There seems to be a widely popular blog post (here) about creating these. It's tailored to SharePoint 2007, but I've read through the entire article, and it makes sense. I've followed the directions, but the emails that come through don't contain any of my changes.

I've also followed directions and code to change the alert template for a specific list (done through the object model). And after I make the changes, I can get to the list through the object model and verify that my changes are saved in the AlertTemplate property for the list - but the changes don't actually come through in the alert emails.

And finally, I've tried adding a new NotificationHandlerAssembly to send out a completely custom email, but the custom code in my assembly doesn't get called and my email doesn't go out - with no errors present in the Logs.

3 Answers 3


Reading through the following two blog posts really helped answer how the email alert templates work (moreso the first):



I plan on writing a blog posts boiling down my personal experience with email alert templates in SharePoint 2010 soon.

  • Did you write the blog post already? I would really love some insight on this. Having the same issue as you are regarding custom alert template for list/libraries...
    – Emon
    Nov 9, 2011 at 16:47
  • Thanks for your contribution, but this is more like a discussion forum post. Link only answers are not recommended on StackOverflow. Anyways, thanks for the links to the posts (and for sharing your plan of writing a post). Did you?
    – Lzh
    Apr 28, 2015 at 5:19

@blackf0rk-you said you were using a SharePoint 2007 article, here is one for SharePoint2010. Remember there are differences between them. I myself am new to SharePoint, but found a link that hopefully will help you. Maybe the article you used was missing something that may be in 2010, that is not in 2007. Hope this helps. Configuring outgoing email in SharePoint 2010 with Exchange 2010 – Step by Step Guide

  • Thanks CompGeekess, but I am not having problems configuring outgoing email in SharePoint. I am receiving the emails just fine - it's the email template editing that isn't updating.
    – blackf0rk
    May 23, 2011 at 19:39

I have followed the same article for creating custom alert template and It worked as expected for MOSS 2007.

Have you tried to debug the code with attaching owstimer and your w3wp processes? You can debug custom assembly once you subscribe to the alert and make any changes to the document/list items.


You can have more details on this URL. You need to run updatealerttemplates command to update alert template.

  • I can run object model code against the list, and I see that the list does have my alerttemplate changes applied to it. So why doesn't this alerttemplate get applied to the email when it gets sent out? Debugging the custom assembly isn't going to work either because the custom assembly reference is contained within the alerttemplate definition; and because something is wrong, the assembly reference doesn't work - this my code never gets called, so there's nothing to debug.
    – blackf0rk
    May 24, 2011 at 18:31
  • Have you run following command? Run this command from C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\BIN: stsadm -o updatealerttemplates -filename "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\XML\customalerttemplates.xml" -url <your sharepoint site url> May 25, 2011 at 5:03
  • Yes, I did that.
    – blackf0rk
    May 25, 2011 at 15:14

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