less Than, Equal to, Greater than or equal to, or Less than or equal to configuration. This will vary by setting. The Actions are triggered solely based on the sensor reading and the trigger point you have set up on the Action.

Advanced Actions

Advanced Actions are triggered by the sensor’s Aware State. Therefore they are directly tied to the sensor’s Aware State Thresholds. There are different kinds of Advanced Actions which allow for generally more complex logic. For example, you can trigger an Advanced Action to send when a sensor reports “x” number of consecutive Aware Messages. The most common Advanced Action is the Notify After Aware Period Action in which the Notify After Aware Period timer is started by the first reported Aware Message and the Action is triggered by a subsequent consecutive Aware Message from the sensor after the timer has elapsed.

Until you create an Advanced Action, no Action will be associated with the sensor’s Aware State Threshold configuration. But the various types of Advanced Actions will allow you to implement notifications based on the sensor’s Aware Readings/Aware State Threshold.


Understanding the difference between Sensor Reading Actions and Advanced Actions is important, especially for new users. It might determine the manner by which you choose to operate in regard to Actions. Feel free to contact support@monnit.com with related questions.