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Matt_Tunkiel
Level: Powered On

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Hello,

 

I was pushing introduction of MS Planner (shared task list for my department and sales department), but my boss said, that it's not acceptable that there is another tool we would have to fill. The only way to make this work is to automate populating tasks in MS Planner using e-mails generated by our CRM. So I am trying to use Flow to automate the task population for now. In the future I am looking at using approvals for user feedback to planner (accept/reject task), automated task summaries, etc.

 

As I am not a "Power User" yet, I hope this community can help me make my workplace better.

 

Thanks!

Matt

buildbod
Level: Powered On

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

As it happens I've recently blogged about one way we use Flow at work. We use it to apply automatic document numbering in SharePoint to compliment the native SharePoint Document ID service.

 

Automatic document numbering using Microsoft Flow

 

We use Flow a lot behind the scenes powering PowerApps. For example we have an Expenses app which uses Flow to place the attachments in the correct SharePoint location. We have another one that powers an Awards app. In this instance the Flow creates the folder for the awards content to be stored in based on the award category and index values.

douglasromao
Level 8

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Hi @JonL-MSFT,

 

Here we are using Microsoft Flow to automate the management integrating SharePoint, SQL Server, Teams, Social media and other technologies to keep our company on track for all the things that are happening internally.

 

We are trying to start the workflow implementation using Microsoft Flow on our customers here in Brazil, creating automated routines for them, approvals, SharePoint complex workflow, integration between different types of systems (financial systems, intranet and so on) and getting feedback for those workflows.

 

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Hi @douglasromao,

 

Thank you for sharing, looks great. 

May you please share some more details about how do you utilise Flow and Financial System?

 

We are using NetSuite as an ERP and have some business cases that ideally require SharePoint Online, Flow and NetSuite integrated, like raising a Purchase order once the travel request pre-approved in SharePoint.

 

Regards,

Pavel

NickDewitt
Level 8

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

See below!

 | |

VV

NickDewitt
Level 8

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

 

Hey Flow Community Manager! 🙂

 

I am just starting to take Flow seriously at work, and after upgrading our Dynamics 365 license to an Enterprise Plan 1, and our Dynamics 365 instance that I have customised quite heavily to automate proposal generation (including a fairly meaty c# plugin) to v9, I am hoping to start to get some real use out of it via the new 'run flow' menu.

 

I'll start with the criticism; the licensing is quite confusing to say the least, I have PowerApps for Dynamics 365 plan 2 for 12 users but I have no idea what my limits are, how much I have used or why Flow Plan 2 isn't listed in my licenses even though every other indication says I have it. We need a more comprehensive admin interface, and more debugging capabilities or no one worth their salt is going to put anything that impressive on this platform.

 

So, my first flow was to generate a daily email of new opportunities and opportunities that had changed price since the last email from Dynamics 365. It needed to run on weekdays only, generate a nicely formatted HTML email including a table for each category and hyperlinks to the opportunity in Dynamics in each row. I managed it by just getting compose to output html table rows into an array variable, and joining them together in another compose into a nicely styled HTML table that I could pop in an Office 365 Outlook email quite easily with HTML enabled.

 

My second was to send data to our production systems once a salesperson had closed an opportunity as won. This was a little more difficult, our production systems live on-premises, and our Dynamics 365 instance lives on the cloud. I didn't want to fix this by pulling data from Dynamics 365 via our on-premises systems on some schedule, I wanted the Dynamics user to trigger the push from their system to the production system, because that's how it should work if you want it to scale properly.

 

I had already setup our on-premises data gateway for transferring data from our on premises SQL data warehouse to our Power BI  service, so I was aware that there was a nice OAuth way to cross the barrier between our cloud and our on-premise. When I came to tackle the problem of how to securely send data from Dynamics 365 to our on-premise SQL server, I found the 'Invoke an HTTP request'  action that solved my problem really quite easily.

 

So, I set up a quick Web API on Visual Studio and and was quite easily able to make a call to that Web API (running on my laptop at the mo!) using the 'Invoke an HTTP request' gui in Flow (data gateway calls are built in to the UI), and make a call to the SQL server stored proc that created a new study (using Entity Framework of course).

 

So, I got it to do what I wanted, I found the triggers and connectors very useful, but I didn't find the editing experience very good at all; I had to write html as text in a compose to get things done for my email, and I had to post json to a web server with possibly the most infuriating text editor experience I have used for a long time - why do things not paste at my cursor when i'm pasting html? that is so unbelievably annoying.

