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I have a folder that I have called "External Projects". The intent is that a number of external project sub-folders will be added (and within those sub-folders, probably more layers of additional sub-sub-sub folders). My question is this... Can I create alerts at folder level to only alert when new sub-folders are created just one level in? I don't care if "sub-sub-folders" or "sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-folders" are created... I just want to know if new external project folders (one layer into the "External Projects" folder) could generate alerts. Is this possible? Thank you!

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You can do this by using Event receivers. Whenever a folder is created you have to check the level and send alert.

public override void ItemAdded(SPItemEventProperties properties)
{

//Once the item is added you have to check whether its folder or not 
//if folder you have to check the level

}

Or you can try this approach which is using IAlertNotifyHandler

http://www.c-sharpcorner.com/UploadFile/17ffc7/capturing-and-modifying-sharepoint-alerts-through-alert-hand/

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