Action buttons in SharePoint alerts
Vladi Gubler
Vladi Gubler
March 07, 2023 | Products


Ultimate Forms is all about speeding up business processes and removing unnecessary steps, whereby improving productivity. Our latest addition is Action Buttons inside alerts. Using these buttons your users can trigger actions and execute business processes directly from within email messages sent by Alerts, without having to open the browser, navigating to the SharePoint list, then locating and updating list items there. One of the most obvious uses is, of course, approvals, with Approve and Reject buttons found directly in the email (and that's what I'm demoing below), but any action or action group can be triggered. You can select from a wide variety of actions we provide in the Actions module of Ultimate Forms, within and outside of SharePoint (such as managing permissions, creating sites, calling 3rd party applications and many others). And as always, we put great effort to deliver this immense power to you in the simplest and most convenient fashion.

In my demo today, I will be creating a process where a user creates an item in a list, which triggers an email being sent to the manager (same person for demo purposes). Inside the email there are two buttons, Approve and Reject. Clicking either one will immediately update the list item and set the Approval column while to either Approved or Rejected.

  1. Create a simple list, then add a Choice column to it with options: Pending (default), Approved and Rejected.
  2. Click on Design to open Ultimate Forms and create a new modern form for the list, make sure to exclude Approval column (or make it hidden or read-only in New form).

    As you can see, I only have Title column, I'm keeping this demo as simple as possible.
  3. Publish the form and switch over to Actions module.
  4. Create a new Update List Item action and call it Approve.

    Make sure to uncheck all event types, we only want this action to be triggered from the email.
  5. Under Action settings, set Approval to Approved, nothing else need to be changed.
  6. Save the action and create another one for Reject, the only difference being the value being set for Approval.
  7. Next we need to create a new alert.
  8. Under Recipients I set To field to Created By column, just because I want whoever is testing the process to receive the email.
  9. Under When to send make sure only Item is added is selected. Next, switch to Mail Templates and click on Add column or button.
  10. We need to create two buttons here, one for Approve and one for Reject. Once they are ready, we can place them inside the email body. Click on Add new button to start.
  11. Enter the label (the text that appears on the button) and select the appropriate action from the two we just created. You can also control how the button looks like.
  12. And do the same for Reject
  13. Notice Require users to log in toggle. When it's on, the button can only be pressed by an authenticated user, which is the default in most cases. But in some cases you want to send the alert to someone outside of your organization and want them to run the action. For example, a doctor's office might want to use it to let patients confirm their appointments. In such cases, the toggle must be off.
  14. Let's design the body of the alert the way we want it, then place the buttons within by setting the mouse cursor where the button should go, then double-clicking the button name. By default, each button will occupy its own row. If you want to place multiple buttons in one row, add a table and put each button in a different table cell. Make sure to activate "Min size" option on the table to prevent it from taking up the whole width of the screen.
  15. Save your alert.

Now we are ready to test.

  1. Create a new item in the list.
  2. In a minute or so you will receive an email.
  3. Click on Approve button. It will open a page in your browser, showing the execution progress.
  4. Success!

As you can see, it literally take 5 min to implement this business process, but there is no limit to what you can accomplish!



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