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Remainder mail for approval

Hello,

I'm facing a peculiar issue in the approval flow. The requirement is that I need to trigger an email notification to the approver every 7 days if the approval is pending. In my flow, I used "Start and Wait for an Approval." There are a total of 14 approvers, so I need to trigger emails to those 14 approvers in parallel. I also used 14 approvals in my flow in parallel. Based on each decision of the approver, it updates a list, which is the triggered list. Finally, based on all those responses, the status is updated in another list named final .

 

Now, the issue I'm facing is that it's not updating the final list even after the decision is taken. It's waiting due to a delay. In this case, the first approval updates the triggered action, causing it to be triggered again.

Please find the attached flow and let me know how to fix it.

Thanks

 

ThaarA1424_0-1692640489303.pngThaarA1424_1-1692640591062.pngThaarA1424_2-1692640697161.pngThaarA1424_3-1692640768512.pngThaarA1424_4-1692640804507.png

 

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I am not 100 percent following what you are doing. But I think you want to use the separated actions of Create an approval followed by Wait for an approval (the wait being for the preceding Create an approval). You then want to put your Delay actions on the same row as the Wait for an approval action. Otherwise, your delay is not starting until a response is received from your approval.

Hello @David_MA,

 

Thank you for the response. What you said makes sense. However, as I mentioned before, it is a big flow: it has 14 approval actions running in parallel. After those actions, it needs to update the responses to a certain list. So, is there any other way to address this issue? It might be more helpful.

Thanks

Hello @David_MA,

I've also tried creating an approval and waiting for an approval, but the issue remains the same here. It doesn't proceed to the final condition; instead, it waits for the delay even after the decision has been made.

ThaarA1424_0-1692684820910.png

ThaarA1424_1-1692684914851.png

 

Hi @ThaarA-1424 ,

 

I looked at this post when it came out and didn't understand it; following up on your private message here.  I don't have anything like this developed with 14 parallel approval reminders and I won't be much help to solve your problem.  I hope someone jumps in and helps solve your problem here!

 

 

If this was helpful: Please mark as a solution Give me a thumbs up Always glad to help, Tom! Connect on LinkedIn

Hi @ThaarA-1424 

 

I am bit confused on how you update the trigger list and then final list. I got the idea behind the flow design but need to get the complete flow sequence to see how actually it works 

 

To confirm again, this flow needs to send reminder to until approver to either approve or reject the approval right ?

 

Thanks & Regards,

Nived N 🚀

LinkedIn: Nived N's LinkedIn
YouTube: Nived N's YouTube Channel

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Hi @ThaarA-1424 

 

Normally Approval data are stored in Dataverse when they are created , There are  such tables which deals with approval data. You can find the details below on how each work 🙂

https://poszytek.eu/en/microsoft-en/office-365-en/powerautomate-en/working-with-approval-tasks-in-da...

 

For this, i have created demo list for storing approval details once they are created and which will used to send notifications.

Nived_Nambiar_2-1693159099495.png

 

I would suggest another kind of flow design based on above idea.

 

1. Flow which creates an approval, add the approval details (Approval ID , Approval Title , Approver, Approval Status) in a sharepoint list and then waits for an approval.

 

2. Flow which checks whether the approval is still in pending state based on details stored in list, if yes send a email notification to approver to approve the request and also updates the status of list item accordingly.

 

Let's discuss the first flow design :

 

Nived_Nambiar_0-1693159000874.png

 

 

1. use create approval to create the approval request with approver details like below

Nived_Nambiar_1-1693159045216.png

 

2.  Create item in sharepoint list for the approval data which is created now with Status equals Pending.

Nived_Nambiar_3-1693159159413.png

 

3. Wait for te approval being created using wait for approval action.

Nived_Nambiar_4-1693159215544.png

 

 

4.  Next other steps are simmilar. Flow checks outcome of approval, if it is approve , it will follow approved based action else rejected based actions.

Finally it updates the Approval_List status as outcome fof approval.

 

Note:  You can create Parallel approvals here in first flow.

 

 

2nd flow

 

When approval is created using  create approval action, automatically dataverse table get populated with details (Here Approval).

Using that, we will send email notifications to approver based on status of Approval obtained from dataverse.

 

See below

 

Nived_Nambiar_5-1693159505986.png

 

It would be a recurance flow which would be running fixed hours/at scheduled time.

