Notes on SharePoint Alerts

Recently I have been working with a business user who believed ‘Immediate’ Alerts were not functioning correctly on a list he was maintaining and he was not being notified of some occurrences.  An investigation has not found a repeatable problem nor any information in logs that might point toward an error occurring for his particular list and email notifications were being sent correctly. The end result was a lack of understanding of how Alerts function in SharePoint 2010.

Being a business user I wouldn’t necessarily expect him to have a technical understanding of Alert functionality but it is worth letting your end users know some of the basics such as:

  • If multiple changes are made to a document before the alert mail is generated, SharePoint alert will only send the latest change that was made. This is to prevent spamming with too many alerts or too many changes in a digest when people hit “save” again and again.
  • The currently ‘immediate’ alerting cycle in SharePoint 2010 is 5 minutes by default. It can be changed to be more or less if required by this would need to be weighed against additional overhead for more immediacy or longer notification cycles. 5 minutes seems a good balance.

  • Once you choose “yes” for “Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited” and then upload a new document, you will only get the “change” alert about “checked out” information as this change happens after the item is created. This is apparently by-design behaviour.

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Filed under General SharePoint Development, Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010

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