YASR: Alerts in SharePoint 2007

One of the more popular quirk in SharePoint 2003 (remember the YASQ’s?) was the alerting mechanism. The alerts in SharePoint 2003 are OK at first sight: you can create an alert for a complete list or document library, or just for one item. The problem is that you can only create an alert for yourself. This makes sense if you think of alerts as ‘RSS-avant-la-lettre’. But lots of people would like to create alerts for other users as well. Unfortunately this was not available out-of-the-box, although you could customize SharePoint by installing various (free) web parts to overcome this issue.

Recently I discovered that this YASQ has become a YASR (Yet Another SharePoint Relief): in SharePoint 2007 you can create alerts for other users! Just navigate to a list or document library, and from the Actions menu choose the Alert Me item.

On the New Alert page you can specify the details about the alert: title, type and destination. The new (and exciting) thing is here that you can enter multiple user accounts to which the alert should be sent.

Further down on the page there are more innovations. In SharePoint 2007 you can create an alert which is based on a specific view which opens quite some interesting possibilities. Finally you can still choose the interval to sent the alert (immediate, daily and weekly). New here is when you select the daily or weekly summary that you can specify the exact time when the alert should be sent (e.g. a daily summary at 7.00 am in the morning).

So are alerts perfect in the release? I think there’s still some room for improvements: when you create an alert for multiple users actually multiple alerts are created. This is a disadvantage when you would like to delete or update the alert that you’ve created for multiple users at the same time (you can’t push forward those changes). And finally it’s not (yet?) possible to create an alert for all the content of a site. But don’t get me wrong, I still consider this as a major YASR!


  • Can you only do this if you are a poweruser of something? I can imagine that a lot of administrators and users don't want to get 'spammed' with alerts that were set by users that are not an admin.

  • Is there any way to change the email that alert sends? I would like to know if it is possible to change the body of that email and how it's done?

  • Jan -

    I got this much figured out after a little poking around. My problem is the email infrastructure - what goes into the underpinnings of sending email? Can you refer me to an article or a book? Basically, I have a MOSS 2007 installation on a server, and in order to create users I created user names for that server (we don't run Active DIrectory - is that required?). So when I edit the user, there's no email address associated, and no way I have found to add one - whether I'm editing the user record inside SharePoint, or on the server. I've found a couple of internet posts that talk about ActiveDir and Exchange2007, but I've pointed the outgoing email at our SMTP server (and THAT requires authentication, which SP doesn't seem to give me a way to provide).

    Thanks for any help you might be willing to share. I realize you're not a public support site, but I thought I'd ask - if you could even point me toward an active user forum, I'd appreciate it very much. I'll check back to see if you are able to respond.

  • I have the same problem as Rick, I can't assing email addresses to my users!

  • This is a nice feature, but troubleshooting for a newbie is difficult. I can assign the alert to a group of my choice, and the group will be told 'ben signed you up for alerts', but alas, no alerts are sent...

    Any ideas?

  • I have the same problem as Rick and Peter. No Active Directory, only the Windows users belonging to a Windows Group are granted access to the SP Site, and no option to edit the user properties

  • I have the same problem as Adriano Oliveira.

    Is there any way to change the email that alert sends? I would like to know how to customize the body of that email, Subject?

  • Adriano, Stjepan

    The format and content for the alert messages is defined in the CAML file alerttemplates.xml in

    C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\XML\


  • In my List, each list item is associated with a different group. How can i set up an alert on the list to send alerts depending on the group the list item belongs.?

  • I receive notifications when anything changes on one of my site collections, but the same doesn't happen with the main one.
    Could somebody help me?

  • If you need more out of the Alerts than SharePoint provides 'out of the box' then have a quick look at my employers SharePoint Reminder software that allows you to setup highly customisable email alerts including :-

    * Date based reminders - i.e. "This task is now overdue"
    * Alert only when item meets certain criteria, e.g. High Priority
    * Email alerts at specific times, e.g. 7pm every day or the first Tuesday of the month
    * Customisable subject and message that allow you to include fields from list
    * Alert when a list item meets a certain approval status e.g. Approved or Rejected
    * Email different people or groups depending on data in the list items.

    and much more


  • I have the same problem as Ben. I signed up for an alert, got the alert confirmation, but no emails are sent after that.