 

My suggestions:

 

1. Make a decent 'Compose HTML' action

2. Make a decent 'Compose JSON' action

 

If I can compose HTML as an action with a decent developer level editor (with insertable values from flow actions), then I can make my own table rows easily, collect them into arrays, and join them in another HTML compose to make lovely HTML. This will make for awesome Flow email (or whatever in 2018) display capabilities.

 

If I can show users how to easily fill in the options from my Web API (with swagger), via a form rather than trying to make them replace values in a JSON template then this layer will be a lot more accessible to business level users, then I can concentrate on writing business logic on the Web API layer and let the business users figure out how they want to utilise that logic by writing their own Flows.

 

I hope that doesn't sound too critical, I like Flow, and I can see the potential, but it has some way to go before being user friendly enough to attract a wider audience.

Administrator
Administrator

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

This isnt spam, this is a very well thought out post.

 

Sorry if the spam filter grabbed it on accident.

NickDewitt
Level 8

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Thanks @JonL-MSFT - sorry I might have sounded a bit miffed, I spent quite some time writing it only to have it instantly deleted as spam, thankyou for noticing and reinstating the original.

 

Kind regards

Nick

Thekennedeez
Level: Power Up

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Nick I cannot thank you enough for your time and effort put imnto th is response. I appreciate you and your hard work and this will take us to the next level!

 

Thank you!

lbaumgartner15
Level: Power Up

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Currently I am using Flow with PowerApps and Share Point so our shop manager can take photos needed for quality assurance and have them uploaded onto Share Point. This is nice because now he doesn't have to send all his photos to a computer or plug in his phone to then upload them. 

 

This is working but I would like to figure out a way to use flow to take those pictures and a property imported from PowerApps to have them automatically copied into a network folder. I have no problem cutting the middle man out on this one if its even possible. Just want to know if this is even possible, or if anyone has any ideas.  

stgiesbrecht
Level 8

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Pavel,

 

Would you be able to share more about the second point where are describing the 'History details'?  I am not sure how this is put together and what the output would be.  Do you have an example that you could share?  I am looking at a similar scenario with multiple levels of approvals and want to provide the users with a way to see the details.

 

Thanks, Scott

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Hi Scott,

 

Sure.

Briefly:

1. Create a separate list for storing history (ID of the document, Text)

2. Build required logic within the approval flow for logging history events like initiated, approved, rejected, published etc.

3. Create a classical web page with a History list web part and a Query String (URL) Filter

4. Add JSON formatted column in the document library that will pass ID of the selected document to the History web-page.

 

In details:

1. Create a separate list for storing history (ID of the document, Text)

 

I set up a custom list with the following column for storing all logged history of the approval process.

LogSetUp.PNG

 

2. Build required logic within the approval flow for logging history events like initiated, approved, rejected, published etc.

 

Within the approval flow, I am creating items in the History (Log) list when required.

 

Title = ID of the document

Text = Approver, decision and comments.

Log approved.PNG

Similar actions for Rejected, Failed and other events.

 

Having 1 and 2, we already built logging part.

Now let us move to the displaying part - how to show it to users on the SharePoint site?

 

3. Create a classical web page with a History list web part and a Query String (URL) Filter

 

I didn't find a way to show this logged history using new-experience interface. 

But this can be done with a classical page and web-parts. 

 

Add Query String (URL) Filter web-part to the classical web-page and set DocID as a query string parameter.

 

Query.PNG

 

Add History (Log) list web-part to the same page and set a connection to the Query String web-part.

 

Connection.PNG

Connection2.PNG

 

Now, if you will pass a query string parameter with the DocID value to the web page you will see the filtered log for the particular document. 

History Page.PNG

 

4. Add JSON formatted column in the document library that will pass ID of the selected document to the History web-page.

 

The last step is to add a JSON formatted column to the document library with the link, that will redirect to the history web-page.

 JSON.PNG

 

 

JSON listing: 

{
  "elmType": "a",
  "txtContent": {
    "operator": "?",
    "operands": [
      {
        "operator": "==",
        "operands": [
          {
            "operator": "toString()",
            "operands": [
              "[$ContentType]"
            ]
          },
          "Folder"
        ]
      },
      "",
      "History details"
    ]
  },
  "attributes": {
    "target": "_blank",
    "href": {
      "operator": "+",
      "operands": [
        "/yourSite/SitePages/ReviewingHistory.aspx?",
        "DocID=",
        {
          "operator": "toString()",
          "operands": [
            "[$DocID]"
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  }
}

Hope it makes sense. 

