This falls under the category of “Why can’t SharePoint do that out of the box?”.
See if this sounds familiar:
You’re a good SharePoint user, storing documents in a library and collaborating with your coworkers, and using a calendar to store team dates. Someone says to you “Hey I want to get an email reminder for these events on the team calendar”. You think well, we can set alerts, so you go look into the alert settings, and quickly realize that alerts don’t work like that. The alert mechanism in SharePoint will send the alert subscriber an email based on an action happening on the item (it is being created, edited, etc). We need the trigger to be based on a date. So what to do? There are typically 3 solutions for this:
I’m going to focus this on #2 for this blog. In case you are interested on the other options, here is one example for using Outlook. It involves creating a view that just shows the items based on a date filter, then you get an RSS feed to the list view, add that to Oultook and configure some rules to trigger the alert. It’s fine for one person, but not when you for a large group of users. There are multiple 3rd-party tools that allow you to customize or augment the out of the box alert emails, as well as also send reminder emails. Here are some links to a few:
So we’re going to setup a simple workflow to do the trick for us. Personally I think it’s way overkill and I don’t like using workflows for this, but this is just to show that you can do this out of the box. You will need a calendar already created, and SharePoint Designer installed on your computer. If you don’t have those 2 things, take care of that and I’ll be here when you go back. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Done yet? Now there are many many ways to do the workflow, and what I will show you is just one. I’m going to show you a way without creating any additional calculated columns, and just do it all in the workflow. Let’s knock this out.
In our example, these are our requirements for this workflow:
The hard part is done, now we need to meet the easy to use requirements. What happens when a user edits the start time of an item? The workflow won’t run, so we need the user to manually start the workflow. That is not so intuitive for users, so we want to create some buttons to make it easier for users. We do that by creating Custom Actions, which are buttons either on the ribbon or list item menu in the interface that will go directly to the start this workflow page. We want it in 3 places:
Back in SharePoint Designer, open the Calendar list. At the bottom right, you will see an option that says Custom Actions. Don’t click the New to the right of it on the page, use the Custom Action off the ribbon at the top. Insert 3 custom actions with the following properties.
Done! Test it out, and everything should work. Again, these are suggestions, but you can change this up to be anything you like. I used F12 in IE to figure out the correct Ribbon location for the View Ribbon, and searched on the SharePoint server to use the same images it uses for workflow or the metadata tagging.
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do you have more sharepoint easy steps like this?
Any way you can make this work for a recurring calendar event? It doesn't let me..
Thanks Doug for providing this instruction as I'm very new to SharePoint workflow it worked for me well. I have the same problem as Jon's to create alerts for recurring events, any idea how can we achieve that?
Ellen, You COULD, but I don't think it would work. This is because if you think about it, the event won't be created yet when you click on the ribbon button. The new form is just another form just like the edit and display forms, so the process is identical just on the new form. In Designer, the 3 forms are Dispform.aspx, newform.aspx and editform.aspx. Doug
I was wondering if you could update this blog for Sharepoint 2013 now that they reintroduced looping?
worked perfectly.... very well direction! thank you!!
Is there a way to have display to ribbon icon add to the ribbon when creating the item? Or only as above once the item is added
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