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Advocate I
Advocate I

Outlook "Get calendar view of events" order by odata error

Hi there,


I created a flow a while back to send me an agenda every evening for my next day's meetings. On 12/18 my flow started to fail with the following error:


The $orderby expression must evaluate to a single value of primitive type.


I noticed that I was using a deprecated "v2" version of the "Get calendar view of events" operation, so I replaced it with v3 but it continued to fail.


My "Order By" ODATA query statement previously was "IsAllDay desc, Start asc", but this no longer works (even when changing the case to be "isAllDay desc, start asc" according to the updated syntax) -- it results in the error above, about which I am not finding much info online.


Incidentally, I tried to add the two columns to the "Filter Query" ODATA query as some articles indicated that may be necessary, but I couldn't seem to get that syntax right, either -- I get "Invalid filter query" no matter what I put, so I'm guessing I'm way off on the syntax.


I was able to get the operation to stop failing by removing the "start asc" part of the Order By (so, leaving only "isAllDay desc"), which is kind of counter-intuitive. I also don't trust that the ordering will actually be correct, though, without enforcing the "start" order as well.


What am I missing here?


Accepted Solutions
Advocate I
Advocate I

Ok. I found the solution.


Here's the examples that will work in the filter query:


Start/DateTime gt '2020-01-08T00:00:00'


If you need to use 'utcNow':

Start/DateTime gt 'utcNow('yyyy-MM-ddT00:00:00')'


Hope this helps!




View solution in original post

Advocate I
Advocate I

Couldn't figure out how to just paste screenshots (sigh...), so here's imgur links...


The full flow:


The "Get calendar view ..." operation configuration that works:


Operation w/ error inputs:


Operation w/ error outputs:


Text of the Output:

"status": 400,
"message": "The $orderby expression must evaluate to a single value of primitive type.\r\nclientRequestId: 45dcf805-dedb-4d7b-a508-6a5baf50f100\r\nserviceRequestId: f9060cee-2b1d-4537-9e84-6300b237aed0",
"error": {
"message": "The $orderby expression must evaluate to a single value of primitive type."
"source": ""

This is where I got the idea about filters being required, but that's clearly not necessary due to the operation working with an Order By of "isAllDay desc" without any corresponding filter:

Community Support
Community Support


Hi @jbedfordp ,


When configuring the Order By field of the Get calendar view of events (V3) action, we can only configure a single field and cannot configure multiple fields for sorting.


When configuring Filter Query, we can use multiple fields as filters and combine them with and/or.


Best Regards,

Community Support Team _ Barry
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

That's an unfortunate annoyance. This definitely worked in the V2 version of the action until 12/18. Why add this limitation?


Is there a recommended alternative method to sort this data?

Also, perhaps the documentation should be updated to reflect this?

ODATA orderBy queries do not have this restriction.

I tried changing the Order By to be only "start asc" (without the "isAllDay desc" part), and I got the same error as in my original post.

How do I properly sort in this Action by the events' start time?

While this may be part of the problem, I'm not sure it is the entire problem. I happened to have basically the same Flow for myself that has been working fine for months, except I only had a single orderBy defined - "start asc", and now suddenly I'm getting the same error as in the original post, beginning roughly around the same time. Interestingly, if I only pass in "isAllDay desc" as a test, the Flow runs fine, but if I pass in the orderBy filter I want "start asc" the Flow fails.


OrderBy Error.png




  "status": 400,
  "message": "The $orderby expression must evaluate to a single value of primitive type.\r\nclientRequestId: 8e393424-69a1-41e5-9c82-7f452467c39a\r\nserviceRequestId: 182c491f-8330-4224-bf8a-bf1d5eed5a42",
  "error": {
    "message": "The $orderby expression must evaluate to a single value of primitive type."
  "source": ""




I wonder if it has to do with the type/format of the "start" property? Perhaps the Order By can no longer handle whatever the datetime type is? Maybe there's a way to convert it to something sortable like a string or number...

I have utterly failed to get any kind of filter or orderby to work with start or end fields. I've tried every different syntax that I can imagine... with or without single quotes, with simple datetime formats, etc.


E.g., in the Filter ODATA query like: start gt 2001-01-01 or start gt '2001-01-01' or start ge '2001-01-01T01:01:01Z' and with/without the '.000' microsecond extension, etc. etc. etc.


Have gotten absolutely no date filters to work, so I have no idea what the syntax is supposed to be. 


Similarly, a simple Order By of start asc does not work, nor does Order By of start


I did find one article which perhaps is relevant? indicates that maybe these fields start and end need to be indexed in order to be filtered? I can't imagine I have the ability to add indexes to internal Outlook properties, though...


Hi @jbedfordp ,


Sorry, my previous statement was wrong. Order by supports sorting events based on multiple fields.


But there are requirements for the type of the field, as mentioned in the error message "single value of primitive type."


It seems that the start field is an unsupported type.


