Alert When a Folder is Created in SharePoint?

In response to an earlier post on creating and managing alerts, bonan brought up an interesting question in the comments:

Is it possible to create alerts for Folders only?  I am trying to make sure users do not create extra folders in certain lists but still have the ability to create documents in that list.

Setting such an alert wasn’t something that I’d ever tried to do (or even thought to try), and it would clearly be useful functionality, so I struck out to discover the answer today.  A first look at the out-of-the-box options for alerts wasn’t at all encouraging:

As you can see, alerts can be set up at the item level within a list or library, and you can be alerted as to changes pertaining to a given item/document, but the functionality is limited to content changes, and unfortunately isn’t set up to be triggered on the creation of a folder within the list or library.

My next step was to see if the advanced features of Bamboo’s Alert Plus Web Part provide the ability to trigger an alert based on the creation of a folder but, alas, while Alert Plus provides much more granularity than out-of-the-box alerts, it, unfortunately, doesn’t allow for alerts to be sent upon folder creation either.  Rats.

Next, I did some Googling to see if anyone else out there might offer a product with this functionality, but I came up empty on that front too.

Finally, I asked Jeff Kozloff, the Patron Saint of SharePoint Blank, to verify my findings.  Unfortunately for bona, and for anyone else out there looking for this type of alerts functionality, Jeff confirmed that not only can it not be done out-of-the-box or with Alert Plus, but he was unaware of any existing product offering that would get the job done.

And so, much as I dislike having to be the bearer of bad news by answering a question with, “sorry, but it looks like it just can’t be done based on existing code,” taking the brighter view, I like to think that highlighting this feature gap provides an opportunity for an enterprising developer out there in the SharePoint ecosystem to take up the challenge and code a solution.  As well, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that our Custom Solutions team can always be engaged to build this functionality into Alert Plus.

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