Alerts Based on Views

This is a “SharePoint Tip of the week” email that I sent out to our site administrators in November of 2007.  Thought I’d share it…

In ALL VERSIONS OF SHAREPOINT AND OFFICE 365, alerts can be set up based on filtered (specific) data, using views!  SharePoint 2007, 2010, 2013

This applies to any SharePoint document library or list (contacts, calendars, tasks, etc.).  The following example will include how this is done on a document library with custom fields.

Example Case

n  An example hospital has different floors on their hospital.  They have created a new field in the Patient Admissions list called “Floor”.  Users are given a drop-down box of options for what floor a patient is admitted to.  Users would like to know if they can set up Patient Admissions list alerts so that they are only notified when patients are admitted to THEIR floor.  SURE THEY CAN!

n  First, the appropriate VIEWS need to be created, one for each “floor”.  Create 4 new views for: 1 North, 1 South, 2 North, 2 South

n  The first view will have a filter of: Show the items when column Floor is equal to 1 North
Create the other 3 views with filtering for each of their appropriate floor names

Creating the Alerts.

  1.   On the Patient Admissions list, click <Actions> and choose <Alert Me>
  2. In the Send alerts for these changes section, choose the very last option called “Someone changes an item that appears in the following view
    image
  3. Then, in the drop-down box for that option, choose the name of the floor for which you’d like to receive alerts.

n  In summary, any data in any column of your list can be filtered into a View.  Alerts can be created based on any *filtered* view, even “Personal” views.

Oh, and another good way to use this feature would be on an Announcements list.  Each announcement would have a category, such as the department that the announcement is targeted to.  Create a view for each category.  This way, your users can set up their own alerts on the announcements list, and choose to only be alerted when a new one is added for their department.

8/20/2014 update: BUG! If your filtered view has no items in it, it will not show as an option at step 2 if there are currently no items in the view. 

Also, this is a bit obscure, but your view also won’t show there if you’re filtering by a workflow column.

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29 comments

  • retexas@tx.rr.com

    How could you implement this using an infopath form with multiple checkboxes. I would like a check box to look at a sharepoint row ID and the column named “Available” then set the conditional format to hide checkbox if checked out flag is set. (available) Any thoughts?

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  • retexas, Are you using InfoPath 2007? Web based or not? You can create a new data connection in InrfoPath to receive data from the same library that you submit items to. Off the top of my head, I think there’s a checkbox when you’re creating the connection, to only pull information about the current item. Then you could the conditional format to compare to the field from the library.

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  • maryjo.bednar@alleghenycounty.us

    Is there a way to send a summary of a view in total? I’m trying to figure out how to set up an alert for Late Work Orders. Some of the work orders might just be sitting there, not having anything change and wouldn’t trigger a regular alert.

    Like

  • rgoldade@mbbc.edu

    Is it possible to have content approval enabled and a view filtering announcemtns by “approved” items by a “post date”? And still do the above method? I’m unable to get the view to show up in the dropdown menu. Any other ways to create an alert email that sends a daily summary of “today’s” Post Date announcements and not the original submission, the edit, or the rejected announcements for that “Post Date” day?

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  • Brian Merrifield

    Just remember if you are trying to filter on a status column, you’ll need to enter a numeric value instead of the actual status.

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  • Maryjo, Nope, there isn’t. Rgoldade, what’s the post date you’re referring to? The Created date field? Not sure what you mean by “today’s post date announcements”

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  • Hi Laura, I have SP2010 and I have an update alert based on a view. However, when a workflow updates a column which is not in the view, it still sends out an alert? do you think this is by design? Do you know of a way to prevent an update alert if the update was made by a workflow? Thanks. – james

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  • James, Yes, this is by design. The alert is simply based on all of the items in the view, and doesn’t have anything to do with any particular columns being in the view. Basically, if an item falls within the range of whatever the filter is, you’ll get alerts on it. No, I don’t know of a way to prevent it, you’d just have to not use alerts at all and only create a bunch of custom workflow emails.

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  • Laura, I have created a filtered view and then create the alert based on that view. I receive the intial email notification that the alert has been created but I do not receive an email when an item within that view is modified? As far as the alerts themselves go, if i configure an alert for when anything changes i do receive that alert. Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Len, I don’t know, it’s pretty straightforward. Just try different alert settings, I guess.

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  • I have SP2010 but no matter what list or library I try to create an alert on, I don’t seem to have the ability of basing it on a view. I only ever have 4 options under the “Send Alerts for These Changes” area and none refer to views anywhere. Do you think this is some kind of server config issue or is something else going on here? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

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  • Roland, Your list or library must have a filtered view for this to work. Just create any filtered view and then you’ll see it.

