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JonL
Power Participant
Power Participant

How do you use Microsoft Power Automate in your work?

Hey Power Automate Community!

We are wondering, Do you use Power Automate at work? In production? 

If so, tell us a bit about it! Tell us how you use the flows, what they help achieve, and if they help make life easier!

 

Thanks!

 

- Jon

131 REPLIES 131
coachalanyuma
New Member

I coach dozens of college student-athletes and I use Flow to automate several Yammer messages that are triggered by events like lightening in the area or high temperature "black flag" weather conditions to cancel practices or move to indoor locations. I use the Flow buttons to also send pre-scripted Yammer messages (one-to-many) to all the students as routine class updates. Yammer - yes! Email - no!
benzed
New Member

I've beeing using it to solve business automation requests from department managers. Some examples are:

- File migration from SP to OneDrive

- Ticket assiging in SharePoint

- Resolved ticket notifications in SharePoint

- Ticket / File archiving in SharePoint

 

I've also used it in conjuction with PowerApps to retrieve PDF files from SharePoint libraries using the HTTP request blocks. Perhaps one of the coolest things I've done with it though is a weekly ticket report I created for the executives at my company. This lists how many tickets are open, resolved, and closed in the past week.

barret
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

A couple of ways that we're currently using Flow at work:

 

First, we are using it to process and output results from Microsoft Forms entries. In one, we're outputting the results of the form into a shared Excel doc. In another form, we're using the results to populate a Word template and then emailing the completed form to the user.


I'm also looking at ways to integrate Flow into our Dynamics work, since that's the team I head up. A couple of experiments include populating leads from our Contact Us form. Another idea is to use Flow to watch Twitter for possible client leads, people complaining about their ERP system and so forth.

 

I've blogged about several of these on my personal site. I'm really excited about the potential things I can do with Flow and getting it integrated into everything I can.

 

-Barret

Anonymous
Not applicable

I am looking to create a flow now to send out reminder emails for people that have not entered expenses that are tracked in an excel sheet

I'm interested in this as well! From my limited understanding, though, I believe you'd have to convert your Excel sheet into a SharePoint list...

@Anonymous  and @jlawrence 

 

I have a few of those. The trigger for mine is just a "Recurrence" so it says every day (M-F) at 8 AM go look at this spread sheet or SPList (either will work) and see if there are any items listed that have a certain criteria missing or a certain status and if so send the Salesman listed or whatever column you have for the person an email reminding them to do this.

 

I do feel it would work BETTER if you had it in a SharePoint list but you could still do it in excel if you just really needed it there. Especially for something like this because with a SharePoint list you can have a people field that will show the name but also have available their email address. If you do it in excel you will either need a column for name and a column for email or have in the flow where it looks for the email address based on the name. I don't like the Excel options for this personally because if there is a typo or something then it won't pull through the correct data. 

 

Be sure to think through if a single person may have multiple. If they will have multiple on the list do you want it sending out an email for each item (each row) or do you just want a count. You can do it either way but it will be slightly different so think that through first. 

 

Go start a new thread for this and I'm sure you will tons of good input. Tag me if you don't and I will post more detail on there. 

soylaunica
Helper II
Helper II

When I started with Flow, I handled the purchasing on one of our accounts. Back then, the process was to have to add a PO to each invoice and send to our AP department for processing, one invoice per email. So I decided to cut some corners and for each invoice I added a PO to, I saved in a folder and it was automatically sent to the department for processing. Eventually we used Flow on the account for time off, purchase order, vendor setup, onboarding and termination. Now we are using it at the corporate level for multi level approvals by threshold amounts for work orders. 

hjaf
Kudo Commander
Kudo Commander

I use and develop flows daily!

 

Examples:


Orders

Improving communication, e.g. delivering orders between departments

  • Old way:
    The requestor sends information from his sheet over the phone/email and the recipient inputs the same information into his sheet.
  • Flow way:
    Upon the requestors sheet fulfills the criteria for a specific order to be placed flow updates or adds the order recipients sheet, making this kind of communication redundant.

 

Making use of Planner
Planner is a great and intuitive tool, but few people have the time to even look at it (possibly because they spend a lot of time organizing their tasks with sticky-notes). I use Flow to create and assigns a task when certain conditions in a sharepoint group(Document library, document or List) are met. The assigned users then get notifications from planner instead of an email for them to write down on a sticky note.


Enforcing consistent file-structure / templates
Use Flow to creates and maintain file-structure, copies templates and resources with conistent naming conventions in sharepoint or common areas. 

 

App / PowerApps Development

Flows usually triggers upon modifications in SP-lists and Excel documents, then updates list items and rows in excel tables. Its a bit tricky, and it requires a lot of careful coalesce usage to avoid data being overwritten where input is allowed in both PowerApp and Excel. 

  1. Establish a data-flow for input like this:
    Powerapps -> SharePoint Lists <- Flow -> Excel-sheets 
  2. Then eventually achieve a data-flow like this: 
    (Input)Powerapps/Application -> SharePoint /CDM/ SQL -> PowerBI / Excel (output/analysis)

 

We have a large amount of excel sheets that functions both as user data input and output / analysis, some of the sheets have been developed for maybe 2 decades, if not longer. It's not easy for people that have been working with excel for so long to transition into something completely different, so I have to create a middle-ground. I believe that it not possible to improve something that is not fully understood, and I often imagine every person who works in excel have their own mental application where the sheet is the database; there is no way for me to understand it all at once. Finding a common ground for all users and their tasks is a challenge, but in my opinion the best way to improve something. Flow allows me to introduce and adjust alternative methods in parallel, that way it is their choice if they want to use the new methods I create instead. And as a bonus, this works as a kind of quality assurance for the new methods. 

