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Creating IFTTT Email Triggers from Office365 SharePoint Alerts

For those who may not know IFTTT (If This Then That) is a free cloud-based service that enables you to create simple connections, called ‘Recipes', between internet-connected services or ‘Channels' which are triggered by conditional events.

 

Although Microsoft has blogged about the upcoming release of Office 365 Channels in the future

http://blogs.office.com/2014/10/28/new-office-365-extensibility-windows-ios-android-web-developers/

..at this point in time, there are only Yammer, One Drive and OneNote channels available. None of which currently provide the ability ‘Trigger' the start of a Recipe.

 

However, one of the useful features of IFTTT is that it provides the ability to ‘Trigger' the start of a ‘Recipe' via its native ‘Email Channel'.

The following shows how you can setup SharePoint Alerts to act as ‘Trigger Events' for IFTTT Recipes
(I'm going to be using Office 365 for this example, but theoretically the same approach could also be taken to implement for On-Prem)

 

First off, sign up for IFTTT account

https://ifttt.com/join

(although it's probably easier if you sign-up using the email address that is going to receive the SharePoint Alerts, it's not a necessity as the ‘Email Channel' provides option to change/update this independently from the signup/registration address)

..and activate the Email Channel for your account

https://ifttt.com/email

(this process involves a PIN being sent to your email address for verification - again, you can change/update this email address independently from the signup/registration address. It's also worth making sure the address is entered in ‘lowercase' if using an ‘@<###>.onmicrosoft.com' address)

 

 

Next, head over to your Office 365 Mail and select ‘Options'

 

..and select ‘Inbox Rules' and click Add + and enter a Name for your new Trigger Rule

 

 

Select a condition for ‘When the message arrives'...
(for my example I've selected ‘Includes the words' "Dept 1" or "Announcement" in the Subject)

 

 

For the ‘Do the following' action, select ‘Forward the message as an attachment' and enter the IFTTT trigger email address trigger@recipe.ifttt.com

 

 

Next, you need to create your actual SharePoint Alerts.
Obviously you're going to need to give some thought on how you setup your ‘Inbox rules' (above) in relation to which Alert(s) you want to actually trigger the rule (..and the eventual IFTTT Recipe).

 

For my example, I'm going to create a ‘SharePoint Alert' on an ‘Announcements' list in a site named ‘Dept 1'

 

 

 

 

Finally, you need to create your ‘IFTTT Recipe'.

For my example, I'm going to create an IF Recipe

 

 

..that is Triggered whenever an email is received
(sent from the address previously associated with my ‘Email Channel')

 

..and then sends a "push notification" to my Windows phone using the Pushalot Channel
(admittedly this is probably a very convoluted way of getting notifications to your Windows device ,but it proves the Recipe(s) work and is good for testing.)

 

 

 

Now whenever a new item is added to the "Dept 1 Announcements" list...

 

 

..the SharePoint Alert is received by my inbox and if the subject line meets the condition of the inbox rule (which in my example it always does as ‘Includes the words "Dept 1" or "Announcement" in the Subject line)... it forwards the email to the IFTTT Email Channel, which in turn ‘Triggers' my Recipe..

 

...which sends a ‘Push Notification' to my Windows device... which is pretty neat!

 

 

When you combine this with the fact the IFTTT Email Channel also provides the option to only fire ‘Trigger Events' based on #hashtags in the Subject line, along with the huge amount of well-known social and media service Channels available (such as Facebook, Flickr, GitHub, Instagram, Twitter, WordPress and Android and iOS to name a few). It soon becomes apparent that you could quickly and easily create multiple Recipes to target a variety of service Channels based pure only the #hashtags of the Subject line... which in my example could be achieved simply by including the relevant #hashtags of the "Title" field of Announcement item.

 

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