cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Check for a Change in a SharePoint List Column Value

I've seen frequent posts in the Flow Forums from users asking how they can check for a change is a specific column in a SharePoint list,  If the value has changed, they want to take some type of action.  I have usually answered these questions by saying that this is not an "out of the box" Flow feature.  There actually is a way to check for a change in a SharePoint list column value and it isn't very difficult to implement.  It does involve calling a SharePoint web service, but I'll show you exactly what you need to do.

 

First, let me set some parameters:

  • I am assuming that you have versioning turned on and set to major versions.
  • I am assuming that you are checking values in a list and not a library
    • This Flow would need to be slightly altered to use with a library

Step one is to create a Flow that uses the SharePoint "when an item is created or modified" trigger.  Since this Flow checks for changes in a column value, it doesn't make sense to run the Flow on a new entry.  The first part of my Flow checks to see if the created date and time is the same a the modified date and time.  If they are the same, then this is a new item and the Flow exits with a Control Terminate action.

 

VersionNewChange.jpg 

Please note that the Terminate action status is set to Succeeded - the default is Failed.  If you don't change the status to Succeeded, your Flow will show as failed when a new item is created even though it ran as designed.

 

Next, I set a variable that holds the list item ID.  I'll use this variable when I call the SharePoint web service.   

 

VersionVariable1.jpg 

 

Now for the good stuff - next I call the SharePoint Web service.  I use a "Send an HTTP Request to SharePoint" action.  The particular API that I'm calling returns all versions of a list item along with all columns and data in those columns.  Configure your "Send an HTTP Request to SharePoint" action in exactly the same way as I have in the screen shot below except:

  • select your own site collection
  • replace VersionTest (the name of my list) with the name of your list inside of single quotes

 Note that I am inserting the variable where we stored the item ID in the web service call.

VersionHTTP.jpg 

At this point, when creating your own Flow, save it and run it by making a change to an item in your list.  Remember that you'll need to have at least 2 versions of an item for your Flow to make it all the way to the HTTP call and we will need information returned by the HTTP call in the next step.

 

After the Flow runs, take a look at the run history and do the following:

  1.  Scroll down to the Send an HTTP request to SharePoint action
  2. Click on Body at the bottom of the action.  Select everything in the Body area and copy it to your clipboard.

 

VersionHTTPCopy.jpg

 

Now, I add a Parse JSON action.  This action enables us to easily use all the data returned by the HTTP action.  

 

ParseJSON1.jpg 

 

In the Parse JSON action content section, select Body from the Send an HTTP request to SharePoint section in Dynamic properties.  Now, click on "Use sample payload to generate schema".   In the dialogue box the appears, paste the data on your clipboard (copied form the HTTP Body section) and click on Done.  This will automatically configure this action to interpret the data provided by the HTTP action.

 

When complete, the Parse JSON action should look like this:

 

ParseJSON3.jpg  

Almost done - all we need to do now is to retrieve the value we are comparing from the previous version of the list item and compare it to the value in the current version. 

 

Next, I create a string variable and initialize it to the value of the column in which we are interested from the previous version of the list item.

 

VersionCompare1.jpg

 

Here's what I have in the expression:

GetData.jpg

Referencing the column name requires a little more explanation.  If there are no spaces in the column name you can probably just enter the column name.  If there are spaces in the column name or you just want to be sure you are using the right name,  go to the Parse JSON action and scroll down in the schema section until you see something that looks like your column name.  Here is a section from my schema that refers to a few columns:

 

VersionColumns.jpg

 

I have a column called MyChoice with no spaces which I can refer to as MyChoice.  I also have a column called My Date.  I need to refer to this column as My_x005f_x0020_x005f_Date.

 

All I need to do now is to compare the current value in the column to value from the previous version (stored in the variable).

 

VersionCompare2.jpg

 

That's it - we have now compared the value currently in a SharePoint column to the value in the previous version of that list item
 
Here is screen shot of my complete Flow:
Complete.jpg
 
Let me add a few final points:
  • When you Flow runs, you might see error messages about data types in the HTTP or Parse JSON actions. If this happens, edit the schema and remove the data type designation from the area where the column is defined
  • I tested this Flow with string, number, choice, person or group, yes/no and text columns
  • To see what data is returned and how it is formatted, refer to the output of the Parse JSON action in the run history
  • Remember to turn on versioning in your list - it is not on by default

I found the following blog post extremely helpful when creating my solution

 

Please comment and let me know what you think.

 

Scott

Comments

Hi Sir,

 

I need to hide a column in the SharePoint list (when new item is clicked), and we need to use that column only to be updated using Microsoft flow, is there a way to do that ?

@AhmedSSB :

Not all columns can be easily hidden. 

  • Got to list settings.
  • Click on advanced and set Allow Management of Content Types to yes.
  • Go back to list settings and click on the content type
  • Click on the column name and select Hidden

If you can't hide the column, consider replace the out of the box forms with PowerApps forms.

