Sharepointology is the study and handling of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server

How To Create Alerts Programmatically

Posted 18Feb09 by Erwin in Development

This following piece of code will show you how to programmatically create a SharePoint alert:

First I will show you the code snippet to create the Alert, after that I will explain the code step by step.

SPAlert newAlert = user.Alerts.Add();
newAlert.Title = list.Title;
newAlert.AlertType = SPAlertType.List;
newAlert.List = list;
//newAlert.EventType = SPEventType.Add; <= doesn’t work
//use the following codes to set the "eventtypeindex" property
//all =0, added = 1, modify = 2, deleted = 3, web discussions = 4
newAlert.Properties["eventtypeindex"] = "1";
newAlert.AlertFrequency = SPAlertFrequency.Immediate;
//passing false to Update method will refrain from sending the alert confirmation mail

Step by step:

The first thing to create the alert is to use the Add method of the Alerts property of the SPUser class, in our example “user” is an instance of a SPUser class.

SPUser user = mySite.Users["domain\user"];
SPAlert newAlert = user.Alerts.Add();

If you want to set an alert for a list, you have to set the AlertType property to SPAlertType.List and set the List property to an instance of the SPList class.

newAlert.AlertType = SPAlertType.List;
newAlert.List = list;

If you want to set an alert for a list item, you have to set the AlertType property to SPAlertType.Item and set the Item property to an instance of the SPListItem class.

newAlert.AlertType = SPAlertType.Item;
newAlert.Item = item;

cautionThe next property you want to set is the EventType property, this didn’t work out the way I wanted it too. I was having a problem with setting the EventType on an SPAlert to SPEventType.Add.

My code wouldn’t throw an error but neither would it set the EventType to SPEventType.Add, in stead it would stay at SPEventType.All.

I fixed this by using the following codes to set the “eventtypeindex” property of the SPAlert:

  • all = 0
  • added = 1
  • modify = 2
  • deleted = 3
  • web discussions = 4
//newAlert.EventType = SPEventType.Add; 
newAlert.Properties["eventtypeindex"] = "1";

The last properties to set is the AlertFrequency.

newAlert.AlertFrequency = SPAlertFrequency.Immediate;

If you AlertFrequency is different than Immediate you will have to set the AlertTime property, the AlertTime property defines the next time the alert will be sent.

newAlert.AlertFrequency = SPAlertFrequency.Daily;
newAlert.AlertTime = new DateTime(DateTime.Today.Year, DateTime.Today.Month,
 DateTime.Today.Day, 8, 0, 0);

Last but not least you will have to call the Update method of the instance of SPAlert. You can pass a bool parameter which tells the update if it needs to send an alert confirmation mail or not.


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27 Responses

  1. A few things to mention

    It seems that no matter what I do, it won’t add it to the user’s subscriptions.

    I’ve tried calling update on all three involved objects (User, Alert, Web) but it seems like nothing will make the event show up in their Alert subscription management page.

    Is there anything else?

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  3. Erwin

    A few things to mention,

    Do you have enough rights to add alerts for other users on the site/list/item your are trying this, try to do this by using the web interface of SharePoint to add an alert for someone else.

  4. Robert Graauw

    Hi I have a little question. One of the columns in my listitem is a lookupfield. i’ve set up a mailserver to send the alerts which works fine when I update other columns. I get an email specifying that something has changed. However, when the lookupfield changes. I do not get alert.

    Is there anything special going on with lookupfields that would not trigger an alert?? and what could I do to get the alert working when a loopkupfield changes??

  5. links for 2009-05-11 @ Gene & Tesha

    [...] How To Create Alerts Programmatically | Sharepointology (tags: programming sharepoint alerts) [...]

  6. Anonymous

    This post is very useful for me. I have a question here. Can anybody tell me how to pass parameters to AlertTime property to set AM or PM timings

    Thanks in advance

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    [...] Here is a good post on more options when sending out an alert: [...]

  8. Kit Menke’s Blog » Blog Archive » Creating a SharePoint with different EventTypes

    [...] I recently ran into a problem creating alerts in a web part for the current user. After the alert was added, no matter what I set the SPAlert’s EventType to, it always defaulted to All. I finally figured out a way around this problem thanks to a helpful post by erwin at sharepointology. [...]

  9. ThiruKumaran

    Hi ervin today full time i spent for this. Now i am at home my house. I hope this is what i want.. Any thanks for your sharing ….. All the best for your future endeavor.

    Murali kumaran.

  10. Bharath

    Guys, If you are subscribing alerts for some other user, you should be the administrator or should have permisssions to manage alerts.
    Else run the code with
    /Here comes the code

  11. Devanshu

    hi ervin,Thank u for this useful stuff…it was the thing for which i was searching..
    but i have another query when we add alert programmatically they are not shown in the list like my display those what need to be done …can anybody help me on this…

  12. Kelly Ford

    Great post. Worked perfectly. Thank you very much.

  13. mahmoud

    thnx for this great article ,
    i have a question , can i create 1 alert on more than 1 lists (to send all notifications in one email) ???

  14. Changing SPAlert EventType | Abdel-Rahman.IT

    [...] Still the user gets the alerts whenever any new item is added to the list, which drove me crazy some long couple of search hours, I found that blog post [...]

  15. Jon

    I have a few questions about this. Can I use this to provide another option in the “Alert Me” button besides “Set alert on this list”?? How do Implement the code above to add the new alert?

    I’m asking because I need the ability to (per user) have some custom code execute whenever something on my list changes.

  16. Mark Kamoski

    Dear Erwin –

    Please help.

    Regarding creating SharePoint Alerts Programmatically, I saw your article here…

    …and it was quite helpful so thank you for that…

    …however, I still need to know how to set the “Send Alerts for These Changes” options programmatically…

    …so do you know how to set this option using the SharePoint Object Model programmatically in a Web Part…

    Send Alerts for These Changes
    Send me an alert when:
    - Anything changes
    - Someone else changes an item
    - Someone else changes an item created by me
    - Someone else changes an item last modified by me
    - Someone changes an item that appears in the following view: (DropDownList)


    Please advise.

    Thank you.

    - Mark Kamoski

  17. sudheer


    I tried the above example…it worked without any errors…but it is not showing any programmatically created alerts in my alert subscription management page…How can i know that alerts are configured?


  18. Larry W Virden

    I have a case where I want to delete an alert programatically. The issue is this – the alert was created by a workflow, and the workflow (in fact the site holding the workflow) has been deleted for some time now. It cannot be restored.

    A user continues to get email saying that he has been assigned a task that is overdue. We need some way to delete the alert so that it no longer keeps firing.

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    if there are not reasons to create custom sharepoint alerts with annoying programming, the following tool may help you:

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My name is Erwin Bastiaensen and I am a Software Architect from Belgium, with a huge interest in technology. Lately I have been involved in some Java projects and implementing, interfacing and extending a Sharepoint portal.

You can contact me at sharepointology[@]

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