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Anonymous
Not applicable

Stop a flow re-triggering itself on sharepoint item created/modified trigger - modified<utcnow ?

If anyone can help i'd much appreciate it. 

I have a flow which copies one sharepoint field in a list to another in that list. (It copies a start date + duration date to a 'finish date' field to enable gantt chart view in the SP list).

 

This flow seems to re-trigger tiself and run over and over. To stop this i thought about putting in a condition of last modified < now(- 1 minute). This would stop it running if the item was modified in the last minute. 

 

I got as far as this... but its not workign. Any suggestions?

 

@less(triggerBody()?['Modified'], addMinutes(utcNow(), -1)flowscreen.PNG)

 

Thanks again,

Shaun

 

15 REPLIES 15
Pieter_Veenstra
Community Champion
Community Champion

HI @Anonymous,

 

You are looking for option 3 in this post: https://veenstra.me.uk/2018/02/21/microsoft-flow-are-you-running-out-of-runs-with-microsoft-flow/

 

Or maybe even a 5th option ( not in the post) where you create a state machine using a switch and at the beginning of each branch you update the item with an 'in progress' status and at the end of each branch a 'completed'. Flows will still retrigger but at least you can then condition the reruns out.

 

v-yuazh-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @ Shauniekent,

 

Could you please share a screenshot of the configuration of your sharepoint list?

 

I would offer you a workaround to prevent the retrigger of the flow and you could take a try to add a “Yes/No” type column in the list to record whether the update of an item is caused by flow.

I have created a  sharepoint list as below:

1.png

Note:

The “start date” column ,”duration date” column and “finish date” column are all date type column, the “modified by flow” column is a “Yes/No” type column and the defaults value of this column is “No”.

If someone update the item, he should keep the “modified by flow”  be “No”, and each time the flow runs, the “Update item” action of the flow would always update this column to “Yes”.

You could create a flow as below:

2.png

You could fill in the  expression in the condition as below:

@equals(triggerBody()?['modified_x0020_by_x0020_flow'], false)

Note: The workaround would help you prevent the retrigger of the flow make sure you have set the “modified by flow” column to “Yes”, and you could fill in the “finish date” as you needs.

 

When an item is created or modified in the list and the “modified by flow” column is “No”, the flow would run successfully as below:

 3.png

 

 

Regards,
Alice Zhang

Thanks fro your response, i do not understand how tracking a status during the flow helps prevent a re-triggering?

The list item is modified, the flow updates the end date field, the list iem has been modified, the flow updates.

I think your example may be to prevent a flow re-triggering before it has been completed.

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Thanks fro your response - however it's not appropriate for users to complete a separate field reporting whether it was they or  aflow that last updated the item.

 

Is there no way to ask a flow to NOT trigger if the last modified date/time of a list item is within the last minute (this is what i was attempting)?

 

thanks,

Shaun

Hi @Anonymous, 

 

this wouldn't be a field for users to fill in. It would only be updated by the Flow itself. 

tolppa
Regular Visitor

This is a bug.

 

Self triggering flow may be obvious for programmer but end users should never accept this behaviour.  End-user do see things like this: 1) Flow should start when item is added or modified. 2) Flow should update a field value based on where condition x. 3) Flow should end. 

 

Certainly you understand the  ??? moment when infinite loop happens. Yes. Currently condition is needed but this make flows much harder to create. Flow should never trigger itself and this should done using something like "trigger self" -method.

And what to do when ppl actually do want the flow to retrigger itself, when an item is modified?

Whatever you do, remember that the flow just does what you set it to do, not what you want it to do.

 





Did I answer your question? Mark my post as a solution!

Proud to be a Flownaut!





rohitP
New Member

Hi,

I did a workaround by creating new List 'My flow history' and adding item when flow triggers for first time.

In the last step of my flow, i delet the newly created item in flow history, so for the next valid run, the flow should work as expected.

 

Let me know if it works.

 

Step 1 check item in the flow list

step1.png

 

step2.png

Step 2 Create item if not exists 

Step 3 Delete item from flow history list to allow running of flow for the next time

step3.png

 

 

 

 

 

automaton
Advocate III
Advocate III

Not sure if you ever got to the bottom of this but I'm using the following method to check whether the last update to a document was made by the flow and if so, exit without re-running. It's still a shame that the flow runs twice but at least it won't execute more than this in the absence of something more suitable from microsoft.

 

It requires using the SharePoint REST API to check out / check in the document or list item and provide a check in comment on check in. This comment is then used to verify that the last modification (version) was made by the flow and not by a user.

 

 

I found it reliable and it removes the need to use timeframes which may not be dependable. Let me know if you would like more information on this approach and I can provide more detail.

 

 

@automaton 

Hi, I'm still struggling with similar problem. My flow triggers on "created or modified" and then does an update of hte SharePoint list item... which is a "modification" hence the same flow is triggered again.. and again.. and again....

 

Would you please share details on the REST API solution you refer to?

