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TylerH1
Regular Visitor

Why is my flow dropping the middle name from the SharePoint display name value?

I have a flow that we use for user provisioning based on a SharePoint Online list which managers add new entries to via a form. Because it's SharePoint Online, it gets demographic data from M365 which in turn gets it from AD. In each of those locations (AD, M365, Delve, SharePoint Online people picker, etc.), the user's name (we'll call them John Jacob Smith) shows a middle name, "Jacob" in the Display Name field. Anywhere I look for this user, I see "John Jacob Smith", not "John Smith".

 

As recently as September 27th, my flow was working fine; emails were coming through from the flow with the user's middle name intact ("John Jacob Smith"). However, yesterday the user submitted a new entry to the list, and the flow sent over the user's display name without their middle name included (so, just "John Smith")! This caused our CRM system, which monitors for emails and assigns customer tickets and populates data automatically by mapping to known employee values, to fail and throw the email into an 'error' folder rather than processing it.

 

None of our internal systems have changed, and the user's name has not been modified since the process broke. Does anyone know what the issue is here? Did Microsoft change something in Power Automate or SharePoint Online recently? Or am I missing something obvious?

 

Here's a screenshot of the relevant flow data fields:

TylerH1_0-1638985252622.png

And the same user who submits the form entry to the SP list is the new employee's manager:

TylerH1_1-1638985296793.png

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Thanks Patrick, as it turns out, I was... misinformed... by my coworkers in other teams. After further investigation, including talking with the employee "John Jacob Smith", it turns out their Display name in fact did change. The fact that there are (sometimes lengthy) delays in syncing different systems like AD, AAD, SharePoint Online, etc. probably explains the order of events:

 

1. The user's name was changed.

2. The user created a new SharePoint list item using this form.

3. The user's display name updated in SharePoint.

4. The issue was reported to us, and we investigated.

 

Because step #3 happened between steps #2 and #4, we were not able to observe the issue.

 

Our team responsible for AD, AAD, and general directory services has updated the user's Display name and Lookup name in AD were set back to "John Smith" which is what they apparently were before any of this occurred.

 

Sorry to waste your time! Hope the tale was good at least as a cautionary one.

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2 REPLIES 2
PatrickMSFT
Community Support
Community Support

TylerH1,

 

Interesting behavior here, great work on your investigation. It's always possible but I'm not aware of any recent changes from a Power Automate perspective that would intervening to change the name here. Your approach looks correct, too; using dynamic content in lieu of ad hoc variables or hardcoding.

 

Power Automate is typically just a messenger of sorts, it just does some kind of GET from a data source (SPO field, AAD, profile store/UPA, et al.) and then reports back what it returned. My initial take is that Power Automate may be more of a victim here. Maybe it's actively intervening to change the value but that's not common.

 

We can test this behavior outside of your main Flow, maybe something like this...

 

PatrickMSFT_0-1639173070896.png

 

This way, we're just going right to the profile store and asking for the DisplayName of this user's manager. I did a quick test in one of my tenants and I returned the full DisplayName. Of course, this test is a direct pull from the profile store; from your logic, I show the dynamic content as SPO.

 

How exactly are you generating this dynamic content earlier in your Flow? Maybe you're right and it's particular to these connectors or the SPO service.

Thanks Patrick, as it turns out, I was... misinformed... by my coworkers in other teams. After further investigation, including talking with the employee "John Jacob Smith", it turns out their Display name in fact did change. The fact that there are (sometimes lengthy) delays in syncing different systems like AD, AAD, SharePoint Online, etc. probably explains the order of events:

 

1. The user's name was changed.

2. The user created a new SharePoint list item using this form.

3. The user's display name updated in SharePoint.

4. The issue was reported to us, and we investigated.

 

Because step #3 happened between steps #2 and #4, we were not able to observe the issue.

 

Our team responsible for AD, AAD, and general directory services has updated the user's Display name and Lookup name in AD were set back to "John Smith" which is what they apparently were before any of this occurred.

 

Sorry to waste your time! Hope the tale was good at least as a cautionary one.

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