 

Let's see how it works

 

1. Get all items from Approval List using Get Items action with filter query that filters for the approval lists whose Status not equals either Approve, Reject or Cancelled.

 

Nived_Nambiar_6-1693159690470.png

 

 

2. Loop through values obtained through get items action.  Below steps will be mentioned for actions inside loop.

 

2.1 List rows in the Approval Table in Dataverse where row Approval should be equals to Title column in list item as Title equals ID of approval.

Nived_Nambiar_7-1693159856522.png

 

 

2.2  It will check whether the Status Reason of the Dataverse column has value pending, if yes it means approval still needs to taken and thus notiifcations needs tp be sent  , if no then check if Status Reason column has Cancelled and finally updates the List item as  Cancelled.

 

See the part 

Nived_Nambiar_8-1693160060907.png

 

Nived_Nambiar_9-1693160080233.png

 

 

Thanks & Regards,

Nived N 🚀

LinkedIn: Nived N's LinkedIn
YouTube: Nived N's YouTube Channel

🔍 Found my answer helpful? Please consider marking it as the solution!
Your appreciation keeps me motivated. Thank you! 🙌

 

 

Hi @Nived_Nambiar,

I just had a look at your response. I'm a bit confused. I can understand the solution you provided, but I didn't grasp the part about the flow with Dataverse. I haven't started working with Dataverse yet. Now, my question is: How do I import this solution into my flow?

  1. Do I need to create another flow specifically for notifications?

  2. Do I need to create an additional column to handle this?

Hi @ThaarA-1424 

 

Whetever approvals created are stored in the Dataverse. So we can easily use that table in Dataverse to fetch for details regarding approval status.

 

I have already shared a link for approvals with Dataverse , re-sharing again here :

 

https://poszytek.eu/en/microsoft-en/office-365-en/powerautomate-en/working-with-approval-tasks-in-da...

 

You can go through it as well to understand how approvals data is stored in Dataverse.

 

Regarding your question 

 

  1. Do I need to create another flow specifically for notifications?

Yes, because looking at your current flow it seems to be quite complicated and it would be difficult to maintain the code since all are combined together. So to reduce the complexity, i have designed the process in two parts 

  a. Flow which sends the approval request and create item in  the Approval_List and wait for response from approver and finally updates the main list and Approval_List with approval response.

 

b. Flow which sends the Notification to approver to approve the flow if the approval is still pending which runs in a scheduled manner.

 

2)  Do I need to create an additional column to handle this?

 

I didn't understand what you meant by this question , could you elaborate this question ?

 

Thanks & Regards,

Nived N 🚀

LinkedIn: Nived N's LinkedIn
YouTube: Nived N's YouTube Channel

🔍 Found my answer helpful? Please consider marking it as the solution!
Your appreciation keeps me motivated. Thank you! 🙌

 

Hi @Nived_Nambiar,

I attempted a new approach, but unfortunately, it didn't work out. Please let me know if there's a way to address this issue.

In my list, there's a column named "Current Status" which uses a choice field. Initially, it's set to "Send to Review." Only when all assigned approvers have made their decisions does it get updated to "Review Completed." I'm thinking of basing the notifications on this column.

Here's the logic: If the status remains "Send to Review" after 7 days from the delay's end, a notification should be triggered. I conducted a test, but even after a decision was made, the email was triggered. It's possible that the record is being considered with its initial status. Please find the attached flow screenshots, and let me know if you have any ideas regarding this. Is there any way to refresh the data source using power automate?

 

Get item and get item2 is same , added parallel action of get item here itself , then it wont affect any other condition

ThaarA1424_0-1693196535398.png

 

here I'm check the condition , FYI : condition 33 is the parallel action of get item

ThaarA1424_1-1693196535402.png

 

If yes : after delay ends status is still send to review then triggers

ThaarA1424_2-1693196535404.png

 

The issue here is that I've already made the decision, and the status has been changed to "Review Completed." However, the problem is that even after the delay of 10 minutes ends, it still triggers an email.

 

Thanks

Hi @ThaarA-1424 

 

After updating status, have you taken get items action again or is the highlighted one below is output from get items which is taken at first step ?

 

Let me know 🙂

 

Thanks & Regards,

Nived N 🚀

LinkedIn: Nived N's LinkedIn
YouTube: Nived N's YouTube Channel

🔍 Found my answer helpful? Please consider marking it as the solution!
Your appreciation keeps me motivated. Thank you! 🙌

Hi @Nived_Nambiar ,

Before updating and sending the approval status, I performed the 'Get Item' action, to which I added a delay (the item is updated in the list before the delay ends). Afterward, I checked whether the status had changed or not. While the status did change in the list, the change isn't reflected in the flow and the flow is still triggered the email .

