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CHF
Level: Powered On

Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi All,

 

Is it possible in flow ( or other system) to use the substring of the subject of an email as the ID variable of a list item to be updated in SharePoint. That doesn’t make much sense so I’ll try to explain it a bit more. 

 

I have a list in SharePoint Online it has the standard columns including the ID and one additional column, “body”. I have a mailbox in office 365. Both are connected to flow.

 

What i need is when an email arrives in the mailbox a flow is triggered. The flow checks the subject line and extracts the number from the subject.  

It then uses that value as the ID of the list item in needs to update with say the body part of the email.  As an example an email with a subject line of #10 is received, it then copies the body of the email to the body column of ID 10 list item in SharePoint. 

 

Is that possible? If so how? 

 

I’m basically trying to make a 2 way communication system from within SharePoint. I.e. I update and item, it emails the user, they respond and it updates the correlating list item?

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

Tyrone

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
Super User
Super User

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi @CHF,

 

I was able to put this together to get you started. This is assuming that the SharePoint list item ID will be at the end of the email subject right after the # sign. I have outlined the steps below along with their respective screenshot and function.

  1. When a new email arrives. This is just the basic, out of the box step with no extra configuration.
    EmailSubject-1.JPG
  2. The next step is a Data Operations - Compose. I renamed it to include the name of the functions I'm using in it, which in my case the functions are last() and split(). For this step, I used the following formula, and it does is it splits the Email Subject at the # and then extract the string right after it.
    last(split(triggerBody()?['Subject'],'#'))

    EmailSubject-2.JPG
  3. The next step is the HTML to text. This step strips all the HTML markup and outputs plain text. In this step, select the Body from the "When a new email arrives" step. Keep in mind this step is preview and it might change once it becomes official.
    EmailSubject-3.JPG
  4. For the step, I used another "Data Operations - Compose", which I renamed to "Compose FirstSplit", and I used the first() and split() functions. The reason for these functions is because the "HTML to text" gets all the text from the email body, but it also gets the From and To information. The split() function splits all the text at the dashed line and the first() function retrieves all the text prior to the dashed line shown in the code below, revoming everything after the dashes. The code below is the function used in the Compose step along with its screenshot.
    first(split(body('Html_to_text'),'--------------------------------------------------------------------------------'))

    EmailSubject-4.JPG
  5. The next step is the SharePoint "Get item". In here you select your Site Address, List Name, and item Id. The item ID is retrieved in the "Data Operations - Compose" step from line 2 above.
    EmailSubject-5.JPG
  6. And the last step is the SharePoint "Update item". In here you select your Site Address, List Name, item Id, Title, and Body. For the item Id and Title, you can select them from the "Get items" step above. As for the Body, you use the output from the "Compose FirstSplit" step in line 4.
    EmailSubject-6.JPG

These steps should either get you exactly what you wanted or close to it. I tried to be as thorough as possible, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

 

Regards,

Fausto Capellan, Jr

 


Fausto Capellan, Jr


Did I answer your question? Mark my post as a solution! Did my response help? Please give it a thumbs up!

Proud to be a Flownaut!


View solution in original post

CHF
Level: Powered On

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi @faustocapellanj,

 

I now know where i went wrong, the code needs to be encapsulated in "". It also needed an @  in the beginning. So the code changed to: 

"@last(split(triggerBody()?['Subject'],'#'))"

Thank you so much for your help! 

 

Regards

 

Tyrone

 

View solution in original post

8 REPLIES 8
Super User
Super User

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi @CHF,

 

In order to have an understanding of what you are trying to accomplish, I'd like to know where this 2-way communication originate. If it originates in SharePoint, I believe it is possible to achieve, but if it's not, then it might be difficult. For example, when an item is created or modified in SharePoint, you can reference the list item ID in the email subject and update the pertaining list item. Now, if the communication originates in the email, it might be difficult because when Flow runs the Get items step, the ID referred in the email subject may not exist.

Please let me know what you think. I can always try to create your scenario in my end to see how it workds.

 

Regards,

Fausto Capellan, Jr


Fausto Capellan, Jr


Did I answer your question? Mark my post as a solution! Did my response help? Please give it a thumbs up!

Proud to be a Flownaut!


CHF
Level: Powered On

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi,

 

Yes the originating email comes from sharepoint. This email is sent out from a shared mailbox. When the users responds to the email it will have the corresponding list id in the subject line. I know some email programs automatically prepend "FW" or "RE" to the subject line but can i create a formula in Flow to extract this data? 

 

Thank for your help. 

 

regards

 

Tyrone

 

Super User
Super User

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi @CHF,

 

The only issue I see here is how to tell when a user replies to the email since there are no Flow actions to check for that. Also, I know you can extract the ID from the subject using the substring function, but you will have to know the position of the ID and its length of characters. There aren't functions like LEFT or RIGHT that can be used to avoid a hard coded number in the substring function.

I'll keep digging and see what I can find.

