Notifications 101

February 1, 2013 CollabNet VersionOne

I often get asked about the notification capabilities in VersionOne.  Here are a couple of the questions I always get asked:

“Can my users get notifications within VersionOne?”

“Can my users get email notifications?”

“Subscriptions vs. Watch; what’s the difference?”

The answer to the first two questions is simply a ‘yes!’  VersionOne gives you an inbox within the application as well as an area to provide your SMTP settings to enable email notifications.  The last question requires us to dive a little bit deeper.  Taking a look and understanding each of them individually should provide a holistic view on the differences between the two.


This method allows users to subscribe to an event for the various assets in VersionOne.  These assets include: Backlog Items, Defects, Feature Groups, Issues, Requests, Tasks, Tests and Test Sets.  For each of these assets the user has many different events to which they can subscribe in order to receive notifications.  Below is an example of a user subscribing to an event.

Andre is a Product Owner for the Call Center project for his organization’s VersionOne instance.  Andre wants to know any time someone adds a new Backlog Item to the Call Center project.  Andre can easily find out by creating a subscription.   Andre is able to do this by navigating in the application following the steps below:

My Home > Subscriptions > Notification Types (grid) > Expand the desired asset (Backlog Item) > Subscribe on the event (Backlog Item Created)

The following image shows how Andre is able to set up this subscription for a specific project.

By creating a subscription, Andre will get notified any time a user creates a Backlog Item within that project.


This method allows a user to watch a specific asset in VersionOne.  These assets are: Backlog Items, Defects, Tasks, Tests and Test Sets.  Let’s walk through an example of when a user would utilize Watch over subscribing to an event.

Danny is a developer for the Call Center project.  Danny is currently in a sprint and needs to work on the Backlog Item “Update RMA.”  Danny realizes that “Update RMA” is dependent on Backlog Item “Enter RMA,” which hasn’t yet been completed.  Danny doesn’t need to get notified every time a Backlog Item is completed, so what should Danny do in this scenario?

Hmmm…. let me think…LOL!  I’m sure you guessed that Danny needs to utilize the “Watch” action in VersionOne!  Danny can simply find “Enter RMA” and select the “Watch Backlog Item” option.

Danny will receive a notification as soon as “Enter RMA” is completed letting him know that he can start work on the “Update RMA” Backlog Item.

So back to the original question: “Subscriptions vs. Watch: what’s the difference?”

Simply put, notifications for a specific event on an asset (i.e., any time a Backlog Item is created) vs. notification specifically for the selected asset (i.e., when a specified Backlog Item closes).


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