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sadingle
Frequent Visitor

Comparing SharePoint list against Excel table and updating a second list based on the values only found in the Excel table

I'm trying to build a flow so I'll start with the basics:

  1. Flow detects a change in an Excel file in a document library
  2. Deletes data from SP List 1
  3. Appends data from Excel into SP List 1

 

Once that works, now I need to be more selective.  There will be two columns in the SP list, that are not in the Excel file that contain data that we will edit via a Power App.  We need to preserve this data while updating the data in the list.  So modify steps 2 and 3 of the flow to do the following:

 

Now add a layer of complication

Goal: Create two loops in the flow that adds and delete records.  The purpose of this is to be able to keep the data that’s already been entered for an employee while removing old employees (not in the Excel file) and adding new employees (not in the SP List).

 

  1. Loop through each record in the Excel file (New) and compare Personnel Numbers (the key field) to the SP List 1 (Old).  If the Personnel Number does not exist in the SP List 1 (Old): Add it to the SP List 1.
  2. Loop through each record in the SP List 1 (Old) and compare Personnel Numbers to the Excel file (New).  If the Personnel Number does not exist in the Excel file: Delete it from the SP List 1.

 

I just had it comparing SP List 1 with the Excel sheet and adding the rows that are in both to SP List 2, but I'm having some trouble. Just let me know if there are any questions or recommendations. Pictures are attached but I can explain each step if needed.

 

Thanks everyone!

14 REPLIES 14
SamLed
Super User
Super User

Hi,

 

May I propose something to improve your flow:

1° Get all data from Excel and from SP List

2° Compare both array to get missing personal numbers in SP List. You get new employees to create in SP list. Loop on filter results to create items.

3° Compare again to get missing personal numbers in Excel. You get employees to remove from SP list. Loop on filter results to remove items.

 

Here is how to achieve such comparison: List values missing in an array using Power Automate (tomriha.com)

 

[Edit] Here a flow to illustrate:

 

The trigger is configured to monitor only a specific directory, so it is focused on the modification of the single file present which is your input Excel file, then:

 

1° Fetch source file data and target list data:

 

SamLed_0-1691976661082.png

 

2° Get "Personal Number" arrays from both sources:

 

SamLed_1-1691977393146.png

 

3° Filter array to get employees to create (items missing from list but present in file) and to get employees to delete (items present in list from missing from file), run flow and keep both filter actions outputs, they will be useful to generate JSON schemas later:

 

SamLed_5-1691998464891.png

 

4° For each employee to add to list, filter Excel file rows output to get current employee's one, parse JSON and create new item in list.  "Filter array" action will return an array with one matching item. To avoid having to deal an useless "Apply to each" in the next step, generate the schema of "Parse JSON" action from output of "Filter Array - Invite Employees to Create" taking only one item of array and set its content with first item of array using"first()" expression:

 

SamLed_3-1691997887693.png

 

5° For each employee to remove from list, filter list output to get current employee's one, parse JSON and delete item from list.  Same trick as above, "Filter array" action will return an array with one matching item, generate the schema of "Parse JSON" action from output of "Filter Array - Invite Employees to delete" taking only one item of array and set its content with first item of array using"first()" expression:

 

SamLed_4-1691998289133.png

 

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SamLed
Super User
Super User

Hi,

 

Edited my answer to add a flow to illustrate.

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Thank you so much, however, I am unsure of what I should write in the required "Schema" sections.

Also, my filter array is only pulling the first column values, not the column headers.  

sadingle_0-1692031486766.png

 

I also have multiple columns in the lists and excel table that are all matching 

SamLed
Super User
Super User

Hi, 

 

About your both Parse JSON schema, use the "Generate from sample" button and past outputs body of precedent action (Filter array) which is an array with one item, but take only the item, ignore square brackets, see in my flow:

 

SamLed_1-1692129668334.png

About your last reply, I don't get what you're tell me, the ID (Personal Number) should be the only reference on which you check match.

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sadingle
Frequent Visitor

That helps, but the output of my filter arrays are just lists of the value from the Personnel Num fields. Please advise because I have no clue why.

sadingle_0-1692248153610.pngsadingle_1-1692248240644.png

 

SamLed
Super User
Super User

That's not "Filter array" but "Select" you are showing me, that's normal this actions returns only "Personal number" that's the trick to be able to compare both arrays and extract only missing items.

 

Please, look at my first answer and tell me what is not clear, you have just to follow it step by step.

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Thank you for all of your help, and I apologize for my ignorance.

 

This is the issue now; I can delete from the old SP list because the "ID" matches, but when it tries to delete from the new SP list it errors out saying item not found.  Any thoughts?

 

 

sadingle_1-1692370747732.png

 

SamLed
Super User
Super User

Don't apologize for that, we all ignore something, there is no stupid question.

 

Ok, are you using same ID for both List ?

If so, it can't work that way, both items are in different list so may have different Id.

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thanks for being understanding!

 

But no, the ID for each record is different between each sharepoint list. However, the column names and row contents are exactly the same.  So they are identical except for the fact that the "ID" for each record is different.

 

I was trying to figure out a way to "get items" from the new sharepoint list where the "Personnel Num" (primary key column) from the "Filter array: get employee to delete" matches the "Personnel Num" from the new sharepoint list and then delete it.

 

Is that possible?

SamLed
Super User
Super User

Hi,

 

Yes, it can easely be done by using a "Get items" and filter query:

SamLed_1-1692453414548.png

 

Where:

[Field internal name] is the internal name of your personal number field

[value] is the personal number dynamic content or variable from previous steps. If your field is not type number surround it with quotes '.

 

To get field internal name, go to your list setting, click on column to edit it and look at the end of URL:

SamLed_2-1692453606775.png

 

[Edit] Get items returns an array, even if there is only one item, so use this expression to get item ID without having an Apply to each appearing: body('Get_items')[0]['ID']

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QSSCC
Frequent Visitor

I keep getting null in the Filter Array just before the Parse JSON.

 

I am using a dynamically named excel file, and the input is correct.

 

Also, your instructions mention an "Invite Employees to Create" but it is missing from your flow, and you have 2 

QSSCC
Frequent Visitor

This is still creating duplicates of items on my SharePoint List. The Output of the first create filter contains some of the input, even though I have it set to "does not contain". To be clear, I am trying to add 100-150 items, not just one. The first time I run it, 124ish items are added (checking against the input it is complete), but the second time I run it with the same Excel sheet it adds a copy of 58 of the items.

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