Bug in the MOSS alert system.
A user selects the Alert Me function for any list or library and places a distribution list (* set as a security group in AD) in the people picker. ALL members of that group receive the initial email stating that they have been added to the alert. However, further email alerts based on any change to the list will not be delivered to members.
Members of any distribution list used by the organisation must be placed in any group which resides in the top level Site Collection.
If an organisation has a lot of users we have to add them in batches of 200 users to the site collection level group. This is an administration nightmare. Usually we just use NT AUTHORITY\authenticated users.
“In my previous post, I noted that the spell check feature seems to fail when users are not members of the top-level site collection.
Well, this same issue appears to affect the delivery of alerts.
When users are members of sub sites with unique permissions, but have no membership in any group in the top-level site, their alerts do not always get delivered. We have seen some get delivered, but others not.
Everything was solved by adding the sub site members as at least “Visitors” to the top-level site. This is the same technique that solved the spell check issue.
My conclusion is that it should be considered a best practice to always give every user access to the top-level site in a collection. Obviously, this could impact your information architecture design. Therefore, you have to think through how your top-level site can be public. For example, the top-level might be the intranet home page, while sub sites are private.
If you have any examples of architectures that do not grant access to the top-level, I’d like to hear whether spell checking and alerts are working for you. ”
* Distribution lists are not picked up by MOSS, you must change the distribution list to a security group.