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SharePoint Event Receivers – A Detailed Overview

Handling some events is necessarily required while going to develop an application and event receivers are precisely the medium for doing the same. Consider for example, addition of a new item to an existing list.

In this case, you need to notify the person creating the list item and the same would be handled by an event receiver. Multiple events are handled easily by help of SharePoint event receiver classes.

In this blog, we will take an in-depth overview of these event receivers along with the method of creating a list event receiver in SharePoint 2013.

Event Receiver Types – Synchronous and Asynchronous…

Also referred as “Before” event receivers; Synchronous event receivers typically perform a custom action prior to happening of any event. If some conditions are met, it’s also possible to cancel the event.

On the other hand, Asynchronous receivers or simply “After” event receivers help to perform some action once the event has occurred. So, in this case, it’s not necessary that the action will be performed immediately after the event has happened.

Event Receiver Classes – 5 Main Types…

A quick view at the following table will clarify the five main types of event receiver classes along with the action that causes them.

Class Provides Event Handling Whenever
Microsoft.SharePoint.SPEmailEventReceiver Any user sends an email to a specific list having e-mail feature enabled
Microsoft.SharePoint.SPFeatureReceiver Any feature is acted upon
Microsoft.SharePoint.SPItemEventReceiver Any action is done on a list item
Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListEventReceiver Any modification done in list definition
Microsoft.SharePoint.SPWebEventReceiver Any site/site collection gets moved/deleted

Different Methods that need to be Over-ridden for Classes…

Events Methods
Site Level Events Site Deleted , Site Deleting, Web Deleted , Web Deleting, Web Moving
List Level Events Field Added, Field Adding, Field Deleted, Field Deleting , Field Updated , Field Updating
Item Level Events ItemAdded, ItemAdding, ItemAttachmentAdded, ItemAttachmentAdding, ItemCheckedIn
Feature Events FeatureActivated, FeatureDeactivating, FeatureInstalled, FeatureUninstalling

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Steps to Creating Custom List Level Event Receiver…

1. Open Visual Studio 2010

2. Create empty SharePoint project

3. In SharePoint customization wizard, type SharePoint URL and check the box saying “Deploy as a sandboxed solution”.  Click Finish.

Deploy as a sandboxed solution

4. Right click the project, then select following –

  • Add new Item
  • Create Event Receiver

5. Click Ok to open Event Receiver Settings Wizard. From the drop down, select “List Item Events” as the event receiver type and “Custom List” as the item type. Now check the box that says “An Item was Added” listed under Handle the following events. Click Finish to proceed.

open Event Receiver Settings Wizard

6. Add following CODE in event receiver class of list –

public override void ItemAdded(SPItemEventProperties properties)



SPListItem _currentItem = properties.ListItem;

_currentItem[“Title”] = DateTime.Now.ToString();



7. Build & deploy the project to SharePoint

8. In order to verify that the solution has been deployed to the website, go to Site Actions > Site Settings > Galleries >Solution

9. Form a new Custom List with name “Test Event Receiver”. Next add a new item and Click Add

Test Event Receiver

10. Enter “Test Item” as the title/name of new item. Refreshing the custom list will show results in the form of date & time

So, this was an overview of Event Receivers in SharePoint, hope this helps you understand Event Receivers and helps you use it with confidence.

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