What is an alert when scheduling a report subscription and when should I use one?
Analytics, Report Alerts
Alerts are used to send scheduled reports to specified individuals or groups when certain criteria are met. For example, an alert can be used to send a report to a records administrator when a contact or organization record is saved and does not have certain fields set correctly. You can also schedule an alert to be sent when the backlog of unresponded incidents exceeds a specific number.
Alerts are configured as a scheduled report and can be sent to staff members, groups, distribution lists, or manually-entered email addresses. The difference is that with an alert, the report is sent only if the defined alert or alerts are met.
Before defining an alert, Data Exceptions must be created in the report output. You can then create alerts to notify email recipients when the data exception has been met a certain number of times.
Therefore, the high-level steps for using alerts are:
- Create the basic report to send.
- Include data exceptions in the report to use as criteria for sending the alert.
- Define the alert(s) to be used to determine if the scheduled report should be sent.
For more information on data exceptions and alerts, refer to the Analytics manual. To access Oracle B2C Service manuals and documentation online, refer to the Documentation for Oracle B2C Service Products.
Step 1: Define the Basic Report
First, set up the report to use as the basis for your scheduled report. Define the table instances, filters, and output for the report. For more information on configuring reports in Oracle B2C Service, refer to Answer ID 2509: Creating a basic custom report.
Step 2: Define the Data Exception
Data exceptions allow you to flag certain entries in the report based on criteria you specify. For example, you can define a data exception to highlight records in the report that have been responded to by specific staff members or were created in a specific time frame.
To send an alert only if any data is present in the report, you need to set the data exception so that any record in the report will meet the data exception. For example, if you need an alert to fire when an organization record is set up improperly, you can define filters in your report to find the records that are set incorrectly and then set a data exception to be if the org ID is greater than 0. That way, since the org ID is always greater than 0, any org that met the criteria of the report would also match the data exception.
Note: When working with incident data that should trigger an alert to be sent, you can use the count function to count the number of incidents in the report and set up the data exception to be count(incidents.ref_no) is greater than 0.
In a general report, you can set data exceptions so that they display using a different format than other data in the report. However, when setting an exception for purposes of triggering an alert, you may or may not want the exception to display in a unique format.
For more information on configuring data exceptions, refer to Answer ID 2026: Using data exceptions to customize report records.
Once you have created the data exceptions, you can either save your report or you can continue on to step 3 below to set up the alert and the scheduled report.
Step 3: Configure the Alert to be Sent
Alerts are similar to scheduled reports in that they are sent to individuals or groups at certain times. However, alerts have additional requirements where the report is sent only if the data exception defined in the alert are met.
To define the alert use the steps below:
- From the Home tab, click Scheduling.
- Click the Add Schedule link.
- Type the email addresses to send the alert to, separated by semicolons. Or, Click the To button to open the Select Names window where you can add staff members, groups, and distribution lists to the alert.
- A report schedule needs to be created in order to add an alert. If the report should be sent as a regular scheduled report and as an alert, then you must add recipients to both the schedule's To field and the alert's To field. However, if the purpose of the schedule is only to send and alert, do not add recipients to the schedules To field.
- Click Add Alert to open the Add Alert window.
- Define a Name for the alert and specify which Exception to use and when the alert should be met -- that is, how many times the exception is met. Then, click OK and the alert displays in the table.
- Click OK and save your report.