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SharePoint Groups for Approvals, Reviews, Emails, and Permissions

Today, 95% of our approval processes that are done in SharePoint Designer workflows leverage SharePoint Groups (not AD security Groups, AAD Security Groups, or O365 Groups) that exist inside of the site collection.  These SharePoint Groups are typically maintained directly by business users.  They also don't have an email address associated with them.  Very rarely are approvals and reviews done just to individual people.  Manager is easy enough, but typically roles are defined for solutions and they are managed by Groups.  Permissions are also typically applied by Groups.



Based on feedback at MS Ignite, Flow will NOT support SharePoint Groups unless there is a large driver to do so.  Recommendation was to use O365 Groups.  O365 Groups however provision a billion other collaboration tools that are, more often than not, not needed for processes like this.  They would be extreme overkill for simple approval processes.   AD and AAD Security Groups usually involve some form of IT involvement and are not so easy for business users to maintain.


Also at Ignite, the majority of approval processes currently demoed and planned for involve "hard coding" individual users, or dynamically selecting your manager.  


If Flow is going to be the de facto replacement for SharePoint Designer, it needs to be able to handle these SharePoint Groups, instead of individual names.  Otherwise we'll have to continue to use SharePoint Designer to handle these basic needs.


Common Scenarios:

  • Send an Email to all members of a SharePoint Group
  • Start an Approval and Assign it to a SharePoint Group
    • If users are added to the Group, they would have permission to do that Approval
    • If users are removed from the Group, they would lose permission to do the Approval
  • Start a Review and Assign it to a SharePoint Group
  • Assign Item Level Permissions to a SharePoint Group
Status: New
Advocate IV

I second all of this...also would like an Approvals "Dashboard" that I can plug into a PowerApps application where anyone can monitor the status of an Approval.


Example scenarioes

  • Request comes in, I want to assign it to "My Approvers Group" (it has 5 or six people in it).  All people in the group get an email that there is a task waiting for them to look at and any of them can see it in their approvals area and respond.
  • Another user...might be in the "My Approvers Group" or not...wants to see where this request is at (who has it, how long has it been waiting) so they know who to bug to get things moving.
  • Manager is reviewing open approvals across multiple people / groups to make sure they are flowing...notices that one is assigned to a person who is sick and wants to reassign the approval to someone else.


Approvals have huge potential, but these real world scenarios get in the way of using it.

Not applicable

Flow can't use SharePoint permission groups?? Is this true?

Kudo Kingpin

@Anonymous Yes, I asked this question to the team at Ignite, and they said they had no intent on supporting it, and were recommending people to use O365 Groups instead (which is outrageous).  We need to drum up public support, or there will be a lot of headaches when people have to start moving over to Flow.

Not applicable

That sound you just heard was my head exploding. What was all the user training for, then? Unbelievable.

New Member

We wont be able to use Flow for our SharePoint processes until we can access SharePoint Group users.

Helper V

How does this only have 36 votes? It's pretty hard to believe with all the other efforts put into Flow that are pretty impressive tools we can't do the basic approvals we're used to with SPD.

Advocate III

Are there any plans to add this feature? This seems to be a show stopper. I am not sure if we can move our workflows to MS Flow without this feature as we rely heavilty on SharePoint groups for approvals.

Advocate I

You need SharePoint groups for email.  Business users need this now!

Our call center uses a list that tracks who to call back.  We would like email reminders to "GROUPS" of people to remind them of the callbacks for various items.  Individuals would be too hard to set up as there is a high turnover rate for personel.  The manager could quickly add them via SharePoint groups and then we could set up a flow to always target a group.  This is a much needed feature.

Regular Visitor

Microsoft!!!! Please add support for SharePoint groups in the approvals and Emails of Flow

Advocate I

Hard to believe SharePoint groups are not supported.  Come on Microsoft...