Best Regards,

Community Support Team _ Barry
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

Is there a way to cast the datetime start field as a primitive? Or is there a recommended alternative way to sort the resultant array?


I see there is no generic "array sort" action in Power Automate -- that's disappointing. Some folks appear to have written their own array sort methods, but that's beyond my current level of expertise and time availability to customize and implement.


It'd be great if this just worked out-of-the-box.

@v-bacao-msft I don't understand why would this have worked up until a week or two ago then? It seems odd that it would have worked all this time and now suddenly can't be sorted...


Although I may have just answered my own question, it looks like in OData 4.0, DateTime is no longer a primitive data type, only Date.

"DateTimeOffset" is also listed as a primitive type. Is that not how Outlook Calendar stores its datetime data? I typically don't need decimal point precision on my meetings 🙂



Date without a time-zone offset


Date and time with a time-zone offset, no leap seconds


Possible solutions to this issue:

- Re-enable the sorting that worked prior to 12/18/19. Perhaps cast Outlook Calendar datetime values as datetimeoffset values by default in this Action?

- Offer an out-of-the-box Action to sort Arrays by their elements' properties. (Writing your own array sort algorithm is not a solution for a product that's supposed to make it easy for non-developers to develop workflows.) The Action could discover the "shape" of the resultset from a previous Action and then offer a dropdown of columns/properties and sort order. Ideally this would offer multi-level sort so that we could sort by "isAllDay desc, start asc, end asc" etc.

I do think that Microsoft updated the value data type and thats what affected everything including the V2 connector as well.  I'm having the same problem where it was working 12/16 and hasn't been used till today and discovered that it won't work on that.  Kinda funny that you can't order a simple date/time value.

Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

I'm glad to know I'm not the only person having this issue. It's quite annoying that a breaking change like this would be put in place at all, let alone when there is no means of "fixing" it (ie: achieving the same functionality that was previously available in the application). 


If you have the means (permissions/access and knowledge), it seems an Azure function could be created to sort the data, but as mentioned by the OP, Power Automate is being sold as a "business user" application, and very few business users are going to have the means to create an Azure function.


It seems like there should be a generic "Sort array" action as part of the Data Operations connection, but there is not. There isn't even a "sort" expression. The only other option we're left with (which I'm going to try to implement myself) is to use multiple Get Calendar Events actions. In my flow, I'm getting events for the current date plus the next 3, so that'll be 4 actions instead of one.



Sounds like you're breaking it up to a day by day so it's intentionally sorting, not a terrible idea. My "flow" is based on a user defined date range from Form and then it goes to 2 calendars to get all the events and places them in excel and sends a copy of the spreadsheet via email to the requesting user. While Excel can sort, but not automatically as I've found upon opening it's still taking away a functionality. The only conclusion is that the date data type has changed to a non primitive data type. Likely an effort to conserve space or processing. I have considered writing it to excel then getting that same table as the table connector supports ordering on receiving. From there rewrite back to the table. An already cumbersome process taking about 10 minutes to write about 300 lines or more. There's a thought of writing the events to an array and also including a final column that would be the ticks() of the start date which I order base off of. But reorganizing the array in order based on that is where I'm stuck. Would have to be an old school programming and rewriting indexes based on that value. Something I want to avoid hoping Microsoft will realize their error and repair it quickly.
Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

If it helps to devise a workaround, here is the format for the "Start" and "End" fields before & after December 18, 2019:


12/18/2019 & earlier:
"Start": "2019-12-18T14:00:00.0000000+00:00",
"End": "2019-12-18T15:00:00.0000000+00:00",

After 12/18/2019:
"start": "2020-01-06T16:00:00.0000000",
"end": "2020-01-06T16:30:00.0000000",



Thanks for this!


I'm attempting to utilize this to get the Filter Query to work in the Action, but haven't had any luck yet...


Variations I've tried:

start gt '2015-01-01T00:00:00.0000000'

start gt 2015-01-01T00:00:00.0000000

start Gt '2015-01-01T00:00:00.0000000'

start Gt 2015-01-01T00:00:00.0000000

start gt 2015-01-01T00:00:00.0000000+00:00

start gt '2015-01-01T00:00:00.0000000+00:00'

start gt 2019-01-01

start gt '2019-01-01'

start gt '20190101'

start gt 20190101



All of the above resulted in the following error:

"status": 400,
"message": "Invalid filter clause\r\nclientRequestId: 35e0ac1f-f615-4678-92a3-8002a1924eab\r\nserviceRequestId: b39be6a9-e827-4691-bba2-ab4ac5f5dfc2",
"error": {
"message": "Invalid filter clause"
"source": ""

I'm in the same boat as @ChadVKealey@ChadHaag19 and @jbedfordp. My flow takes events from my Outlook calendar, and pre-populates a new page in OneNote with meeting, location, and attendee information. Trying to sort "start asc" results in the same error everyone else is getting "The $orderby expression must evaluate to a single value of primitive type". Taking the raw, non-sorted output results in events appearing in some other order (likely creation date).

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