Updatealert Stsadm operation (Windows SharePoint Services)

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Updated: May 8, 2008

Applies To: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0


Topic Last Modified: 2009-11-24

The SharePoint Administration Toolkit introduces a new Stsadm operation called updatealert. This operation enables an administrator to update the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of a Web application used in alert e-mails after a Web application address changes.


Parameter Value Required Description


A valid URL, such as http://server_name


The URL of the site collection that needs to be updated.


A valid URL, such as http://server_name


The original (old) URL of the site collection for the specific zone that needs to be updated.




Specifies whether a log file should be generated at the end of the updatealert operation. By default, a log file is generated.




Specifies whether to suppress notification output.

In order for the updatealert operation to work correctly, the URLs specified with the url and oldurl parameters must reside in the same site collection. This is necessary to allow proper updating of alerts in a specific zone. Alerts for each zone must be updated individually using the proper new zone URL to that of the original (old) zone URL.

The following are required to perform the procedures for this task:

  • You must be a member of the Administrators group on the front-end Web server.

  • You must have at least the following roles:

    • Member of the Administrators group on the computer running Microsoft SQL Server.


    • The db_owner fixed server role for all SharePoint Products and Technologies databases.

Your company has a Web application that is configured with three zones, as shown in the following table.

Coho Winery Zone Mapping

Description URL Zone










Your company merges with Coho Vineyard and changes its name to Coho Winery and Vineyard. Management wants to change the Intranet and Extranet zones to reflect the new name change. The following table displays the new zone configuration.

Coho Winery and Vineyard Zone Mapping

Description URL Zone







After the name of the Web application is changed and the alternate access mappings are updated, the following updatealert operations should be run to update the e-mail alerts associated with the intranet and extranet sites.

stsadm –o updatealert –url http://cohovineyardandwinery –oldurl http://cohowinery

stsadm –o updatealert –url http://extranet.cohovineyardandwinery.com –oldurl http://extranet.cohowinery.com

No changes are made regarding the vendor site, as Coho Winery has decided not to change the name of the vendor portal. For additional information about extranet scenarios, see Logical architecture components (Windows SharePoint Services).

Another scenario in which the updatealert operation can be used is when you migrate content databases using the database migration process from Windows® SharePoint® Services 2.0. If the source (Windows SharePoint Services version 2.0) and the target (Windows SharePoint Services version 3.0) have different URLs for the migrated site collections, all migrated alerts will not work.

In Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 without Service Pack 1 (SP1) installed, some alerts (including new ones) after the upgrade process do not work. However, in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with Service Pack 1 (SP1), new alerts will work, but alerts created prior to the upgrade do not work. Resolve this issue by using the updatealert operation to update the non-working alerts created prior to the upgrade.

For example, to change all migrated alerts from http://wss20 (oldurl) to http://wss30 (newurl), type the following syntax:

stsadm –o updatealert –url http://wss30 –oldurl http://wss20

For additional information about how to migrate databases, see Migrate content databases.

The Stsadm command-line tool is located at the following path on the drive where SharePoint Products and Technologies are installed:

%COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\Web server extensions\12\Bin

For additional information about using the Stsadm command-line tool, see Stsadm command-line tool (Windows SharePoint Services).