 

 

I thank you for your cooperation sir Smiley Tongue


The operation succeeded

Anonymous

Thank you @ScottShearer !!! This is exactly what I needed and it was very well written.

 

My only dilemma is that I have an email notification sent if a variance is found and the results are sending me all version history and not just the most current changes. But I'll take what I can get! Thanks again.

Anonymous

Hi @ScottShearer, thanks for your reponse, let me put the clear scenario so you can assist me better.  my item IDs in Site1-ListA are not the same as Item IDs in Site2-ListB. So what i have done is i have created UniqueID e.g. ABC147 in ListA using  concat('Title', triggerBody()?['ID']) .

 

I am able to send all new items from Site1-ListA Items to Site2-ListB using Flow where status column is 'Pending' including UniqueID ABC147.

 

Now requirement is when the Site2-ListB is modified with status 'Allocated' the flow should trigger to change the status column to be 'Allocated' of Site1-ListA.

 

I have been trying few Flow options but i am getting error as "item does not exist". I just need to match if UniqueID of ListB compared with ListA to change the status column. 

Thanks again and let me know if you need more details.

 

 

 

I have a different issue.

I dont want the flow to run when a new item is created. But i cant use Created by is equal to Modified by because the user will edit the item later on and i do need the flow to run then.

At the very beginning of this very helpful article you mention that using this for a Libary requires a slight modification but I don't see what that modification is anywhere in the article.  I would love to use this with a Library, please advise what the modification is.  Thank youl

I have a much better way to check to see if the trigger fired on a new or modified item.  Using the Created and Modified dates/times is not reliable.

See my bog post on this topic please.

Hi Scott,

 

This is extremely useful but i do have a questions when i try to retrieve the field Employee name.

 

I added below as a variable and get trying to get the employee name,

body('Parse_JSON')?['d']?['results'][1]['EmployeeName']
 
However, the email show a string value like below.
{"__metadata":{"type":"SP.FieldUserValue"},"LookupId":24,"LookupValue":"George, Miller","Email":"GeorgeM@blabla.com"}
 
Below as the Parse Json Schema for the field employee name.  Actually i just want the email to display the name which is the above "George,Miller" right after the lookupvalue.
Can you please guide me through how i can just call the Name instead of the entire string? 
 
Thank you for your help.

                            "EmployeeName": {

                                "type": "object",

                                "properties": {

                                    "__metadata": {

                                        "type": "object",

                                        "properties": {

                                            "type": {

                                                "type": "string"

                                            }

                                        }

                                    },

                                    "LookupId": {

                                        "type": "integer"

                                    },

                                    "LookupValue": {

                                        "type": "string"

                                    },

                                    "Email": {

                                        "type": "string"

                                    }

                                }

                            },

Hi bbastro,
you can manage that string using compose action.
 
For example-
last(split(variables('Your Variable'),'"LookupValue":'))
 
After that you can use replace function to get clean name.
 
Thanks
Hardesh

Thank you, this has been incredibly helpful!  

 

I have the flow working now, in partnership with another flow, summarised as follows:

Flow 1: Trigger: new item added to SharePoint List "Leave Applications"

  • Starts approval to nominated Manager
  • Once approved, various emails are sent, an event created in a Group Calendar and the list updated for column "Status" = approved
  • If rejected, various emails are sent and the list updated for column "Status" = Rejected

Flow 2: Trigger: item is created or modified in SharePoint List "Leave Applications, based on your post above:

  • Initialize variable to hold item ID
  • Check for new item (terminate if created = modified)
  • Parse JSON
  • Initialize variable 'varItemCompare' to hold value to be compared - body('Parse_JSON')?['d]?['results'][1]['ManagerFullName']
  • Condition comparing 'varItemCompare' equal to Managers Name
  • If yes, terminate; if no, re-send updated application for approval

My problem is - 

 

Flow 1 works perfectly & has done for some time.  

Flow 2 works perfectly for a change in Managers Name. 

BUT 

If you update another field in the Leave Applications List, Flow 2 shows as failed at the 'Parse JSON' step.  

 

Why?  And how do I fix?  Am I missing anything else obvious?

 

Thank you!

@ScottShearer 

 

Thanks for providing the solution as above. I have a similar problem that I am looking for a solution for however, I have to compare all the columns (70) of my sharepoint list. Could I achieve so incorporating the above solution, if yes, could you please suggest how that could be done. Thanks

Hi Scott,

Thank you for this article. I used it in an approval flow and it worked. I have some issues with the versions created by SharePoint though.

Basically my flow is the following: When item is modified, check if column X value is changed if yes check if current version is value 'Ready for Review'. If yes, start approval process.

For the approval an attachment in the item is required.

