Swap the Link in SmartForms Client Event Notifications


Of course we want to make our solutions more convenient for the user — so it seems natural to have a hyperlink to a worklist item embedded in an e-mail notification. K2 believes it enough to include such a link by default in every SmartForms Client Event Notification.

The problem with this lies in the point-in-time nature of e-mail messaging.

Say you have a group of five people who all receive an e-mail message telling them they can action a work item, and each message contains a link to action the item.


The first user who reads the message and clicks the link will be taken to the item as promised. But the rub is with the other four users — when they all click it (and they will), they’ll likely receive an ugly exception which doesn’t clearly tell them that somebody else already has the item open or has actioned it already.

(At a previous employer, I actually had one guy call and scream at me over this.)

In my experience, people don’t usually consider the point-in-time nature of e-mail messaging. Perhaps we’re so used to the immediacy of other media that we just forget. Or I’m just that guy who would consider the point-in-time nature of e-mail messaging. 

At any rate, the message itself isn’t going to know when somebody else has already actioned the item; it doesn’t have the awareness to be able to hide the link or delete the message from one’s inbox. (Personally, I’d LOVE to make that happen, though… for reasons already cited.) 

My advice? Dump the default item link, and include instead a hyperlink to the worklist.

This way, depending on your solution, each of the five users are taken to the worklist where they may not see the item at all (if the K2 Workspace is your worklist, then hiding unavailable items is the default behavior) or they may see that somebody already has the item open (in a custom worklist).

The best part? No more ugly exceptions.


(And no more getting screamed at.)