Automating Your Work with Microsoft Flow

Have you been using SharePoint workflows, and now you are wondering what to think about Microsoft Flow? This session covers the creation of flows in Office 365, with specific examples of integration across line-of-business systems and SharePoint / Email. This session also includes specific examples and demonstrations of translating business processes from SharePoint Designer workflows to Microsoft Flow.

In this session you will learn:

  • How to get around in the Flow interface
  • What actions are available for SharePoint automation
  • How to troubleshoot workflow issues
  • Useful examples of common integrations across multiple servers and systems
  • Pros and cons of moving to Microsoft Flow

Full transcript:

[00:00:01] Hello everyone I am, Laura Rogers And welcome to my session about automating your work with Microsoft Flow. So, let’s go ahead and get started and I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I run a SharePoint training company called IW Mentor a mentor for information worker mentor and I’ve been a Microsoft MVP for about six years. I’ve got about 12 years of experience with SharePoint. I live in Birmingham, Alabama and you can read more of my articles and posts. IWonderLaura.com

[00:00:34] And today we’re going to be talking about Microsoft flow, Microsoft flow is a brand new technology it’s still in Preview but it is Microsoft’s new sort of workflow product. I don’t know if I’d necessarily call it a product because it’s not something that you have to download or install or purchase but it is a service that flowed up Microsoft.com. And so today we’re going to be talking all about flow and our agenda for the day is going to be first a little bit of an introduction. We’re going to talk about connections and the types of data that we can use in flow, and how to design a flow and then building and troubleshooting and kind of getting around in the interface and we’ll on a demo a couple of flows that I’ve created. First of all, what is Microsoft flow? First of all, a flow can be created by anyone. You can go to flow.microsoft.com, it used to be just for Office 365 customers but just recently introduced the ability for anyone with a Windows Live account to be able to log in at it at the site and go create however many flows you like, so that can be created by absolutely anyone. And then another thing about it is that it integrates with many many other systems and services and new ones keep being added continuously. This product is in the middle of being developed, one great thing that I love about it is that it doesn’t require custom code and you can also create flows by going to this Web site or you can download the mobile app.

[00:02:20] It’s called Microsoft flow and you can get it on your Android or iPhone. One thing to keep in mind about Flow is that it is a product that’s in preview right now. So this isn’t necessarily going to be something that is a 100 percent replacement, for your SharePoint designer workflows it’s a completely different interface is a completely different way that it works. But there are first of all there are a few things that you can do and flow that you can’t do with Sharepoint design or workflow, so those are going to be like some great good. You know first places to get started and then as the product improves they’re going to be you know you’re going to be able to start maybe creating some of your automated processes in flow instead of SharePoint designer. Microsoft Flow also works in conjunction with their other new product called Power apps power apps is something that recently rolled out to power X apps dot com. And if you were in office 365 You can see power apps in the ribbon or in the tile little walk among you in that site. And when you go to the new modern look of listen libraries you will actually see new buttons directly in your lists and libraries, that take you to create a power app or create a flow and that’s your quick way of doing some automation’s that you can start from within SharePoint to do that. And but of course you can also just go to float at Microsoft dot com and start from there. All right, so what what can we do with Flow, what is what is the full sort of scope and breadth of what can be accomplished?

[00:03:59] Well these are just a handful of the these icons on the screen are just a handful of the different services that we can connect to and integrate together in our flows. So, with a SharePoint designer workflow you were pretty much stuck with, not only working with the SharePoint content that’s directly in that one sharePoint site but you also didn’t have an easy and intuitive way to be able to connect to other services. First there’s a web service call action and Sharepoint designer 2013 workflows, but it’s a little tricky to deal with that. So, the ability to connect to all these different services like CRM slacke, sequel databases, Sharepoint lists and libraries office 365, e-mail and things like that and yammer one drive one drive for business. Google calendars spreadsheets Dropbox and so there are a lot more on the list as well. The ability to connect to those and and work across those is going to be huge. So, we’ll talk about a lot of different examples, and then talk about sort of what the interface looks like when we are working in a flow. So, before we get to the next slide I’ll go ahead and do a demo and show you what it looks like to go to flow a couple of different ways you can get there. And then what it looks like with some of the examples that they have there are a lot of different templates, that Microsoft has put in there for us to give us ideas and get us started.