 

Thank you in advance

 

Regards

Charles

 

Hi @Charles-v-D,

 

It's not exactly straight forward but it's been working very well in my scenario, there are a couple of caveats:

 

1. Check in / Check out is enabled on the document library. 

2. You will always get two flow runs on any modification, the first flow run which does the work, and the second run which checks that the last run was the flow (not a manual modification) and stops the chain reaction.

 

The topline process is this...

1. Create a do until loop to check that the document has been checked in following modification by the user. A SharePoint HTTP request action with the following details is used to get the check out status of the document.

 

CHECKOUTTYPE SHAREPOINT HTTP REQUEST:

METHOD: Post

URI (Excapes any ''s in the filename):

 

_api/Web/GetFileByServerRelativeUrl('/sites/<sitepath>/@{body('Get_file_properties_2')?['{Path}']}@{replace(body('Get_file_properties_2')?['{FilenameWithExtension}'],'''','''''')}')/CheckOutType

HEADERS: accept : application/json; odata=verbose

 

 

2. Check the latest check in comment using A SharePoint HTTP request action and store it in a CheckOutStatus variable. This is the bit where the flow either terminates without doing anything if the latest check in comment was made by the workflow.

 

CHECKINCOMMENT SHAREPOINT HTTP REQUEST:

METHOD: Post

URI (Excapes any ''s in the filename):

 

_api/Web/GetFileByServerRelativeUrl('/sites/<sitepath>/@{body('Get_file_properties_2')?['{Path}']}@{replace(body('Get_file_properties_2')?['{FilenameWithExtension}'],'''','''''')}')/CheckInComment

HEADERS: Not required.

 

 

3. Check the document out using A SharePoint HTTP request action if the latest checkin wasn't a workflow, otherwise do nothing.

 

CONDITION: 

 

@and(not(equals(body('HTTP_SharePoint_Get_CheckInComment_Request')['d']['CheckInComment'], 'Successful checkin by microsoft flow')),not(equals(variables('CheckOutStatus'), 0)))

 

 

CHECKOUT SHAREPOINT HTTP REQUEST:

METHOD: Post

URI (Excapes any ''s in the filename):

_api/web/GetFileByServerRelativeUrl('/sites/<sitepath>/@{body('Get_file_properties_2')?['{Path}']}@{replace(body('Get_file_properties_2')?['{FilenameWithExtension}'],'''','''''')}')/Checkout()

HEADERS: Not required.

 

4. After doing the updates you require, check the document back in using a SharePoint HTTP request action with a specific check in comment that identifies that the modifications have been made by the workflow - "Successful checkin by microsoft flow". This comment is then referenced in step 2 in the subsequent flow run to stop the chain reaction.

 

CHECKIN SHAREPOINT HTTP REQUEST:

METHOD: Post

URI (In this example I've actually renamed the file in my flow so the filepath has changed):

_api/web/GetFileByServerRelativeUrl('/sites/<sitepath>/@{outputs('Compose_File_Reference')}')/CheckIn(comment='Successful checkin by microsoft flow',checkintype=0)

HEADERS: Not required.

 

I hope this makes sense, I also have loops to retry some of these requests, such as in 1 when the file is still checked out to the end user of if they fail for some reason, and I try to gracefully handle any errors, although we don't see many at all to be honest.

 

I'm pretty new to communicating this stuff so hope it's clear and helps in some way. Eventually I hope microsoft will implement a method of easily preventing flows from triggering flows on sharepoint items without using multiple flow runs.

Hi @automaton ,

 

I do understand your general description of flow 1 doing the work and flow 2 terminating everything.. but the whole bit about checkin and the calls are totally new for me (I'm rather new to Flow)...

In my case it is not a document libray but a SharePoint list so I'm not sure if checkout etc is applicable...

 

Any ideas?

 

Regards

Charles

 

@Charles-v-D unfortunately this problem of self-triggering persists and microsoft haven't released an elegant solution yet as far as I'm aware.

 

Couple of potential alternative options for you to explore depending on your requirements:

1. If time is not of the essence following modification, run a daily flow that picks up all records that have been modified in the past day and run the flow on all of them in a batch process. Or even make this run several times a day if you need it more frequent. This can be a very efficient use of flows but has it's obvious limitations.

2. Use a button to trigger a flow on a specific row. Users can do this ootb by selecting the row and using the flow menu in the list, or alternatively use some nifty techniques like this to run a flow on an item by clicking a hyperlinked field on that item:

https://wonderlaura.com/2018/07/18/button-in-sharepoint-list-to-trigger-microsoft-flow/

 

Sorry I can't suggest a magic fix. 

Hi @automaton 

 

I have selected the option to have my users select two flows sequencially. The in-table function made that user-friendly. Thanks for your help!!

 

xx.JPG

 

Dorul, this should be an easy thing for microsoft to implement. Set a switch on the trigger settings where you can either allow or turn off self triggering. Nintex are supporting this and I guess The flow team should look a lot on how they are doing things. It's a must if Power Automate should be a everybody tool. Personally I'm only happy it's still a bit tricky to build more complex flows. Then I still have something to do:)

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