As I understand WF are triggered with events (or event). I have an expiration column and I need to send notifications 45 and 30 days prior to the expiration data. What are my options?

4 Answers 4


Have a look at my answer over on StackOverflow.com - Dated Reminders in SharePoint ...

It's basically the same problem. That poster is looking to remind people of upcoming calendar events but this is no different to your use case of emails before expiry dates.

The post talks about a few different ways to do this

  • Workflow
  • Timer Jobs
  • Open source solutions
  • Commercial Solutions
  • 4
    IRM is another possibility in conjunction with workflows Nov 10, 2011 at 18:36

You can trigger the workflow when the item is created, then pause it until you reach the expiration date minus 30 (or 45) days. This can easily be done with SharePoint Designer.

This could become tricky if the expiration date is modified later. If it is the case you'll need to rely on more advanced solutions (e.g. recurring workflows that poll the item at regular intervals).

  • +1. To add: no "tricks" needed, since parallel blocks are avaliable in SharePoint 2010. Have just implemented this and tested - works like a charm. Nov 10, 2011 at 21:32

The best solution is to use Alerts. If I'm not wrong in ItemAdded event of List item receiver you can create Alert, set AlertTime to needed time, set AlertFrequency to Immediate.

  • 1
    This won't work either - SharePoint Alerts are triggered in response to user actions (like adding/editing a record) and you can't use that Schema to schedule an alert for a specific time in the future
    – Ryan
    Nov 10, 2011 at 17:44
  • @Ryan As I know the alerts are started by timer job. This job selects alerts that have alert time less then current time and sends notification. Then it increase time to interval for weekly and daily alerts. So in my schema alerts are not set by the system, the code sets alert in event handler. Am I miss something?
    – Alexander
    Nov 10, 2011 at 17:54
  • Thats not how I understood AlertTime to work. Have you actually got this working?
    – Ryan
    Nov 10, 2011 at 18:26
  • 1
    I have never used this idea. Thus I use "if I'm not wrong" phrase... I hope that I will have a time to check this solution tomorrow.
    – Alexander
    Nov 10, 2011 at 18:38
  • 1
    My solution is wrong. There are each item should have its own alert. But it is not possible. Thanks that you corrected me.
    – Alexander
    Nov 11, 2011 at 6:15

Create views with the specified criteria, then subscribe alerts to the views.


Thanks to Ryan's poking and my desire to prove myself, I did discover this isn't as straight forward as I thought. You need to create a view with no date filtering, but you need some kind of filtering, like Title does not contain [blank]. Then subscribe to that view, then change the filter to your desired date filter. This works for me. I'm curious to see if it does for you.

  • 1
    You won't be able to set an alert on a view with a filter containing Today (needed for the 45/30 day expiration)
    – Ryan
    Nov 10, 2011 at 17:43
  • Sure you can, i do it all the time. Nov 10, 2011 at 17:45
  • 1
    I'll bet you a pint you can't ;)
    – Ryan
    Nov 10, 2011 at 17:52
  • tryin it right now ;) I've done it before, lets see if i can again Nov 10, 2011 at 17:59
  • 1
    what the crap! Tried on Sp2010, I got this to work before on a WSS3 view, a few times... i think... I owe you one, next time you're in town! Nov 10, 2011 at 18:09

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