Thanks

Hi @ThaarA-1424 

 

I am little confused, after updating the list item with status, check the dynamic content coming under Update item , use the Current Status dynamic content from that in the condition and see whether that works for you or not 🙂

 

Thanks & Regards,

Nived N 🚀

LinkedIn: Nived N's LinkedIn
YouTube: Nived N's YouTube Channel

🔍 Found my answer helpful? Please consider marking it as the solution!
Your appreciation keeps me motivated. Thank you! 🙌

Hi @Nived_Nambiar,

I apologize if I haven't conveyed this properly.

Even after retrieving the 'current status' after updating the item, it should ideally display as 'Review completed.' However, it doesn't seem to be effective.

Whenever the approver makes their decision, it is updated in the list. I will check based on those updates. After a delay, I will check whether the decision comment is empty or not. If it is, it triggers an action. Even though the update is made in the list, it doesn't reflect in the flow, and as a result, the email triggers.

Please find the entire flow 

ThaarA1424_0-1693205945364.png

Thanks

Hi @ThaarA-1424 

 

Could you share two screenshots 

 

1) where you are updating list item to review completed (include the actions which are before and after it)

 

2) where you are retriving the current item after checking condition ?

 

Also what i am trying to convey you can find in below screenshots

 

Nived_Nambiar_0-1693215727617.png

 

Assume flow is updating list item with Status Review Completed, Then next it should check whether the status is Review Completed.

 

for that this condition is used

Nived_Nambiar_1-1693215857902.png

 

I am not taking dynamic content Status which is from Get  Item, i am taking it from update item. This is because Get items is used before updating the item, so it has only values prior to the update, so comparing that dynamic content condition won't work as it has old value, so if you have updated the list item then use update item action and use its output to compare.

 

Hope you got the point 🙂

Thanks & Regards,

Nived N 🚀

LinkedIn: Nived N's LinkedIn
YouTube: Nived N's YouTube Channel

🔍 Found my answer helpful? Please consider marking it as the solution!
Your appreciation keeps me motivated. Thank you! 🙌

Hi @Nived_Nambiar,

Now I understand the issue. I had thought that once the status is updated, it would be reflected in the flow. However, you informed me that it retains values prior to the updates. I have been tirelessly searching for a solution, and luckily, I found two queries that exactly describe the issue I'm facing. Please take a look at those queries and let me know how to proceed with this. It would be very helpful if you could provide screenshots illustrating the steps.

--->https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Building-Flows/Approver-Reminder-Question/m-p/415866

--->https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/General-Power-Automate/Approval-workflow-approval-reminder/td-p/...

 

I'm not sure , where I need to add delay for 7 days and email notifications-->

ThaarA1424_0-1693240947674.png

 

Thanks.

Hi @ThaarA-1424 

 

I think this design would help you in that 

 

Nived_Nambiar_1-1693364148520.png

 

 

Create a variable and intialize with value as empty.

and use a parallel flow to check whether that variable value is empty, if it is empty even after 7 days, send an email notification.

 

Nived_Nambiar_2-1693364196239.png

 

Thanks & Regards,

Nived N 🚀

LinkedIn: Nived N's LinkedIn
YouTube: Nived N's YouTube Channel

🔍 Found my answer helpful? Please consider marking it as the solution!
Your appreciation keeps me motivated. Thank you! 🙌

 

 

Hi @Nived_Nambiar ,

 

I tried the approach you provided, but it is still waiting for the delay, even though the decision has been taken. This is the only issue here.

ThaarA1424_0-1693373191180.png

Thanks

Hi @ThaarA-1424 

 

Seems like your flow is becoming too complicated, if you can give a try with the dataverse approach so to send notifications, i think it can make things easier.

 

Thanks & Regards,

Nived N 🚀

LinkedIn: Nived N's LinkedIn
YouTube: Nived N's YouTube Channel

🔍 Found my answer helpful? Please consider marking it as the solution!
Your appreciation keeps me motivated. Thank you! 🙌

Hi @Nived_Nambiar ,

Due to certain restrictions, our team doesn't allow me to use Dataverse in my flow. That is the reason I'm looking for an alternative solution. 

Thanks.

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