What if you can make your boss happy by automating his / her reminders so he / she doesn’t have to spend his valuable time on old-fashioned (and boring) manual / visual follow-up and reminders?
Dare and Win
Haven’t you dared to test Microsoft Flow yet? Then you simply have to do it! There is an old Swedish saying that says “Scared boys are never allowed to kiss the beautiful girls” (and of course vice versa 🙂 ). This also applies in this context. If you do not dare to test, you will never get to use the fun technologies.
With Microsoft Flow, you do’nt need to be a rocket scientist to automate simple tasks. You can start “in the small” and then expand the scope.
One of my clients had a task list where they entered tasks and assigned them to those responsible and each task was also assigned an audit date. After that, a SharePoint Workflow was started which assigned the task to the person in charge.
The functionality that was missing was that if the revision date had passed and the responsible person had not yet filled in the body field with a suggested solution, a friendly reminder would be sent.
Since we no longer want to use SharePoint Designer but instead want to replace all old, self-developed, classic workflows, I checked if I could build this functionality using Microsoft Flow (and I could).
Since there are probably many more of you who need such a simple reminder function, I thought I would share the solution here:
This flow runs once a day on a SharePoint list, “loops” through all list items and does the following:
- Check if the Responsible field is filled out
- Check if the revision date has passed
- Check if the Body field is empty
If the revision date has passed the current date and and the Body field is empty, an email should be sent to the Responsible.
The SharePoint List
A SharePoint list item (that meets the condition)
Creating the Flow
Open Microsoft Flow
Create a new Flow. Select “Scheduled-from blank”
Give it a name and choose when (and how often) it should run. Then Press “Create”.
Now we can begin to customize it. Click on the “Next step” button that appears under “Recurrence”.
Add the Action “Get items”.
Enter the Site Adress of your SharePoint Site
Select the List
Choose “Order by” ID
Now we have the steps “Recurrence” and “Get items”.
Click on the “Next step” button that appears under “Get items”.
Add the Action “Apply to each”. Then select “Value” from Dynamic Content.
Now, in the “Apply to each”, Add a new step and select “Condition”.
Here you add the fields and conditions to be validated
Frist (Which is the Due Date in Norwegian…) is compared to todays date. See expression below for “setting today”.
Ansvarlig (Which is Responsible in Norwegian) shall not be equal to null
The field Body shall be empty (not equal to null)
Now we are done with the Condition. Now we have to take care of what shall happen if its True or False. If it is false we will not do anything with the current item but if it is True we want to send an email to the person in the field Ansvarlig (Responsible).
In the “If Yes” Section, Add an action and select “Send an email”.
From “Dynamic content” You can add the email address to the To-field
Enter a subject of the email
Customize the body text of the email. Also here you can add Dynamic content such as “Link to item” etc. It is worth knowing that the “Link to item” is the address to the item but it will not be formatted as an clickable url. Therefore i have created a link (url) to the List and also the “Link to Item”.
Now we are done building the flow. Press “Save” and then use the “Flow Checker” to verify that everything looks OK.
If You get no errors or warnings then You have done an excellent job and you are probably good to go. 🙂
But just to be sure, click on “Test”.
Select “I’ll perform the trigger action and then press the Test button.
Now press the button called “Run flow” (and hope for the best).
If You see this picture then go to the “Flow Runs Page” in order to se how it went.
As always Red is bad and green is good….
If the Flow ran successfully there should be an email in someones mailbox. (probably Yours since You are only testing now). Check the mail and open the item and see if the validation has worked the way it is intended.
Thats it! It is not more difficult than this. Now that you have succeeded in making this work, you are soon ready to take your automation skills to the next level. Now, continue experimenting with building small simple Flows to automate and simplify your (and your colleagues’) working days.
“May the flow be with you!”