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Notifying sibling owners when an answer is updated
Answer ID 1870   |   Last Review Date 05/09/2022

How can I easily notify the owners of the other language answers that my answer has been updated?


Answers, Relationships, Siblings
Oracle B2C Service, All versions


We have multiple interfaces and multiple languages on our site. If I need to update an answer in one interface, how can I easily notify the owners of the other answers that my answer has been updated?


Each answer has a specific Answer ID. When two or more answers have the same Meta-Answer ID, they are called siblings.

The most common use for sibling answers is with multiple interfaces that use multiple languages. In a multiple language site, each answer usually has an equivalent, translated answer for each interface and language. Those translated answers are typically related by a common Meta-Answer ID. That is, an English answer and its corresponding German and French answers share the same Meta-Answer ID.


You can configure your application so that when one sibling is updated, you can send a notification to the owners of the other siblings. The owner is based on the Assigned field for the answer.

You can enable the Sibling Modified answer notification message in each of your interfaces. When this message is enabled, you can create an answer rule that includes the action to send the Sibling Modified message when an answer is updated.

Note: The Meta-Answer tab is no longer included when working with answers. In order to access and view sibling answers, the appropriate properties must be enabled in the answer workspace. For more information on displaying sibling relationships, refer to Answer ID 2163: Accessing Sibling Answers.

To configure your site to notify sibling owners when a rule is updated, use the steps and process below:

Step 1: Enable Sibling Modified Message

To enable the Sibling Modified message, use the steps below:

1. Select the Configuration button in your Navigation Set, expand the Site Configuration folder.
2. Open the Message Templates editor.
3. Select the interface and then the Administrator Notifications button in the ribbon.
4. Expand the Answer section, enable the Sibling Modified checkbox.
5. Click Save. 

Step 2: Create a Custom Answer Field to Trigger When Message Should be Sent (Optional)

When setting up a rule to send sibling notifications, it is best to create a custom answer field to be used in the IF criteria of your answer rule.  This field is used to indicate when the sibling modified message should be sent. This allows the knowledge engineer to set the custom field to a certain value which matches the IF criteria of the rule to trigger the rule to send the notification.

For example, you could create a custom menu field or radio button named Notify Sibling Owners with Yes and No options. The staff member can manually set the field to Yes to send the Sibling Modified message when there is a significant update. If the edit was minor, such as correcting a spelling or grammatical error, the staff member would leave the custom field to No so that the Sibling Modified message is not sent.

Note:  If you do not use a custom field to flag the answer when a notification is sent out, the sibling notification will get sent each time an answer is updated, regardless of whether there was a significant content change. That is, without using a custom field, if someone updates an answer to correct a spelling or punctuation error in one language, the sibling message is sent to the sibling owners. This could result in a large number of messages being sent when the sibling owners really would not need to be notified in those cases.

Step 3: Configure the Answer Rule to send the Notification

With the message enabled and a custom field in place, you can configure the answer rule to send the Sibling Modified message when an answer is updated and the custom field is set. The actions used in the rule will send the notification and then clear the custom field so that additional messages will only be sent if the custom field is reset.

Note: When setting up your answer rulebase, it is best that you have at least two rule states: an initial rule state that acts on new answers and also a second rule state that is used to act on existing answers. This allows you greater flexibility in handling and routing new and existing answers within your site. In this case, the rule should be added to the existing rule state so that updates to existing answers can trigger the rule.

If you do not have any rules needed for your initial state, create a single rule in your initial rule state. The rule should act on all new answers (that is, do not add any specific criteria to the IF section) and then transition to the existing state and continue.

The rule to create in your existing state should be something like the following:

Notify Sibling Owner (your custom field) = Yes
(plus any other additional criteria)

Add Action > Send Notification to Answer Sibling Assignee(s)
Add Action > Set Custom Field > Notify Sibling Owner = No (or unspecified)

Save the rule and then be sure to activate the ruleset.

Note: If you need to notify someone who is not assigned to the sibling answers, you can include a different action in the answer rule to send a notification to staff members you specify.

To do this, set the IF criteria as you deem appropriate and in the THEN section, click Add Action and select Email > Send Escalation Notification and then specify who should receive the answer escalation notification. When using this option, make sure that the Answer Escalated notification message is enabled. This message is enabled using the same steps listed above in the Communication Configuration > Messages table.

Step 4: Verify the Rule Configuration

With the rule in place and the rulebase activated, you can test your configuration using the steps below:

  1. Within your knowledge base, find two sibling answers (they will have the same Meta-Answer ID value) and make sure the sibling answers are assigned to different people. 
  2. Have one of the owners log in and update the answer. Before saving the update, set the custom field to notify the sibling owners.

    Include a note in the answer so that the sibling owners can determine how the answer was updated so that they can more easily determine how to update their own answers.  You may want to create a custom text area field to use specifically to communicate information between sibling owners.
  3. Log in as the owner of the sibling answer. If the notification is not yet displayed at the Communication Center, click the Refresh button on the left side (the icon with the page with the blue arrow) and you should see the notification.
Step 5: Use the Notification to Find Sibling Answers

The notification indicates which answer was updated but does not include the Answer IDs for the siblings.

You can open the answer that was edited and then open the sibling answer for editing.

  1. Open the answer for which the notification was sent. Review the Notes field on the Details tab to determine what kind of edit was made.
  2. Click the Relationships tab and open the appropriate sibling answer for editing.
  3. After editing the sibling answer, click OK to close the sibling pop-up.
    Important! At this point, your edits to the sibling answer are not yet saved to the database. You must save the original answer in order to save the changes to the sibling that you modified. 
    That is, edits made to the child record (the sibling answer that you edited) are not saved until the parent record (the original answer you opened) is saved.
  4. After saving the original answer, preview the sibling answer to ensure that the updates were saved correctly. 


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