  • I have the same problem as Jeff. I signed up for an alert, got the alert confirmation, but no emails are sent after that.

  • Hi,

    How can I set task due or overdue alert in a task list in MOSS 2007 like SPS 2003? I want to generate reminder mail to task assignee periodically.

  • We use the alerts by view option. However I have several views set up in a custom list in SharePoint 2007, but they don't all show up in the alerts by view list. How can I get all the views on my list to show up in the 'Alerts by view' drop down box? Thanks!

  • I signed up for an alert, got the alert confirmation, but no emails are sent after that.
    the system account has full rights on the database...

  • Is there a way to audit sharepoint alerts - other than tracking the 12 hive/LOGS folder on the sharpoint server.

  • Does anyone have any information on sending alerts to Instant Messenging clients or catching the raised alert in custom code?


  • got the alert confirmation, but no emails are sent after that: this was solve in my case by ensuring that the content DB immedsubscriptions table, column SiteUrl contains the correct host name (as in the host header)
    we performed gradual upgrade, host header changed.
    it's worth a look. MS tech support guided me - they were really stumped!

  • mark, i've got the same problem you do, been searching for ages now, alert confirmation comes through, but no email sent after that.

    i've checked the immedsubscriptions and the web title field has changed, reckon its worth backing up and changing?

  • Hi,
    i'm having the problem with 'search alerts' ....
    actually, i've set an alert on any particular search keyword. and after that i've added or modified the search results by adding any new item or modifying the content which comes under the search results. and after that i've also crawled the indexing server... but i've not received any mail alert regarding the change, however i got an email informing me that i've successfully been subscribed to the search alert. there's no such error in event viewer.
    anybody .. help me ... i need to get this done as early as possible..

  • Immidiate alert is generated on individual file. When you drag a folder with 100 files in, will receive 100 alert email. That's painful, isn't it?
    Is there a way to group them instead of Zip them.


  • Is there any way to get an alert one day before duedate and every day after due date.

  • Bill, you can create a custom email for a workflow using SharePoint Designer - that should solve your problem with the links.

  • After creating an alert, is there a way to add additional addressees? We want to send alerts to distribution groups, but want to create and confirm functionality of the alert before adding the distribution group?

    Is this better handled by a third party enhancement?

  • Um did you actually test this out, because unless you were using a version of SharePoint that supported this (I.e. beta...), I'm pretty sure this functionality does not work....

  • PLease let me know, is it possible to customize the Alert Messages?


  • Hi,
    i can't recived alert in wss 2007.

    i have mcafee,may be it infected to wss?

  • The alert message format in 2007 is annoying to the user & doesn't explain much unlike the beautiful message of 2003. Is the an EASY way of changing the message format without messing up with some code. GOD, don't know what Microsoft were thinking when desiging the alert messages ... HELLOOOO what happened to user experience & user-friendliness >:

  • Looks like we don't get alerts for new comments added to a blog post. Although I have tested that any updates in the post sends out the alerts , but I never received any alerts for new comments added to the post !.......Anyone knows if this has been tested out or found this to be a bug ? we are trying to followup with MS in this regards and can update as we hear from them , but wanted to know if any one has more thoughts on this ...appreciate your comments

  • I have the same problem like other people, i get a mail with "the alert is created" but when there come new messages/news i dont get any alert...

    please help!

  • Is there a way to use the “send alerts to” programmatically?
    I'm using the moss object model and the problem I have is that when I create the alert for a few users , it is creating the alert only for the logged user, like if I'm not allow to create alert for other users.

  • I too had the issue where the confirmation email was sent but no subsequent alerts were sent.

    Mine was the host header issue. I went into the immedsubscriptions table in the content database for the site and I was able to modify the site name to that matching the host header.

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