My issue is: When you edit the list item to add an attachment, the list create a separate version for the attachment. If I go in for example to edit one item, add attachment, set status Ready for review (which must start the approval) and then Save the item, the list will create 2 versions: the 1st will contain only the change of the Status, the 2nd contains only the attachment. Then when the flow is triggered, it compares these 2 versions, where the status is actually the same, therefore the approval process does not start.

 

liniv_0-1607333559580.png

liniv_1-1607333660227.png

 

In this case after the item was created, i modified it once: status change and attachment added. I can't figure out why a separate version is created for the attachment.

Another problem is that when you open an edit mode and click SAVE instead of Cancel without making any changes on the item properties, an empty version of the item is created.

Would you please recommend a workaround for these issues?

 

Thanks very much in advance!

 

 

Hi @jbrines ,

 

You have missed some steps I think. Check out the picture of the complete flow from the article. The 1st variable is indeed the item ID with integer, since you need to hold that value for the "Send a HTTP request" action. This action calls the versions of that item.  The variable that you need to compare is initialized after you do Parse JSON.

 

I hope this helps, i struggled a lot with it also 🙂

 

@liniv I have copied what @ScottShearer done above, still failing

 

Power Automate issue 3.JPGPower Automate issue 4.JPGPower Automate issue 5.JPGPower Automate issue 6.JPG

Hi @jbrines ,

 

what do you do to trigger the test? Create or modify? In order for this to work, the versioning must be enabled and there must be at least 2 versions of the item. Based on the error details in your screenshot "items(0)/versions" is the problem, I think that there are no versions to this item to find. Better use trigger "When file or item is modified"

@liniv 

To trigger the test I add comments to a comments column I have created, there are 3 different comments there already so it is at least 2 versions

 

Versioning is enabled

 

So go back to the trigger I had "When file or item is modified"?

J

@jbrines 

 

in the Uri change the double brackets "ListName" with single 'ListName'. This also may be a problem hence the error is in the expression

@liniv 

 

Just realised that I wasn't replacing Version Test with my list name 🤔

 

Now I have changed that but now I am getting 

 

Item does not exist. It may have been deleted by another user.
clientRequestId: 5ce6d186-1de3-408f-adad-62b6305be2d0
serviceRequestId: 8d42979f-60d8-b000-95f3-76c14dc7f41c

@liniv Figured it out missed out the the value in the In Initialize Variable.

 

All working to that stage, now time to move on.

Thanks

Hi Scott.  You've put me onto a wonderful path with the API, JSON and Flow.  I've implemented this solution very successfully, thanks a million.

 

Now I have a questions.

Can I make multiple HTTP calls in a single flow?  For example I've looked up all of the versions of a given order then I get the customer number and now I need to get the contact details for the customer from the related table.  Can I embed the second HTTP posted request within the same flow?  - I seem to be running into trouble when doing so.

 

How would you suggest I make the second call?  Should I change the reference from [d] to possibly [e]?  

 

I gather data about the order, then about the customer and then about the responsible employee and then assemble an email that is sent to all relevant parties on the placing of an order.  The fields collected form the foundation of the email body.

 

Looking forward to your response and wisdom:)

 

Sean Achim

Meet Our Blog Authors
  • Experienced Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Office 365, Azure, SharePoint Online, PowerShell, Nintex, K2, SharePoint Designer workflow automation, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, PowerShell, Active Directory, Operating Systems, Networking, and JavaScript. Strong consulting professional with a Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) focused in Information Technology from Mumbai University.
  • I am a Microsoft Business Applications MVP and a Senior Manager at EY. I am a technology enthusiast and problem solver. I work/speak/blog/Vlog on Microsoft technology, including Office 365, Power Apps, Power Automate, SharePoint, and Teams Etc. I am helping global clients on Power Platform adoption and empowering them with Power Platform possibilities, capabilities, and easiness. I am a leader of the Houston Power Platform User Group and Power Automate community superuser. I love traveling , exploring new places, and meeting people from different cultures.
  • SharePoint, Microsoft 365 and Power Platform Developer | Contributor on SharePoint StackExchange
  • Encodian Owner / Founder - Ex Microsoft Consulting Services - Architect / Developer - 20 years in SharePoint - PowerPlatform Fan
  • I am the Owner/Principal Architect at Don't Pa..Panic Consulting. I've been working in the information technology industry for over 30 years, and have played key roles in several enterprise SharePoint architectural design review, Intranet deployment, application development, and migration projects. I've been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) 12 consecutive years and am also a Microsoft Certified SharePoint Masters (MCSM) since 2013.
  • Big fan of Power Platform technologies and implemented many solutions.
  • Passionate #Programmer #SharePoint #SPFx #Office365 #MSFlow | C-sharpCorner MVP | SharePoint StackOverflow, Github, PnP contributor
  • Web site – https://kamdaryash.wordpress.com Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM149rFkLNgerSvgDVeYTZQ/