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philipremanuel
Frequent Visitor

Manually trigger an automated flow

I have a flow that starts when a file is created, (added to a library). People will edit the file throughout the workflow process and there are various approvals. My understanding, is that the workflow will timeout after 30 days. There could also be other circumstances in which the workflow might need to be restarted.

It has been very simple in other workflow tools to simply manually trigger a workflow to start, even one that was setup to be an automated trigger. Is there a way to navigate to a specific item, and just manually restart that instance of the workflow? The reason this is necessary is because work has been done on the document, and removing it and adding it back would result in lost work, or force the user to save off the file, delete the file the workflow was running on and then add the saved off file back to retrigger the automated workflow. The work around is a bit messy. I want to be able to tell my user, to go here, click this button for this item and it will restart the workflow for that item. I would think in addition to whatever conditions we setup for automated triggering, people with the right access should be able to trigger any workflow at will.

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

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philipremanuel
Frequent Visitor

Here's how I handled it for anyone else having the same issue. I created a new library and I setup a separate manually triggered flow to be used on a single item. User starts flow and enters the name of the document. This flow moves it to a 'holding' library with edits in tact, and then immediately moves it back into the original library which has a flow setup to start on item creation. This 'saves' any edits to the document and restarts the workflow. It will result in users possibly having to resubmit approvals which we see as an incentive for the users to finish within the 30 day timeout window or risk having to redo the approvals.

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ScottShearer
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

@philipremanuel 

First, Flows can be triggered in SharePoint manually only of the start with a For a Selected Item or File trigger.  To start a Flow using one of these triggers, a user must have at least contribute access.

If you search, you'll find a number of "work arounds" for the 30 day issue - I am not in love with any of them.

You might consider changing how you approach your process and avoid long running Flows.  This implies that you won't be using a Flow Approval action.

For example:

  • Use a column in the SharePoint list or library to store the current status of the approval process.
  • Send emails to approvers with links back to the list item or document where the can approve or reject by interacting with the list or library
  • Have a Flow that uses a recurrence trigger that runs once a day with a filter query to identify documents or list items that need action
    • Send emails as appropriate
  • Since you are using a Flow that starts and ends once a day, you need not worry about the 30 day limit.

I assumed that you were using SharePoint but the same concept applies no matter where your data is stored.

 

 

 

 

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Scott

Thank you Scott. I appreciate the clarification. Hard for me to accept this as a solution, though. It basically guts the usefulness and purpose of an approval activity in the workflow as well as all of the fancy teams and email integration that no longer gets used. Of course, the fancy integration is what the business is all about these days.... Wish MS had thought of the long-running approval workflow issue already.

philipremanuel
Frequent Visitor

Here's how I handled it for anyone else having the same issue. I created a new library and I setup a separate manually triggered flow to be used on a single item. User starts flow and enters the name of the document. This flow moves it to a 'holding' library with edits in tact, and then immediately moves it back into the original library which has a flow setup to start on item creation. This 'saves' any edits to the document and restarts the workflow. It will result in users possibly having to resubmit approvals which we see as an incentive for the users to finish within the 30 day timeout window or risk having to redo the approvals.

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