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Take control of your SharePoint alerts

Posted By: Vladi Gubler     Category: Sharepoint     Views: 3501

Describe how you can improve the SharePoint alerts to get just the emails you need.

Alerts have been one of SharePoint's main selling points since the very beginning (at least since 2003 version, I don't even remember what 2001 had). Whenever you wanted updates to be pushed directly to your mailbox, you used alerts. No need to manually check for updates, let the server do it for you.

SharePoint itself evolved greatly over the years, but the basic functionality of the alerts has not changed that much. Anyone familiar with the process in SharePoint 2003, will feel right at home even in 2010. Just click on Alert Me, fill out a couple of settings (all optional) and you are good to go.

Alas it is not that simple in the real life. Adding an alert on a frequently updated list (or document library) will often cause a tsunami of useless notifications with just a few of them really of any value. The alert mechanism does not allow you to specify conditions what and when to send, so every item will generate an alert. Moreover, the email that you get is a generic one, you still need to go to the item itself to find out what you are supposed to do with it.

These are just some of the problems we considered when we began to design Smart Alert Pro. our alternative alert mechanism. We wanted to create a tool that would allow you to get just the alerts you want, in the format you want. The following brief list describes some of the main advantages of Smart Alert Pro:

  • Send alerts to whoever you need - SharePoint users/groups, distribution lists, users in User/Group column, addresses in Contacts list and manually typed addresses. You also get To, CC and BCC recipients and even a "Do not send" list.
  • Manage you alerts - you can manage all your alerts from a single location (and an administrator can manage alerts for everyone).
  • Interface integration - unlike some of the competing products, Smart Alert Pro is not a web part, it integrates into the user interface, just like the built-in alerts mechanism.
  • Alerts and notifications - you can send alerts when items are added, updated and deleted, but also according to a Date column, before or after the entered date, with repeating.
  • Conditions - you can define conditions when to send the alert. You can use a combination of any column values. Check out the great integration with Smart List Pro, where you can hook up tab conditions. This way you can send alerts when the item moves from one stage in the process to another.
  • Templates - you can define rich message templates to use in your alerts. You can include any column value as well as links to item/list/site. You can even ask for the document (or list attachments) to be sent as attachments. Templates are saved and may be reused. Administrators can create templates to be used by all users. So next time you send an alert, you can include in it explanations, instructions or even images, exactly as you want them.

As you can see, we offer you a wealth of features that will make the alerts so much more meaningful. Now you can make sure you will only get the alerts you truely want. Get your free 30-day trial version now!v


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Vladi Gubler
Vladi Gubler author of Take control of your SharePoint alerts is from Canada. Vladi Gubler says

CTO at Infowise Knowledge SolutionSpecializing in SharePoint development and retail, custom projects and consulting http://www.infowisesolutions.com

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Rob Slater from Hungary Comment on: May 15
Hi! That was a great article with overall information and possibilities. I will try it. I have found a solution to add SMS feature to MS Sharepoint. It also worked perfectly with Sugarcrm, it can easily send SMS alerts (sms-integration.com/p_197-sugarcrm-sms.html)

Thank you again.

R Slater

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