Sharepoint 12 – Alerts and Subscription

I always thought WSS v2 had useful alerting,  but it was let down because of the lack of good information contained in the alert.  Well the new version has superb alerting and subscription, in two forms:

  • Alerts can be delivered by email at certain intervals
  • Any list can be subscribed to using RSS

Lets look at some of the features,  alerting first:

  • Alerts can be filtered based on a wide range of criteria,  for example only alert me when a document is completed, or a task is assigned to me,  or a task that’s assigned to me is changed – and lots more
  • The filters available are sensitive to the type of list that you are subscribing to, and developers can create specialist list types and associated relevant filters
  • Owners can create subscriptions for other people,  very useful for the setting up subscriptions for your boss, to stop him hassling you for status updates!
  • Very complex alerts can be created by first creating a custom view and then subscribing to alerts on that view
  • Delta change information is included in the subscription as well as other useful information.  So I know for example that the change to the task list was to change the estimated duration from 3 to 10 days.


  • Any list has an associated RSS feed and pretty much everything in SharePoint is a list!
  • The RSS feed is very customisable,  with a long pick list of meta-data that can be added to the RSS item definition
  • The for some list types enclosures will be included for example the enclose for a document library is the document, for an image library its the image,  for a calendar it’s an iCal file.
  • Outlook includes an RSS aggregator,  very similar to NewsGator, of course any aggregator can be used.

By the way RSS feeds, simpler than the above,  can be generated now in v2 by applying an XSLT transform to a list.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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