2 questions about the "Conditional alerts" SMS feature

Hello all – Below are two questions about using Conditional Alerts to send SMSs.

(I used the previous SMS-sending function, “reminders,” for a long time in the past, but stopped perhaps 6-12 months ago. Now we are creating a new use of SMS-sending similar to our old use. I even have the new SMS-sending function working fairly well, but )

– My goal is that WHEN one client gets a form completed about them, they get a new SMS message, which will say “Thanks for meeting with us, we’d like feedback about how we did, please click this link: [url to survey.]”

*** QUESTION 1. When I read the new documentation of the new “Conditional Alerts” function, I simply think it feels odd that it says that it will “send a message to EVERYONE for whom the expression is true.” Because I only want this message to go to the client that just had the form filled out to them. Yes, that client is the only person for whome that expression JUST changed from false to true. But it seems to me that the FIRST time that rule runs, it would want to send out the notification to 200 clients that all fit that rule? again, I did this in the past and I don’t think you changed the function much but I wanted to confirm.

*** QUESTION 2. I also want a client to be sent an SMS, not only when they have their first “registration” form to be filled out for them, but also when they have one certain follow-up filled out for them. But, the problem is, after they got the registration form filled out, the true-false condition (which in my forms is an expression: shouldsend = ‘1’ ) was set to true. But when they come to the follow-up form, shouldsend is already true and will remain true… so it won’t go from false to true… so the SMS won’t get sent! How do I get this follow up form to also trigger an SMS?

Huge thanks!

About my first question above, Kai said not to worry. Just one gets sent.

About question 2, Kai wrote this reply:

Kai Cowger (Dimagi)

Sep 10, 4:58 PM EDT

Hi Eric,

Regarding your second question, here are my thoughts.

If you want to send an SMS for a follow up form being submitted (only once), you could just set another case property (such as follow_up_finished = 1). Then, that could be the new trigger for an SMS.

If you wanted an SMS to be sent for every since follow up that’s submitted (ergo, an infinite number), then you could use the “restart schedule” feature https://confluence.dimagi.com/display/commcarepublic/Conditional+Alerts#ConditionalAlerts-Advanced and make sure that the field is something that always changes, like a timestamp. So you could take the now() timestamp which will always be different, and use that!


Senior Analyst
Dimagi, Inc