Thursday, October 11, 2007

Alerts not working *all the time*

We had (maybe still) have a problem that alerts don't work all the time. It seems that not for every edit or add action an alert is being sent to specific users. Unfortunately I could not reproduce this error although I did not receive some alerts myself. So I placed a call at Microsoft Support to help me out on this one.. I explained to them that this environment is an upgraded one (2003 > 2007) and that the alerts do work (so I don't have Ishai's problem). I got an answer from Holger Lutz (start blogging mate! ;) a SharePoint Support Engineer and he told me to take the following steps :

  • Using STSADM to make sure that the alerts for that particular site are set properly:
stsadm.exe -o setproperty -url <http://yourserver/problemsite> -pn alerts-enabled -pv true
stsadm.exe -o setproperty -url <http://yourserver/problemsite > -pn job-immediate-alerts -pv "every 5 minutes"

Now it's wait and see if the clients that reported the problem do not experience the same behavior as before..(it's a real bugger that the problem can't be reproduced since it's so random)

Update : got a tip from Servé to look at the following post : Sharepoint 2007 task notification alert emails not working 

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Becky Isserman said...

The company I am working for right now is having a similar issue. Two days ago I had to perform a taskkill on owstimer.exe. After I restarted the service and ran those two lines of code it started working back up for a day. Then they had some bizarre ups failure issue and had to restart the Sharepoint Box. It just feels to me that something is getting stuck in the timer job service. Anyway, good luck:)

Joe Crockett said...

we have a similar situation in which when a list item is edited (any field), the assigned to field re-assigns the task to a random collection of people using that site. we have a fresh copy of MOSS 2007, so it's got to be in the config somewhere...

J. Reed said...

Hey Joe, we are having the same problem. I want to say its a SharePoint glitch. I couldn't find anything in central administration that would indicate why it does this.

It's becoming a major issue since our organization relies heavily on alerts. If you find a solution to this please post it. Thanks!

Andruxa said...

I wanted to try your suggestion after experiencing exactly the same problem after upgrade 2003->2007 and what I get is this:

The server administration programs and the Windows SharePoint Services Web applications on this Web server are not compatible. Ensure that the administration program is the same version as the Web application.

I have no idea why I would get this message. I made sure I was using the correct stsadm.exe binary in

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12


Robin Meuré said...

you are referring to the custom code? If so, did you reference the proper SharePoint.dll?

Ishai Sagi [MVP] said...

Also make sure those m missing emails didn't end up in the junk email box. That happened to me once.

auto-xr said...

I am getting the same issue.

The server administration programs and the Windows SharePoint Services Web applications on this Web server are not compatible. Ensure that the administration program is the same version as the Web application.

Anyone figure this error out?

Vandana said...

Nice information regarding troubleshoot the alerts issue. I had a problem where only initial alerts were send to but after that no alerts mail were send.

Doing research I found this article that help me resolve the issue alerts. Just thought of sharing it with you.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the post. this fixed the issues we were having. cheers

Ryan said...

I've been putting together what I hope will be come a comprehensive troubleshooting guide for alerts - hope it helps

John said...

I have had similar issues on a server that the alerts job hangs after running successfully for a few hours. I ended up writing a simple console application to run the timer job:

Anonymous said...

We have one problem regarding that alert mail not showing the full title name.. it is showing only 36-38 charcters only ..

Can anybody help us..??

Alex C. said...

In my case, I had promoted the server where Sharepoint resides to a Domain Controller. Since that process deletes the local accounts, including Network Service, the timer was failing due to lack of permissions.

I was able to confirm this by using FileMon. It may be worth a shot to see if there are file-level permission restrictions.

In FileMon, Go to Filter/Highlight (Ctrl+L) include *owstimer* and highlight DENIED.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this will be relevant to anyone but we have been having two issues in relation to alerts/ 1) that the page is hanging when you set up a user alert and eventually displays a 'page cannot be displayed' error though the system does show that the alert has been created and 2) that alerts emails were not being sent - they used to work but have stopped. Havent managed to fix the first issue yet but it is looking like we have resolved the issue of emails not being sent. More testing to be done but if it is resolved then the root of the problem was with Sophos. Worth looking in to.