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RE: Creating a multi-step approval for documents, then convert approved documents into PDFs

Hi there,

 

I'm a brand new user to Power Automate / Flow and have been using it to experiment creating different basic flows over the past week.

 

I've managed to create a multi-step approval flow that calls on 2 approvers to approve a document that resides in a "Draft" folder. Both must approve before the document is then automatically moved to an "Approved" folder. I create a separate flow that automatically converts documents into a PDF in a specified folder. 

 

What I want to do is somehow combine the 2 flows together so that once a document is approved by both users and automatically moved to the designated folder (Approved), it is then automatically converted into a PDF immediately in that folder, all in one step. 

 

I tried recreating the document-to-PDF conversion flow within the multi-step approval flow with no success. I'm still trying to understand how Power Automate works and learn what the different actions and triggers mean. So I don't know if I'm missing anything, or if combining the two flows together is simply not possible. Any help for this noob would be much appreciated!

 

Eddie

 

Doc-to-PDF FlowDoc-to-PDF Flow

 

Multi-Step Approval (with Doc-to-PDF) FlowMulti-Step Approval (with Doc-to-PDF) Flow

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
tom_riha
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Hello @Mycrosoft ,

when you hover on the dynamic content, does it have the correct outputs(...)? It should be always the previous action.

image.png



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View solution in original post

tom_riha
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Hello @Mycrosoft ,

the content approval must always follow the same order of statuses: Draft -> Pending (in PA I think it's called Submit) -> Approved/Rejected.

Draft can be switched only to Pending, and only Pending can be switched to Approved/Rejected.

Keep in mind that every update in the item/document will change the status back to Draft, therefore, if you're updating the item/document, you'll need 2 actions to 'Set content approval status', one to change it from Draft into Pending and another one to change it from Pending to Approved.

 



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View solution in original post

10 REPLIES 10
tom_riha
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Most Valuable Professional

Hello @Mycrosoft ,

on the first look your flow looks fine, what problem does it have?

The only issue I can now imagine is that in the 'Get file properties 2' you must use output of the 'Move file' action, not from the trigger. The file is moved at that moment so it's not in the original location under the original ID.



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Thanks for replying, @tom_riha. After a file is approved, it automatically moves from the 'Draft' folder to the 'Approved' folder without any issues. Once it is in the 'Approved' folder, however, nothing happens. The document doesn't automatically convert to a PDF. To your point of using the output of the 'Move file' action instead of the original location, what would be the appropriate dynamic content action to use? Below is what I have at the moment. I've tried a few different options in the 'Get file properties' and 'Get file content' with no success. The answer is probably obvious but somehow it's eluded me! 

 

Multi-step approvalMulti-step approval

tom_riha
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It doesn't return any error? All the actions have green checkbox, but nothing happens?



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@tom_riha , there is an error in the Condition (action failed) as a result of an error under the 'Get file content' action. I tried different actions in "Get file content' but nothing seems to work. I don't know why I didn't post the error earlier! Here is the screenshot:

 

ErrorError

tom_riha
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

@Mycrosoft I'd check the dynamic content you use in the actions, you can hover on it to see which action outputs it is. In 'Get file properties' it should be the 'ItemId' from 'Move file' (as the description says "...used to Get or Update file properties...").

image.png

In 'Get file content' it should be 'Identifier' from the 'Get file properties' above it (in your case 'Get file properties 2').

image.png



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Thanks for the input, @tom_riha. It just so happens that, after sending the original screenshot of the flow, among the different action combinations I tried next were ItemId and Identifier under Get file properties and Get file content, respectively, and it didn't work. Am I missing some extra action after the file is moved from one folder to another? 

tom_riha
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Hello @Mycrosoft ,

when you hover on the dynamic content, does it have the correct outputs(...)? It should be always the previous action.

image.png



[ If I have answered your question, please Accept the post as a solution. ]
[ If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up. ]

[ I also blog about Power Automate solutions even for non-IT people. ]

@tom_riha that did the trick! I hovered over each action's dynamic content to check the outputs and found a few that were pointing to the wrong action (i.e., the earlier action and not the immediately previous one, such as Get file properties when it should have been Get file properties 2). I don't know why I never looked closer into the outputs. It's so obvious now, LOL. Clearly I have a lot to learn! Maybe it's time I check out your blog for Power Automate solutions for rookies like me. Thanks again!! 🤗

@tom_riha , Hi Tom (or anyone out there). So after being able to convert a document to a PDF that's been moved from one folder to another as per the flow shown in my previous posts above, I'd like to set the flow where it automatically changes the Approval Status column from "Draft" or "Pending" to "Approved". I've been playing around with the "Set Content Approval Status" action and created a separate flow that can do this (see attached image). However, I'm not sure how to integrate it into my existing flow. I've watched a few video tutorials for help and so far nothing's come up. Any pointers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

Changing Approval Status columnChanging Approval Status column

tom_riha
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Hello @Mycrosoft ,

the content approval must always follow the same order of statuses: Draft -> Pending (in PA I think it's called Submit) -> Approved/Rejected.

Draft can be switched only to Pending, and only Pending can be switched to Approved/Rejected.

Keep in mind that every update in the item/document will change the status back to Draft, therefore, if you're updating the item/document, you'll need 2 actions to 'Set content approval status', one to change it from Draft into Pending and another one to change it from Pending to Approved.

 



[ If I have answered your question, please Accept the post as a solution. ]
[ If you like my response, please give it a Thumbs Up. ]

[ I also blog about Power Automate solutions even for non-IT people. ]

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