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I have created an external list using an external content type reading from a database server on our network that is not on the same machine as our SharePoint database server. I am also sysadmin on the database server and web application admin on the SharePoint web application if that really matters.

I am trying to create alerts on the external list, but I am unsuccessful. I have tried the following steps:

  1. Clicking "Set alert on this list" which returns the error "Alerts are not enabled on this list. Please contact the site administrator to ensure the backend supports alerts and the feature 'External System Events' is enabled on this site and try again."

  2. Enabling 'External System Events' and retrying step 1, but receive the same error

  3. Enabling 'ExternalSubscriptions' via PowerShell on the SharePoint server even though it is the same as 'External System Events', then I retry step 1 and receive the error again

I know you could not create alerts previously on external lists in SharePoint 2010, but you can create alerts on external lists in SharePoint 2013 (according to Microsoft).

  • I have the same issue but I believe that even though setting alerts on external lists is now possible it's not easy to do in practice if you're not a programmer. From what I've read you need to write code using Visual Studio and create an "event receiver". This is really disappointing and I hope Microsoft address this issue in a future service pack, or at least provide an easy step-by-step guide (including code) which the average SharePoint administrator could follow to achieve the desired result. I did manage a partial work-around by creating a list in SharePoint and adding external columns t – user22362 Jan 31 '14 at 13:52

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