Comment on page

Alerts and subscriptions

How canvas alerts and subscriptions work, and how to add them to your canvas.

What is an alert?

An alert can be added to certain canvas objects - currently SQL cells and frames. When an alert is added to an object, a screenshot of that object and its contents (including any data) will be included in the alert messages sent from Count.

What is an alert message?

Alert messages for a canvas are sent according to the schedule set in the alerts sidebar. When an alert is triggered, the screenshots for each object are collected and included in a single message per canvas.
Alert messages are always sent as emails to your Count email address. If you have connected Slack through our Slack app, you will also receive a message in your Count app channel, as well as any Slack channels that have been connected to Count.

Who receives alerts messages?

To receive an alert to your email and/or your personal Count app Slack channel, you will need to subscribe to a canvas. You will automatically be subscribed when you add an alert, and you can subscribe/unsubscribe from the alerts sidebar, or the 'More options' menu in the top right of the canvas. Subscribed users will also be updated about any comments on this canvas.
To have alerts sent to a public Slack channel, first connect Slack through the alerts sidebar, and then add a channel from the Slack channels dropdown menu. The Count Slack app will add itself to this channel.

How to add an alert

There are two ways to add an alert to a cell or frame object: the object controls that appear above the object when selected, or from the alert tab in the right sidebar.
It is not currently possible to include Python cells in alerts. Any Python cells or their descendants will not show any outputs in the alert image.

Adding from controls

Toggle alerts on or off using the bell icon

Adding from the sidebar

You can add and remove alerts from the Alerts tab in the right sidebar. Click the plus icon to add a new alert.


Set the alert schedule for a canvas in the alerts tab of the right sidebar. We recommend that your alert frequency is set equivalent to or lower than the canvas refresh frequency to ensure that alerts report data that has changed, rather than reporting the same messages multiple times.


Triggers allow you to customise the conditions under which an alert will be sent. For alerts on cells, the condition will relate to the cell itself. For frames, the condition can relate to any cell in the canvas. To configure an alert trigger:
  1. 1.
    Press the "configure alert" symbol on hovering over an alert in the right alert bar
  1. 2.
    Select a trigger option from the dropdown menu. The options are
  • None - no trigger conditions are applied, a notification for this alert will always be sent.
  • Rows returned/No rows returned - the alert will be triggered when rows/no rows are returned from the cell.
  • Query error/Query does not error - the alert will be triggered when the query does/does not return an error.
  • First row matches - the alert can be configured to trigger by comparing the first row of the selected column with a fixed alphanumeric (or null) value.

Testing alerts

Testing an alert allows you to see how the alert notification(s) will look when they arrive. Depending on your subscriptions you will receive an email and, if you are the creator of another subscription (e.g. Slack), messages to your other channels.
If all of your cell and frame alerts contain triggers and none of the triggers are met, the test alert notification(s) will still be sent, and the alerts will be listed as "trigger condition not met". This behaviour is different to a scheduled alert; a scheduled alert notification will be sent only if at least one alert either has trigger condition None or the trigger condition is met.
Please allow up to 5 minutes for the alert notification to arrive.


My Slack channel does not appear in the channel list

Private channels may not appear in this list when accessing Slack from a canvas. In this case, use the /count subscribe command directly from the private Slack channel, and choose the appropriate canvas from the list.
Read more about the Count Slack integration here.

Alert not delivered

If your alert is set on code or visual cells, the queries underlying these cells must complete within 1 minute, otherwise the alert will not be sent.
To help fix this issue please try one of the following options:
  • Reduce the complexity of the query either by refactoring your queries or limiting the quantity of data returned.
  • Scheduling your alerts for times when the load on your database is low.
  • Set your canvas to an update schedule which completes before the alert schedule. This will allow any long running queries to complete and the results cached before an alert is triggered. When the alert is the triggered the cached results will then be sent.
Please also check your spam folder to ensure Count email alerts are not being mistaken for spam.

Alert delivered late

Alerts can take up to 10 minutes to be processed on our servers before being sent. If you experience regular delays longer than 10 minutes, please contact your mail system administrator/Slack administrator.
Please do contact Count support for more help at [email protected] or in the in-app chat accessible from the help menu.