DanHansen
Frequent Visitor

Hello,

 

I built a workspace that is to be used as a document repository for Work Instructions for the operational teams in the organisation I am in. I learned using Flows by trial-and-error and built an approval flow that will notify a team manager in one of the processes, with an email, that a Work Instruction has been sent for review. Then the manager can approve/reject it and leave a comment if required. 

 

Fingers crossed that there will be an option to make an annual review reminder, at some point.

 

Best regards,

Dan

Hey Dan, sounds like a great solution!

On the 'annual review' aspect, if you can add a column for 'annual review' date, you could set a daily/weekly flow to check all the dates and action if the annual review is imminent. Let me know if you want some more details.
Hth,
Eddie

Hi Eddie,

 

Well my challenge is that, I would like to have this work based on the last modified date of an item. Ideally to add 6 or 12 months on top of that date, and then send a reminder. This would keep it more dynamic, but it is currently beyond my abilities.

 

Best regards,

Dan

365-Assist
Multi Super User
Multi Super User

I have set up a recurring flow to read the SQL Server Database Log File. When the Flow finds an error record logged it sends the System Administrator a High Priority email warning that shows what error occurred.

pcand1001
Helper I
Helper I

I am very hesitant to put any trust in Flow. it fails, it is hard to debug, it is unreliable.

I need this to run once a month when I get the email because after that, it is gone forever.

If I get Lucky, Flow will work but this is a gamble. I need to find something more dependable.

If it was just for a trivial thing OK but for mssion critical things I guess thie si not the right tool.

Gto me Flow is a cool toy, not a production ready tool.

There a re many instances of issues, here is an example.



{
"error": {
"code": 500,
"message": "Request to the backend service timed out",
"source": "flow-apim-msmanaged-na-centralus-01.azure-apim.net",
"path": "choose[3]\\when[1]\\choose\\when[1]\\choose\\when[1]\\send-request",
"clientRequestId": "fbd5a8e1-6644-496a-bc7e-dffcc82642d3"
}
}
bgsca
Advocate I
Advocate I

I'm just a newby, just created my first 3 flows...

- an enquete (in Forms), I get the e-mail adressen from Excel, keep track for who responded en send an reminder after 2 weeks. The results are stored in an Excel-file. If I find the time I want to use this file in PowerBI to make management rapports and push them to other people (using PowerApps??)

-2 flows with information mails to 2 different groups, also using Excel, Forms.

 

 

barret
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Strange that you see such issues. I have been using Flow for numerous production uses for months now and have yet to see a single failure I could attribute to the Flow infrastructure. I do agree, however, that when a flow does fail, it can sometimes be somewhat difficult to debug the problem. But 99% of the time, when I struggle to find the reason for a failure, it's because the remote system that Flow connects to didn't provide any error details beyond a generic failure message. But that's hardly something I would blame on Flow, but rather on the remote API providers.

 

Best of luck to you!

Where would you want me to start.

 

We have a number of Flows working within our Education Tennat from creating Contracts from Word Templates, extracting Data from Excel and publising to CDS then refreshing Power BI as well as generating dynamic piping variables for MS Forms Pro Surveys that are tied back to Competence Managment Records in Dynamics 365.

TiagoFreire
Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

I use Flow as a connective tissue to collate information across heterogeneous systems. 

 

Fetch sale data from Salesforce

 

Save a shadow copy on Azure SQL / Cosmos DB

 

Cosmos DB / Azure SQL DB as the main databases for custom low-code automation using PowerApps interfaces

 

Prefilling SharePoint documents/columns with data from SQL

 

Complex automation as a part of a larger solution to auto-reply to client emails on a ticketing system which automatically creates DB ticket rows and saves attachments to disk on a folder specific to the client and ticket ID. 

 

Track sent emails that match same tickets to complete information control on client requests. 

 

jerryb78
Regular Visitor

Hi everyone. I work within my company's IT infrastructure organization. I currently use Flow for two main purposes:

 

1. We receive service requests from many different individuals across the company for things like server builds, capacity increases, server decoms, etc. I built a service request form in Forms, access those variables in Flow, and then create / tag / link all of the tasks associated with each specific type of request in a project in  Azure Devops. (plus sending out email notifications about the new request)

 

2. We've previously written some extensive on-prem automations in System Center Orchestrator for building/configuring servers, scheduling snapshots, and decommissioning servers. I'm now using the same combination of Forms/Flow mentioned above to give end-users the ability to trigger some of those functions themselves. Flow takes the inputs of the request and feeds them through to the gateway we've installed on our Orchestrator server where it can be picked up and run by Orchestrator. It has proven to be a great hybrid solution.

2makeitwork
Frequent Visitor

Completed my first Flow (Power Automate) and must say, its easier than I thought conceptually. I do agree with other posts than when something breaks, its tricky to troubleshoot. I had to use the "test" function to see where the issue was.

 

I used flow to automate a serial approval workflow for any new requests for R&D.  The request originates in an app I built in Power Apps, which feeds into a Sharepoint list that I also created. By default the status is pending. Once the request is submitted an automatic email to Accept or Reject is sent via Outlook. Depending on the outcome, Flow determines whether to proceed with getting the second approval. At all decision juncture, SharePoint list is updated with the latest decisions. Seems to work well. One annoyance is that once a decision is made in Outlook, it launches a website that confirms that the decision is "registered". Anyway to get rid of this? Feels like a pop up ad.

gazzo1967
Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

i use flow to make up for the limitations in Powerapps referencing profile fields.

The Azure AD profiles should allow the use of mapped custom fields and allow them to be refernced in Powerapps to fill in user data automatically.

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