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Notify and Save to OneNote when a new article is posted on tech websites

In the engineering world, we used to write N number of lines of code to create an application like to send an email notification, to run desktop application, to read/write data in the csv file, etc. But today Microsoft developed precious power automate component and made all engineer life easier. I would like to thank Microsoft!

Microsoft power automate is very dynamic and vibrant component that automate more complex processes just by configuring the templates with 0% code.

This is my first article on Microsoft power automate and want to keep it very simple too. I always urge to read technical article from different technical site like code project, Microsoft blogs, stack overflow etc. Moreover, when I find interesting and informative technical article. I have habit to note down the information like article title, introduction/summary and URL in the OneNote for future reference.

But in day today life it is very difficult to go through all published article from respective sites due to a busy schedule and hectic work. With help of Microsoft power automate I have found the easy solution. So, no more worries.

The idea is simple!! Whenever a new technical article is published in the site immediately, I will get an email notification with Save it and Don’t Save it option. An email which contains information like article title, introduction/summary and URL. After I go through the essential information from email notification and based on my confirmation. The details are saved in the OneNote for my future reference. Let’s see the steps

Step #1:

Click my flow and select Instant-from blank from New option in the command bar

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Step #2:

Search for RSS connector.

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Before continuing to configure RSS connector. Let’s know about RSS connector:

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 RSS is a popular web syndication format used to publish frequently updated content – like blog entries and news headlines. Many content publishers provide an RSS feed to allow users to subscribe to it. Use the RSS connector to retrieve feed information and trigger flows when new items are published in an RSS feed.

For demo, I have used a CodeProject RSS feed for new article posted on CodeProject site.  Similarly, you can add Microsoft blog feed is http://blogs.microsoft.com/feed.

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Step #3:

I don’t want to save all the published article into my OneNote directly. So, it required my confirmation before details are save it into OneNote. I have chosen the Send Email with Options action under Office365. When you use the Send Email with Options action, effectively the flow will pause until receives a response. Once it receives a response then flow will perform action based on the response.

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This allows me to configure the various essential details like To, Subject, User option and Body etc.

To:

Email need to send to me. So, I have configured my email address.

Subject:

“New CodeProject Article Post Need Approval!”.

User option:

I have configured two options “Save it!” and “Don’t Save it!”. Base on the response either article is saved in my OneNote or not.

If response is Save it, then article is saved in my OneNote or else if Don’t Save it then no action is taken.

Body:

In email body I want to know what the article is about before saving it. So, I have added dynamic content like the feed title of the article that is pretty important, feed summary which gives little

glimpse of what the actual article is about and also, I have included the feed link of the article so that we can click on it and know about the article. 

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Step #4:

To evaluate the user response is equal to Save it! then we need to add a condition to a flow. Choose a condition action

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On the condition card, select an empty area in box on the left. The dynamic content list opens. Select the SelectedOption parameter to add it to the box.  

In the box in the middle of the condition card, select is equal to

In the box on the right, enter the same user option text which is mentioned in the Send email with options.

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Step #5:

If received user response is equal to “Save it!” then in if yes card I have chosen, Create page in a section action under OneNote. 

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In my OneNote, I have existing notebook named as CodeProject notebook and notebook section named as Code Project Article.

Note: with help of flow we can create notebook and notebook section dynamically. But I have not covered in this article.

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I have mapped CodeProject in notebook key and CodeProject Article in notebook section which is already created in the OneNote.

In page content, with help of dynamic content I have added feed title, feed summary and primary feed link

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Well, that’s it, we’re done Save the Flow.

Let’s test the flow

For testing I’m going use data from previous runs

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Whenever a new article posted on CodeProject site immediately we get the email notification with option “Save it” and “Don’t Save it”. 

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the flow will pause until receives a response. Once it receives a “Save it!” response from the user then it will save the configured content like Title, Summary and Link in the OneNote under specified Code Project notebook and Code project Article section. 

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Perhaps this article will also give you some inspiration on other ways to make use of Power Automate.  

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