(I've posted this query on the Power Automate community, but figured it might be applicable here also. Apologies if this is the wrong place.)
I am trying to figure out a collection export solution using a flow connected to a PowerApps App.
The aim is to export the collection on a 'per user' basis.
Let's suppose users Harry and Ben both have access to use the app.
Harry and Ben are viewing the following collection, col_Items:
They want to export the collection as an Excel table. This should, of course, look like the following, for both Harry and Ben:
This is currently achieved by exporting the collection to an existing sharepoint list, using PowerApps' built-in patch() function.
(Then, the list is exported to an excel doc, but that's not what I want to focus on here.)
If Harry and Ben both click on the button that calls the patch() function at the same time, then the resulting Sharepoint list could become jumbled, and/or it often combines the two requests:
Harry and Ben then receive the above list, containing 6 items. This is obviously not what they wanted; they only wanted 3 items each.
(Yes, I've double checked, and it's definitely the sharepoint list that's to blame. The subsequent Excel export seems to process the list OK.)
At the root of this issue is a simple problem: Currently, I am trying to process both requests through the same sharepoint list.
Is there any way to approach this in a 'parallel processing' manner? Ideally, I'd like to create separate sharepoint lists for each request, and then delete them once they are exported to Excel. Of course, this could be done manually with one sharepoint list pre-created per registered user, but we could have 100s of users and this isn't going to be ideal!
Is there any way to achieve this? Perhaps sharepoint lists are the wrong approach for this?
Yes, you will have issues with multiple users attempting the same operations on a list. The only real way to resolve that is to implement a refresh prior to Patch/update, and even then, you need something in there that will validate duplicates.
You could offload this to Flow of course, but again the same complexity.
My question would be - since it seems like your goal is an Excel file - why not just create the Excel files from Harry and Ben based on their data?
It just seemed like your ultimate goal was to export to an Excel file.
What I meant by "based on their data" was - are they entering in information that then would go to SharePoint and then be exported to an Excel file?
I'm not sure I understand in your context, why there would be collisions of data for a user. It seemed, based on your description, that each user data was unique and then exported to Excel.
Anyway, my suggestion was, if they are completing information in the App that then goes to a unique Excel file (ultimately, after the pass through SharePoint) then why not go direct to Excel and skip SharePoint and all of the potential issues that come from that?
Thanks for the clarification.
Although the Plumsail connector is via subscription. The price is low enough that it may return on the investment quickly as opposed to you trying to jump through all the steps that you are for just a simple Excel file creation.
Something to look at as it would eliminate all the interim steps you are going through and not require any manual interaction along the way.
Thanks, I'll look into that. Though it's peculiar that Microsoft's lack of any form of 'download collection as excel/csv' feature creates a market for a third party to step in.
Appreciate the help.
Yes, it does for sure!
To be clear, you can (through PowerApps combined with Flow) create these type of files. It's not a cakewalk though and involves a lot of steps. What I find nice about PlumSail Documents is that it just does it. Still involves some Flow, but you have a high level of control over how you want your final product to appear.
Export and Import
Automate - PowerShell, Flow Management and Flow Studio
Power Platform Solutions
Subscribe to multiple SharePoint Lists with One Flow.
I hope this is helpful.
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