[00:05:32] All right first of all here is my SharePoint site, so one way that I can get to flow is to go to my little app launcher a little waffle menu and I’ll see Flow there.

[00:05:46] And that’s what I can click on but I can also just go to flow.microsoft.com here and sign in so I can see I’ve signed in as this, basically I have a demo Tennent which I have a bunch of fake data in. And so, that’s who I’ve logged in as here.

[00:06:01] So once you go once you log into flow it’s got a lot of examples you can watch videos and see some examples of services that you can connect to. But you can show all 50 so it’s got 50 services so the slide I had a minute ago, just had about 12 of them. But this gives you the ability to get the full scope of all the different ways that you can tap into data and work across these services. All right so let’s go look at what it gives us for templates. Templates might be the first place you want to start to get some ideas of what you might want to start with when you’re testing this out and trying it out. First of all, one that I love that you don’t necessarily have an SharePoint out of the box is the ability to have something happen based on a time of day or just have something happen maybe every day or every week or every hour. And so, you know based on that time create an item in SharePoint create a task create an email etc. So, this is one of my favorite new functionalities, it’s very simple but it doesn’t exist, in SharePoint designer workflows today. And you can kind of skim through here and be able to see kind of an idea of some of these, you know getting tweets and sending them to a SharePoint list that most not may not be the most useful business case but it gives you an idea of just the plethora of combinations of things that you can have in here.

[00:07:33] So like once a day get some Wunderlist tasks and have them delivered to an email get some RSS feeds and post them to yammer. So even though this is a SharePoint presentation this is about SharePoint I going to focus on SharePoint. Some of these flows that you create might not have anything to do with SharePoint. They might be connecting other things kind of like RSS and yammer and and having things automate things happen. Right. So, you know they have a lot of examples they’re even welcome they even welcome you to create samples as well, and you can even search through the templates if you want to just go find something specific like SharePoint, like that. And so, it filters the list and sort of I can sort of by popularity. So, this shows me all of the different templates that have SharePoint in them. All right so now I’ll go back to my slides and talk a little bit more about what the interface looks like when we’re creating Flow’s. All right, so these are the connections the integrations all the different services that we can connect to with the flow, and we can pick a template or we can just start from a blank file. I like to just start from a blank one but I do like to try out the templates just to kind of see what they do think about things that you might want to do that you haven’t been able to do in SharePoint designer workflows before. We’re not going to start in flow with some big complicated SharePoint design or workflow, that is five pages long and does you know 50 different actions.

[00:09:07] This is not the kind of thing that we’re going to start off by doing and flow, flow is for we’re going to we’re going to try it out by using a couple of fairly simple things with just a couple of actions. But the thing I like to focus on is what can it do that we can’t do with SharePoint, SharePoint designer out of the box. Right so when you start creating a flow you are presented with a nice little a little easy interface with some fields to fill in. So, for example you have a screenshot when a new item is created what do you want to happen, so you can say where in SharePoint where is the site where the new item is created. And then in what list. So, that is your trigger and in SharePoint designer workflows you have triggers as well but your triggers are usually just either manual or when a new item gets created or when a new item gets edited. The triggers and flow can be anywhere. They don’t have to be triggered from SharePoint. I can have a flow that’s triggered from a new one and being created in SharePoint a new item being created in Dropbox or some new file in my one drive. So, there are a lot of different places that can be triggered from. So, you start off by creating a trigger and then you have an easy way to go do actions after that trigger happens. So, I can go in this example I go get the user profile, I can send when I start filling in the the little fields in my flow.

