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Chris McNulty
Microsoft
‎03-12-2017 10:16 AM

Announcing Microsoft Flow integration for SharePoint document libraries

‎03-12-2017 10:16 AM

Last year, as part of our ongoing reinvention of business processes, we rolled out modern lists integrated with Microsoft Flow.  Flow provides zero-code automation of common business processes and connections to dozens of other enterprise and custom data services. We also announced in various venues like Ignite and the Office blog that there was more to come in the integration of SharePoint with Flow and the rest of Microsoft’s Business App platform.   Today, we are happy to announce the next step in that journey, where we bring the power of automation to document libraries.

 

The integration will mean users can easily add Flows to their modern document libraries .  We’re also announcing the ability to launch a Flow interactively, on demand, using a simple button on modern lists and libraries.

 

FlowLibrary2017.png

Let’s suppose you have a new document and you want to get members of your team to read it and update metadata on the document. Our new integration empowers you to build a Flow to inform your team and capture their input directly to document library columns as metadata.

 

We receive a lot of questions about how to govern the usage of Microsoft Flow. We recommend that Office 365 Admins review the data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities for Microsoft Flow. All Office 365 Admins can sign into the Flow administration site without the need for any additional licenses, and set up rules that determine how data can flow between different Office 365 components (such as SharePoint, Outlook, Yammer) and other Microsoft and third party services. If you need more specific guidance on DLP and controlling user access to Flow, please check out our blog post announcing the general availability of Flow in Office 365 from last year, which covers these frequently asked questions.

 

Looking forward, we will roll out Microsoft Flow integration to our customers in the First Release program over the month of March, and based on telemetry and feedback, continue to roll it out to all our customers. We will continue to make additional improvements to Flow soon.  Please watch this space for announcements of these improvements and the progress of the rollout.

14 Comments
Daniel Laskewitz
Contributor

This is something really cool! Can't wait to try it out! We have so many use cases for this! :-) 

Dean Gross
Valued Contributor

Will this work in Content Organizer Drop Off libraries also?

John Wynne
Frequent Contributor
Great to see this integration happening. This rate of progress is truly impressive so far in 2017. Still looking forward to any progress on Forms within SharePoint as I'm a past InfoPath fan ;-)
Roy K
New Contributor

Wow. This opens a boat load of opportunities and user scenarios. I can imagine you can or eventually move docs to and from blob storage, "cloud" drives, slack, MS teams, twitter images, github, etc..

Trey Bornmann
Occasional Visitor

I saw I was able to backup Box to SharePoint, but not SharePoint to Box. Why the limitation on backing up data outside the MS bubble?

Dennis Gaida
Occasional Contributor

Finally! Great job.

Next steps:
- Tighter integration with SharePoint in general: Custom action to be able to start a flow on a particular list item/document (it seems something like this we will get: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint-Blog/Flow-on-demand-for-SharePoint-list-items-and-...)
- See flow statistics for current item. It is currently very hard to figure out if the flow ran on a particular item or if it ran into an error (*cough* workflow statistics page)
- Have a direct link to the currently attached flows to the list/library in the Flow menu

For end users it is hard right now to understand that they need to go to a totally different product to create workflows. If I would see the link library > flow and item > flow I would understand the link better. Flow is a great product!

William Napoles
Occasional Visitor

I wonder if this feature is at all similar to Runbooks of Orchestrator in System Center 2012, but with a much more user-friendly interface.  A few years ago, I developed a Runbook that monitored a document library in SP 2010 for the arrival of a file.  Once triggered, the file's data spawned e-mails, if the requirements were met, a log was generated, and the file was archived.  At the Runbook's conclusion, maintenance was performed to ensure only a certain period's worth of files were kept.

Richard Bourke
Contributor

Will I be able to run Flow against classic libraries as well?

Chris McNulty
Microsoft

@Richard Bourke you can run flow against classic libraries but the classic UI doesnt have the command bar integration.  You could manually trigger the HTTP POST by looking it up in the Flow designer and adding in manually to the Ribbon.

 

@Trey Bornmann you can copy files back and forth from Box to SharePoint today, but I;d hesitate to call it backup.  If you have automated processes on one side, and you edit/empty a file there it gets the same result on the copy.  Backup usually implies recovery, which you dont get with just file movement.  The princiaol thing you are guarding against in the unavailablity of Box vs. SharePoint Online - and both, as entrprise cloud services have pretty high availablity.   Today, emhaisze, today, if you have a flow triggered on all new documents in a library the event 'listener' is scoped to a single folder scope, or the root without subfolders.  This is expected to change soon so you can have a Flow autotrigger for any file in a library.  On-demand flows can be triggered anywhere, regardless of folder.

 

@Dean Gross a Flow can be used against any library - but the UX interation is in modern and the Content Organizer is a classic experinece.

 

Thanks for all the feedback.

Jigger Mehta
Occasional Visitor

This is awesome. I have quite a few clients ask for this.

Richard Collins
Occasional Visitor

No use for important business processes unfortunately.

 

Without any support for problems the service cannot deliver the reliability for organistions need to base business activities on. 

 

We have had many random Flow failures. There is no contact point and limited diagnostics.

 

A current Flow was running but without change now reads 'BAD REQUEST' we can do nothing to fix or understand why! 

Alex Riggs
Occasional Visitor

I was hoping to replace Workflows with Flows. The only problem was I could not figure out is it looked like the Flow was associated with my account. If I created a flow to send an email, left the company, my account was disabled, what happens then? I am the sole SharePoint admin at my company and if I leave does that mean every single Flow that sends an email would stop working at that point?

 

EDIT: I found out after playing with it again that I am able to add other people to the flow and give them permission. But I also remembered the others reasons I did not like them for this purpose. The main reason we use workflows so far is to send emails once a list item has been added. Here are a couple issues that it does not work for me:

 

  • Cannot send to distribution groups
  • No rich text editor, I assume I can do HTML when I click advanced options and set html to true, but who really wants to do HTML
  • Can't create a link to click and view the list in the email
Bjorn Foster
Visitor

Does this mean full support for all data types in *both* Lists & Libraries? As-in, read and write for all data types (including managed metadata, site columns, people/groups, lookups, multi-choice, etc.)?

Ned Scheetz
Occasional Visitor

Great start.  Any chance we can trigger the creation of a new Office Group, Planner & Team Site from a new item created in a list?  Since many people track projects in lists, this would be a perfect way to provision a team site automatically.