Alerts are not working some of the time RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've read the other topics on this issue, tried all the solutions, no success.  We have MOSS 2007.

    Timer service is running as some alerts are being sent.  I think I know why this is happening but I don't know how to fix it - it has to do with incorrect data in content database.

    In content database ImmedSubscriptions table, column siteUrl is referencing incorrect servername.  We migrated SharePoint to new server a year ago and imported old content database. To fix alerts to specific users and groups,  I deleted all alerts from site collection then re-created them (as admin).  This correct wrong url issue for those but still they don't send emails.  The problem I beleive is with the reference to wrong url in System Tasks Lists that are connected (somehow) to these alerts.  Short of updating the database directly which I know is not supported by Microsoft, I do not know how to fix this reference error.

    I am afraid if I delete Tasks lists I will break alerts worse than they already are

    Here is an example of one partial row in the ImmedSubscriptions table.  Note siteUrl http://servername1 is wrong and should be http://servername2 (names have been changed to protect the innocent).

    UserEmail SiteUrl WebUrl WebTitle ListUrl ListTitle ListBaseType ListServerTemplate AlertTitle AlertType AlertTemplateName
      http://servername1 /hr Human Resources Lists/Tasks Tasks 0 107 System 536870912 SPAlertTemplateType.AssignedToNotification

    Can anyone pleasel assist me in troubleshooting this?  My users keep re-creating alerts because they aren't getting them creating duplicates. I've cleaned this up but I have to keep doing it and it still doesn't work.


    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 7:53 PM

All replies


    Here you have a blog with alert troubleshooting steps http://blogs.technet.com/b/steve_chen/archive/2009/11/20/alerts-in-sharepoint-troubleshooting-moss-wss.aspx

    Could you please tell me if the issue is present for all the users, all the groups, in all the sites? 

    MCITP|MCTS SharePoint| SharePoint Performance blog

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 7:13 PM
  • Thank you Bogdan,

    Alerts are not working randomly on one site collection I've identified so far, and on that site, one library is sending some alerts (but not all) and another library is not sending any alerts.  The difference between these two libraries is one is a Document library (DocLibraryA) containing Word and PDF docs,  and one is a Form library (FormlibraryB) containing PDF docs only.  DocLibraryA  has alerts assigned to two AD groups; ADgroup1 receives alerts, ADgroup2 does not.    FormLibraryB has alerts assigned to 4 individual AD users.  None of the users receive alerts.

    Does that help?

    I will follow your link tomorrow to troubleshoot this some more and report back.


    After writing this, it might work to create a new document library and alerts, to replace the FormlibraryB (since it doesn't need to be a form library anyway) .  Maybe the new hookkup with set the references properly in the database ~ Hmmm?
    • Edited by dms.WebDev Friday, February 17, 2012 12:30 AM
    Friday, February 17, 2012 12:27 AM

    You can make the following tests:

    • Add one user from ADgroup2 directly to DocLibraryA, recreate the alert and check if the issue is present. If the issue is not preset start a full profile import to update the group membership
    • Create a new Test document library using the template of FormLibraryB add one user and test if the alerts are working.
    • In this  FormLibraryB are you using custom columns, custom content types? If yes, in a new Test doc lib remove those custom columns and check again
    • Are there any differences between ADgroup1 and ADgroup2 in AD?

    MCITP|MCTS SharePoint| SharePoint Performance blog

    Friday, February 17, 2012 7:59 AM
  • Thanks again Bogdan.  I will try your testing techniques on DocLibraryA as I'm curious if I can beat this problem into submission.  FYI both AD groups are in the same AD/dns but obviously have different group names and different members.  It's possible some members overlap between groups but typically they are set up to be exclusive membership.

    To work around the issue in FormLibraryB I recreated a new form library to replace it, then created new alerts for the 4 individual AD users and voila! Alerts are now working!  I then moved all the files from the old library to the new library using Manage Content and Structure  from Site Actions (Actions > Move) to retain existing metadata/custom columns.  This worked like a charm since my library wasn't large enough to make this a huge task.