[00:10:41] It has boxes for me to be able to pick, what to pick the fields from the sort of variables that I’m using within my flow as I go. So, we create we can create a flow from template or from a blank. We create a trigger a trigger is required and we can add actions. It does have the it does have the ability to do conditions and you can do loops as well when you’re dealing with lists of things which is another cool thing that you can kind of do and SharePoint designer workflows. But basically, anytime you have a list of multiple things in a flow it will automatically say oh this needs to be a loop and it will create a loop for you, it’s nice. And then we click Create create flow so it’s fairly simplistic and I’ll go through kind of how simple it is to create one and some basic things we can do and then we’ll go and do a couple of more complex things as we get. I will start by going to my Flo’s I can see that I’ve created a few of them. Let’s go create a new one from blank though and see how that works. OK, when I’m starting a new blank flow I can scroll through and see a lot of triggers that I can pick from which there are a lot. You can be a little overwhelming or I can just type something, so I can type Sure point that’s my favourite thing to type. So, what when something happens in SharePoint when a file is created a new file is created is going to be in a library versus when a new item is created.

[00:12:20] And that’s going to be in a list or an item is modified or a file is modified so there is a little bit of a delete deleting and a little bit of a delineation here. All right so I can start with when a new item is created.

[00:12:36] And then I give it a URL, I have my demo site here so i’ll do, that’s my URL of my demo site and I can go pasted in here. And as soon as I do that it’s going to populate the list name with the list from within my site, so I can say maybe when a new time sheet item is entered I need that time sheet item to be approved. So now that’s the trigger. I have advanced options for a lot of my different triggers and actions. This is where you can get a little advanced, so I can do O-data which I’m not a developer I don’t even know what data is but if I want to get very advanced with going in and only getting certain things and the time sheet and only triggering off of certain things I can do that. But when a new item is created in the time sheet, I can add a new step here what I want to What do I want to add? Do I want to just add another action that will happen for every item that’s created, or do I want to add a condition or more so let’s say when the time sheet is added? I can add a condition, and I just have to pick sort of what you know what equals what.

[00:13:53] So when a new item is created all right when a new item is created I want to send an e-mail to the manager to approve this. So first of all, I need to know the manager of the person that submitted this new item. Manager.

[00:14:21] So when I use the get Manager action, I which users manager do I need to get when a new item in time sheet is created in a SharePoint list in my time-sheet list what do I want to happen? In this case, I want to have if it’s over a certain number of hours and have to have that person’s manager approve it. Every time I click in a box and flow like this it gives me a lot of information that basically values that I’ve already obtained, throughout my flow. So, in this case I want to get the number of hours, Hours is greater than and I’ll just say four, that’s and that’s in one day so maybe if I worked more than four hours in one day or a particular thing then I want to the manager to approve it. Sure, Alright. So, there’s my condition and I can collapse this to just kind of make it a little easier to manage all this and then so if it is over four hours what do I want to happen? Then I want to figure out who the manager is of that person. So, I can type start typing manager and there’s an action called Office 365 users get manager, who’s manager do I want to get? So, as I go through here and as I put my cursor in these boxes it gives me options from the information I’ve been using throughout the workflow, so whoever created this time sheet item that’s the person who’s manager I’m going to get. So, get the manager. And then once I get the manager I’ll have that value to be able to use. So, next thing I’m going to do is there is an outlook in office 365 outlook send approval email the outlook send approval email has lazy approval built in. This is huge, people love this. This means that I can just click a button to approve something and not have to go look at that things, so I’ll say send approval or e-mail and who I Want to send it to. Now look at this, see now I have outputs now that I’ve gotten the manager I have outputs from that and I still have the outputs from when I first triggered the workflow. OK, so get a manager. I want to get that person’s e-mail. So, that’s who I’m going to send the approval e-mail to.

