Common Scenarios - Enhanced Alerts

In this scenarios we are going to use SharePoint Reminder to give us similar functionality to SharePoints built in 'Alerts' but with more flexibility over who gets an alert, under what circumstances and the contents of the email alert.

The Alert Me feature allows you to subscribe to email alerts when an item is added or modified to a SharePoint List. However the Alerts feature has several limitations :-

  • You can't setup alerts for only items that meet certain criteria, i.e. High priority open issues or only when a status changes to a certain value.
  • You can't alter the text of the email Alert and insert fields from the list into the message.
  • You can't enforce alerts - users have to subscribe to themselves (although you can get 3rd party web parts to do this)
  • You have limited choice over when the alerts are sent out (immediately, daily, weekly)
  • You can't alert users who are not in the SharePoint user database (i.e. users who may just browse the site anonymously or who may not even have access to the site)

This example will show you how to use SharePoint Reminder to send an email alert when an item is added to the Announcements list, but the principals are the same for any list.

During the the article we will give some tips on how to setup the web part to meet some of the scenarios mentioned above.

We will assume that your site already has an Announcements list, if not then create one now or use another list.


Add a Reminder Web Part to the page and configure it as follows :-


  Set Watch List to "Announcements"

Tip - You can limit the Reminder Emails to only certain items in your list by creating a View to filter out only those items you are interested in and then selecting the View rather than the List.

Enter the an email address or a distribution list into the Email To text box.

Tip - There are other ways you can select who to email, see the FAQ for more details.


  Enter a suitable Subject and Message.

Here we want to put the Title of the announcement in the email subject and the body text of the announcement in the email message.

  Set Send When to Always as we want the email to be sent as soon as the Announcement is added to the list.

Tip - for other uses such as sending an email every time an item is modified see below.

Set Resend Email to Once - we only want to send out 1 email for each new announcement.

  Set Check List appropriately for your situation.

In our example its not important that the emails are sent immediately. These settings will ensure that the email is sent a maximum of 1 hour after the item is added (average 30 mins).

Tip - You have great flexibility here - for example you may want to set this to a small number of minutes or you may want announcements only to be sent out on Monday mornings.


How do I setup SharePoint Reminder to send an email each time a record is added or modified?

If you setup Send When to field Modified is Overdue by 1 Minute then this will send an email once Modified date is 1 minute old, or 'overdue' by 1 minute.

Leave the Resend Email at Once - if the record is modified again then SharePoint Reminder recognises that the date has changed and resets the count of how many email have been sent - so another 1 email is sent each time the record is modified.

Be sure to set the Check List appropriately - if you want an email to be sent out timely then set the Check List to a short number of minutes. If you want a daily reminder then set it to Check Daily At HH:MM and so on.