    This solution occurred to me when I was writing my response to your first reply...all I needed was a new data connection string in the content database, ImmedSubscriptions table to replace the incorrect connection string (file path). By creating a new library, I essentially got the correct connection string I needed.  Now I will delete the old library and hopefully it will also delete from the database.


    • Edited by dms.WebDev Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:25 PM
    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:24 PM
  • I spoke too soon!  Alerts are still not working to some users.  It seems that after I moved files from old library to new library the Alerts stopped working.

    I re-created scenario above (create new library, create alert, upload a file) it works.  Then I added another user to alerts, upload a file, it works (sends alerts to both users).  Next I move an entire page of files from another library to this new one, add 3 more user alerts, it DOES NOT send alerts to the latest 3 users I added.

    Alerts continue to work to the 2 initially added users, but not for the latter 3.  Could it have something to do with the custom columns being added to the library when they are migrated/moved?

    Also 2 of the 3 users I am adding are in an AD group that is in a SharePoint group.  The SharePoint group is given Contribute permissions in the library.


    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11:42 PM

    You can check in the SharePoint logs what happened with the alerts before and after you have moved the files. Use the information from this article http://blogs.technet.com/b/steve_chen/archive/2009/11/20/alerts-in-sharepoint-troubleshooting-moss-wss.aspx

    Also you can try to delete custom columns and check if this will unblock the alerts.

    MCITP|MCTS SharePoint| SharePoint Performance blog

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:16 AM
  • I have tried all the alert suggestions in the articles to no avail.  I've been testing this all morning.  As a regular user with Contribute permission to libraries I am adding new docs to two different libraries; one library is a docLib, and the other is a formLib. 

    Testing on docLib:

    I have 2 users set up to receive alerts in docLib and they are receiving all alerts when one file is uploaded at a time and as long as they are not "moved" from another library (with custom columns).  Once I introduce custom columns (moved from elseware) to the docLib, alerts stop being sent to anyone.

    Testing on formLib:

    I have 4 users set to receive alerts on the formLib and none are receiving alerts.  (2 of the 4 are the same 2 assigned in docLib example). Only once did all 4 users receive an alert; after the first item was added; a random PDF from a file share (no custom columns).  Subsequent to that, no alerts have been sent.  Steps to create this library: formLib was created, then 4 alerts were created, one item uploaded, (alerts sent successfully), then multiple items were "moved" with their custom columns from another library.  After the "move", alerts stopped working.

    I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter whether the library is a document library or a form library, but problem has someting to do with moving item(s) via Content and Structure causes alerts to stop.

    I set diag logging on verbose but Alert errors do not appear.  I only see the upload activity when I add an item to the library.

    I have not seen this exact issue described in any of the alert troubleshooting I have found.


    FYI - I did not try to delete the custom columns yet but will do and report back.
    • Edited by dms.WebDev Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:50 PM
    Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:47 PM
  • Hi there,

    we had some similar Issue where one Document Library was not sending eMail alerts to a number of users, while others received alerts.

    We found out, that we had modified the Access Level "Reading". removing the right to view specific versions of a document. The Library with the malfunctiononing alerts on the other hand user the versioning and publishing workflow. When the Timer Job runs the alerts, it checks in this case if the user has the right to view prior versions. The service also checks, if the user has edit rights, but these are not needed.

    To verify, if this or a similar issue happens to you, set the trace-logs to verbose, change some entries and search for the following in the uls-logs:

    Category = Alerts
    EventId = c6f8 or c6f9
    Message = Alert for Immediate subscription {guid}, event xxx, user xxx failed permission check

    Event c6f8 and c6f9 should be paired, and if one fails the alert gets send. Only if both fail, this is your cause.

    To check the missing rights, check the surroounding log entries for:

    Message = PermissionMask check failed. asking for xxx, have xxx

    Check this agaist http://jamestsai.net/Blog/post/Understand-SharePoint-Permissions-Part-1-SPBasePermissions-in-Hex2c-Decimal-and-Binary-The-Basics.aspx

    Hope that helps

    CU, crazy

    Wednesday, March 21, 2012 12:33 PM