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Announcing Microsoft Flow integration for SharePoi...

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.

25 Comments
Contributor

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

Valued Contributor

Will this work in Content Organizer Drop Off libraries also?

Super 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 ;-)
Occasional 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..

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?

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!

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.

Contributor

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

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.

Occasional Visitor

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

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! 

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
Senior Member

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.)?

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.


 

Super Contributor
Hi Chris McNulty, any update on deployment progress in First Release (my tenant is full org)? Thanks! Nice podcast with Hyperfish by the way :-)
Microsoft

This is now in First Release Tenants and Users! Here's the announcement for it!

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/SharePoint/Shipped-to-First-Release-Flow-integration-for-Shar...

Microsoft

Thanks @Kerem Yuceturk and thanks @John Wynne.

 

@Ned Scheetz its an interesting scenario, and I can see the value.  It would be great if you could submit to sharepoint.uservoice.com so we can track in interest in automating provisioning "gestures" in Office 365 based on Flow triggers.

 

@Bjorn Foster we dont have full data dictionary supprot for MMS, multivalue, chocie yet but that is coming.

 

@Alex Riggs you can alwasy embed the SMTP address for the DL as the target for an email notification - and by using dynmaic proerties you can build the click through URL.  Look at the automatic URL generated for the "send to my manager" template for an example.

 

Thanks all!

Contributor

@Chris McNulty: Will there be support for SP Apps too? Those are classic libraries, but we would love to use Flow in those situations too. :) 

Microsoft

Hi @Daniel Laskewitz, Connecting to lists in App webs with Flow and PowerApps is on the roadmap. Hope we will have this available before Ignite.

Occasional Visitor

@Chris McNulty Good news. Have below questions;

 

  1. Does this include a task form, if available can there be a chance for customization?
  2. Does this support lazy approval?
  3. Can we make web service/REST calls?
  4. Can we have workflow variables?
  5. In one of the comment I read its user specific, If a developer develops the flow for a customer, should he need to have customer email account? what is the deployment options? After the project completion should the customer need to retain the developer's account to ensure the flows are running as expected?
  6. Can a flow invoke another flow?
Occasional Visitor

Recently - all my flow apps which were running on Sharepoint Trigger - "When a file is modified" and "When a file is created" stopped working.

 

Any idea whats going on ? Imay be either Sharepoint Online not being able to register the event or there is something wrong with the flow infrastructure. It used to work and now after June 27, 2017 it stopped working.
I checked - even in logic app, it stopped working.

 

Help PLS !!!!

Valued Contributor

I would recommend opening a Support ticket

Occasional Visitor

11.png
Above is my simple flow app. It doesnt work. Doesnt get triggered when I create a new file at - https://xxxxxxx-my.sharepoint.com. It skips everytime it checks (default 5 min interval) as per logs.
Any idea whats going on ?

Occasional Visitor

Today I discovered that the Flow command suddenly over the weekend had disappeared from the modern command bar in my document library and as possible action on each document. The Flow app is still accessable and flows that are triggered by changes in the Document Library still runs.

So the question is, what can cause the Flow command to disappear in the modern command bar?

And how do I get it back?

Valued Contributor

@Vishal Goswamiand @Per Foldager I would recommend posting your questions in the PowerApps & Flow space where they should get more attention than they will as comments to this blog posting.