 

Regards,

Fausto Capellan, Jr


Fausto Capellan, Jr


Did I answer your question? Mark my post as a solution! Did my response help? Please give it a thumbs up!

Proud to be a Flownaut!


CHF
Level: Powered On

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi @faustocapellanj,

 

Can i not use the " When a new email arrives" trigger in Flow? Then have a condition to say the subject needs to contain "#" and apply an action is it does? similar to my image:

Capture.PNG

 

What im not able to do or see how i do it is using the Substring to extract the number. I know the number will have a leaving "#" with a "." So an example subject would be: " #20. Notes have been added" And a reply would typically look like this: "RE:#20. Notes have been added". Not sure how to extract that info?

I appreciate the help on this. 

Regards

 

Tyrone

Super User
Super User

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi @CHF,

 

I was able to put this together to get you started. This is assuming that the SharePoint list item ID will be at the end of the email subject right after the # sign. I have outlined the steps below along with their respective screenshot and function.

  1. When a new email arrives. This is just the basic, out of the box step with no extra configuration.
    EmailSubject-1.JPG
  2. The next step is a Data Operations - Compose. I renamed it to include the name of the functions I'm using in it, which in my case the functions are last() and split(). For this step, I used the following formula, and it does is it splits the Email Subject at the # and then extract the string right after it.
    last(split(triggerBody()?['Subject'],'#'))

    EmailSubject-2.JPG
  3. The next step is the HTML to text. This step strips all the HTML markup and outputs plain text. In this step, select the Body from the "When a new email arrives" step. Keep in mind this step is preview and it might change once it becomes official.
    EmailSubject-3.JPG
  4. For the step, I used another "Data Operations - Compose", which I renamed to "Compose FirstSplit", and I used the first() and split() functions. The reason for these functions is because the "HTML to text" gets all the text from the email body, but it also gets the From and To information. The split() function splits all the text at the dashed line and the first() function retrieves all the text prior to the dashed line shown in the code below, revoming everything after the dashes. The code below is the function used in the Compose step along with its screenshot.
    first(split(body('Html_to_text'),'--------------------------------------------------------------------------------'))

    EmailSubject-4.JPG
  5. The next step is the SharePoint "Get item". In here you select your Site Address, List Name, and item Id. The item ID is retrieved in the "Data Operations - Compose" step from line 2 above.
    EmailSubject-5.JPG
  6. And the last step is the SharePoint "Update item". In here you select your Site Address, List Name, item Id, Title, and Body. For the item Id and Title, you can select them from the "Get items" step above. As for the Body, you use the output from the "Compose FirstSplit" step in line 4.
    EmailSubject-6.JPG

These steps should either get you exactly what you wanted or close to it. I tried to be as thorough as possible, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

 

Regards,

Fausto Capellan, Jr

 


Fausto Capellan, Jr


Did I answer your question? Mark my post as a solution! Did my response help? Please give it a thumbs up!

Proud to be a Flownaut!


View solution in original post

CHF
Level: Powered On

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi @faustocapellanj,

 

Thank you for the help. This is looking very promising but I’m  getting an error and I think it’s at the first stage? I’m not sure if it’s just me or perhaps an issue with my setup? 

 

When the flow runs its not getting the correct "ID" from the subject or rather it’s just showing me the "Compose" formula. I’m getting the dreaded 400 error aka "BadRequest". Looking at the log it looks like it can’t find the list item. Looking at the parameters that are input it’s got the formula as the id. At first I thought I may have selected the formula rather than the output but a) doesn’t look like you can select the compose formula. b) after checking I had selected the output. 

pic1.PNG

 

I then thought I would test this in another way to see what its really outputting. I created a new flow, with the same trigger and a send mail action. In the body of this send mail action I selected the “output “ of the compose formula.

test2.PNG

This resulted in  “ last(split(triggerBody()?['Subject'],'#')) ” as my body of my email. So it does look like the first step doesn’t run or doesn’t run correctly maybe? Or maybe im doing something wrong? 

pic2.PNG

 

Any thoughts?  

 

Kind regards

 

Tyrone

CHF
Level: Powered On

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi @faustocapellanj,

 

I now know where i went wrong, the code needs to be encapsulated in "". It also needed an @  in the beginning. So the code changed to: 

"@last(split(triggerBody()?['Subject'],'#'))"

Thank you so much for your help! 

 

Regards

 

Tyrone

 

View solution in original post

Super User
Super User

Re: Use variable from email subject as the ID to update SPO list item

Hi @CHF,

 

I forgot to format the expression with the double quotes and the @ sign at the beginning of it. My apologies. As for the Flow working as expected, I am really glad to hear that. Please mark the post as solved so that if anybody else has the same issue, they know how it can be solved.

 

Regards,

Fausto Capellan, Jr


Fausto Capellan, Jr


Did I answer your question? Mark my post as a solution! Did my response help? Please give it a thumbs up!

Proud to be a Flownaut!


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