 

Cheers, Pavel

seraph787
Level: Powered On

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

I'm using Flow to have a button in my PowerApp that:

1. Gets three attachments (1 pdf from Onedrive for Business, 1 pdf from a SharePoint list item, and an MS Word template file from Onedrive for Business).

2. Gets data from the SharePoint list item and prefills the form fillable fields from the PDF that step 1 gets from Onedrive for Business.

3. Generates an email template addressed to the recipient which includes all three attachments.

 

I'm also using Flow to update a SharePoint list with data that our HR provides in the form of a new Excel spreadsheet each week.

 

Previously, I was also using it to track specific emails, but I found that it ate away at my Flow executions per month  way too fast so I ran out in about 1-2 weeks.

 

jlawrence
Level: Powered On

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Would you be able to elaborate on "I'm also using Flow to update a SharePoint list with data that our HR provides in the form of a new Excel spreadsheet each week"? 

seraph787
Level: Powered On

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Hi @jlawrence,

 

Our HR generates a list of staffing changes/additions/removals in our organization every week.  It includes changes that have been finalized into their systems and they share these changes with us on a weekly basis by uploading a spreadsheet export from their systems into a SharePoint.

 

I've set up a flow that triggers "When a file is created in a folder".  If the filename matches what I'm looking for, it will run the excel Get Rows action and apply it to each list item in my SharePoint list.

 

This allows me to work with the latest info in my PowerApps and PowerBI.

Super User
Super User

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

We use Flow for a lot but most recently I built a Flow that is triggered by an item being added to SharePoint List (our case is a job number being generated via PowerApps) which thens creates a job folder, creates a channel named the job number in teams under the Production Team and also it puts it on the shared Outlook Calendar with the Estimated Completion Date. 

 

There is a separate flow that moves it on the Outlook Calendar when the date is changed on the SharePoint List (again, via PowerApps).

 

Lot's of useful stuff!!

agemlex
Level: Powered On

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

We are using Flow for binding office 365 services:

Yammer or Mail for publish news in diferent groups about changes in systems

Sharepoint on items change

Powerapps for multi iterations operations

3th party systems for integration job

Azure MS SQL for populate shared copy of sharepoint data to overcome search deligation limits

For starting Azure functions.

And sure for reminders and jobs 🙂

Office365 + Azure + Visual Studio + On-Premise + ASP - we can do everything!

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Bit of a summary,

 

  • daily flow that pulls data out of dynamics (Cases, Contact Type, Case History) and compiles a "flashcard" of what's going in in the world of Customer Relations for senior management
  • a few more daily flows that mash data from different systems and compile it in a report (our users don't have PowerBI licenses, and many just love a daily report)
  • a flow that every Wednesday compiles a PowerPoint that multiple people contributed to into a PDF and shares it with Leadership Team
  • a flows that kick of multi step approval (eg line manager and then VP level) from PowerApps
  • my personal favourite, a button workflow for mobile that when I click it informs my team & my manager that I'm off sick, cancels all my appointments for the day & blocks my diary
  • fairly few save Microsoft Forms to SharePoint with custom email or approval
  • one of the main use cases for us is also calculating and setting expiry dates with multi-step notifications
SanAndresMan1
Level: Powered On

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

Jon,

 

We currently use flow to conduct the approval of our development team timesheets - entered in PowerApps. Flow is used to provide the routing and approval capabilities, along with reason for rejection. 

 

Thanks,

 

MG.-

Mariano Gomez, MVP

Highlighted
JHeredia
Level: Powered On

Re: How do you use Microsoft Flow in your work?

One of my favorite uses of Flow is automatically responding to emails...I have this one client who has an employee who sends bulk work order numbers and reminders of them multiple times each month.  She has to have a response back saying "Thanks" to make sure we received it, even though we've received them every time she's sent them for over 2 years, and it's 2019 and people get their emails.  So I made a flow that automatically responds to any email from her with keywords in the subject line with a simple "Thanks".  She's happy and I don't have to worry about it. 🙂

The other more mainstream use of it for us is we have a shared mailbox where we send any project requests that are received, among other things.  We use a Flow to take the info from any email received by that shared mailbox with a keyword in the subject and create a new page in a shared OneNote notebook as well as a new item in our Project Sharepoint List.

Our plan is to do something similar for a new machine repair and supply portion of our business we've just expanded into, but upgrade to using the CDS.

 

It's been great for us!

 
 
 

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