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  • I wonder if Len’s experience is based on a document library. We have SP 2010 and when I base an alert on a view for a doc library it gives me the initial alert set up confirmation email, BUT * for existing documents that are in the view (e.g. documents that were in sharepoint prior to the view being set up) – if there are changes to these documents I get no email alerts * for new documents that are in the view – if there are changes to these documents I do get email alerts (Change type = All Changes) Any ideas what is going on here? Paul

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  • Awesome observation, Paul! I have seen the same behavior. Must be a bug.

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  • I have several filtered calendar views, but like Len, when I create the alert, I do not have the option to select the view —

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  • Theresa, Try creating a view and don’t use the “calendar” type of view. Then see if that makes a difference.

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  • Laura Please help me in twitter search webpart for sharepoint 2010.i am confused.i have this one but failed.. http://www.thesanitypoint.com/archive/2009/03/05/binary-free-sharepoint-twitter-search-web-part.aspx Please help….

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  • I am working within a Blog and we have categories setup within the blog. I created views for each of these categories so that users could setup alerts to the specific categories. In this respect, the alerts act more like feeds to certain information (the blog has multiple contributors that focus on different topics/categories). We are very interested in promoting these alerts; however, we are finding that sending out instructions to set up a New Alert is not improving compliance. Do you know of a way to develop a one-click alert for a custom view? I think this would greatly improve sign-up.

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  • David,
    That’s a great idea, but I’ve never done that. Maybe something with the alerts.asmx web service? Not sure.
    Oh, maybe you can use the content query web part instead of alerts. When you use this web part, there’s a check box option to create an RSS feed from the results. So the web parts could each be filtered by each category, which would allow a separate feed for each category.

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  • Thank you. I will try the content query web part and let you know if it works.

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  • Hi there, I am curious how the alerts are triggered. Does it occur because of a user action? Here’s the scenario:

    A “list” is created for tasks in a project, in that list a view is created to show all tasks that are “overdue” based on a finish date. If I set up an alert to tell me when new items are added to that view, will the alerts trigger even though no one has physically touched a list item? The date field on the list item simply came within range of my filter.

    Thanks!

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  • I successfully created a filtered view on a SharePoint 2010 Task List (Filter:Due Date is equal to [Today]) and successfully created an alert based on that view. I then went in and based on the specific user requirement, changed the filter on my view called “Due In 2 Days” (Filter:Due Date is equal to [Today]+2). This new filter is valid and the view indeed returns all tasks where Due Date is two days from today.

    This is where I was totally thrown off. When I then click to set an alert on the list and go to set the view to monitor for changes, my view (Due In Two Days) is not available on the drop down.

    What gives!?

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  • Rob and Reed,
    The date stuff doesn’t work so well when you want alerts based off of them. I recommend a fairly inexpensive 3rd party product called Pentalogic Reminders, which lets you create reminders based off of date fields, and it does a lot of stuff that alerts and workflows just won’t do.

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  • Hello –

    Side question on alerts and Workflow email …

    I like the email content contained within the stock alert email sent for a List (All Changes) …

    If I send an email from within a workflow, is it possible to reference / include the stock alert content so that I don’t have to add fields individually ?

    Jeff

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  • I do not see the View dropdown on alerts for calendars. Is this possible?

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  • Hello,
    Sharepoint 2007
    I have created some personal views for a sharepoint list.

    http:///Lists//PersonalViews.aspx?contents=1

    the above url is showing the list views created on the particular list in the tabular format as follows
    web part title – column 1
    Type – column 2
    InPage Opened – Column3
    IsPersonalised – Column4

    I wanted to show view name instead of webpart title.
    How to do this?

    Like

  • I have been working with SharePoint 2010 and have found mixed success with alerts set on views. I have found that when a document (or list item) appears in only one view, I receive an alert when the item is added or modified. If, on the other hand, the item is pulled into more than one view, I do not receive an alert. For example:

    An alert is set up on the document library for changes to items in View A.

    Document 1 appears in View A, (based on filtering of column X) –> an alert is sent when this is added or changed.

    Document 2 appears in View A and B (based on filtering of column Y) –> no alert is sent when the document is added or changed.

    I need Person 1 to see and be alerted about only Document 2 (View B) and Person 2 to see and be alerted about Document 1 & 2 — without changing the permissions on the individual documents. If I can’t get the alerts to function when a document (or item) appears in two or more views, is there a workflow work-around?

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  • Jeff,
    No that’s not possible. You’d have to add them individually.

    Carole,
    You won’t see the view drop-down unless you have created a filtered view. Please double check that.

    Renga,
    Sorry it won’t let you do that.

    Nancy,
    I agree with your frustration and mixed results, but I have not been able to figure out a workaround to that bug yet.

    Like

  • I can get the Alert to work with one filter, but when I add a second “And” filter, the ability to filter based on a view disappears. Do you know how to filter based on a view if there are multiple filters? Thanks

    Like

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