[00:17:06] And then for the subject I can say approve time sheet I can type the subject here so I can include whoever’s time sheet it was here’s where I can include that created by display name which is going to be the nice pretty first name last name of whoever created the time sheet. And then I have user options which are approve or reject and I can change those. You know what. That’s what I want to say in the e-mail Do they approve or reject it. Those are my outcomes. And then I have the ability to do the body of the e-mail here. Now this box looks very small but I can put a full amount of like just rich H.T. amount in the body of the email. So, since they have the ability to do this lazy approval that that means that I could just technically type put all the fields all the values from the time sheet entry they just entered right here in the body. So, they don’t have the need to feel like they have to go to SharePoint and look at the item.

[00:18:09] So I can just say date so I can say this is the date that they did the work.

[00:18:15] So work date.

[00:18:18] I can even use HMO in here.

[00:18:20] It’s not necessarily obvious but I can do it so I can say I make that bold and put a break after it.

[00:18:32] And then make the next one bold spend a little bit of time doing that.

[00:18:40] You’ll notice that I can put a lot of information here about the item that was submitted which we’ve always been able to do and ship one designer workflows but there are some additional things in here that I can add about the person who submitted the information. So, I’ll go ahead and do that now. I can. There’s a lot of information that I have I have the created by have their departments have their display name email their job title their picture. That’s interesting. And then I even have information of someone and modify that I have a lot of modified by information as well. So, I’ll go ahead and enter that here.

[00:19:18] All right you’ll notice I put a lot of extra information in here and I put it in HDMI HCM format with the fields included. All right so the next thing I need to do this is all additional information still in the e-mail itself the approval email I can change the importance of the e-mail which is something you can’t do in a ship design or workflow.

[00:19:40] I can even do attachments. Think about that attachments are one of those things that in the past with SharePoint designer workflows if you needed to do attachments you couldn’t you would have to get a third-party product. We can do attachments now. I don’t have any attachments necessarily in this situation but think about things like having a file coming from a one drive and having it actually get mailed to somebody is an attachment and scenarios like that that kind of let your mind expand as to what some of your new capabilities are going to be.

[00:20:14] All right so let’s collapse this a little bit. Let’s see. So, if yes I get the manager and send the approval e-mail and then I need to do something depending on whether they approve it or not.

[00:20:28] So I can add an action here or I can do you get more let me go ahead and cancel that instead of adding action.

[00:20:36] Add another condition.

[00:20:40] All right. So, this is their option. When the person gets, the approval e-mail this is going to be the button they click on.

[00:20:49] So that button is equal to approve and where do I get the word approve that I just typed in.

[00:20:56] Well it’s from up here user options a proven reject so I have to type that same word. So, if is equal to approve. If it’s equal to approve what would I like to do.

[00:21:10] All right if yes then do what.

[00:21:14] I’ll go ahead and do SharePoint action here where I can go edit that item I’ll go Mark that item as approved. So, I’ll say update item.

[00:21:32] All right I got my site you were all here. Grab that again.

[00:21:42] And then it’s going to give me back my list.

[00:21:50] My time. She does what I need and which item in the time she. Am I going to mark is approved and that is going to be that same item that got created. So this is pretty much the only variable I have to pick from that’s that ID.

[00:22:05] Then all I really want to change is the status to approved click type approved.

[00:22:16] Now I could do some other things like send them an email letting them know is approved and I can do things if it you know if it gets rejected I could also maybe not even have a condition in here and just say whatever their response is approve or reject. Just place that into the into the status field in the timesheet but I’ll go ahead and say this is you know I’ve done a good bit in this flow for now at least for this first demo. Go ahead and give it a name.

[00:22:46] Let’s see a prove time sheet and click Update flow.

[00:22:52] Or if it’s a new one you’d be creating it OK. Now my new flow is running.

[00:23:01] I can go to my flows and I can see when it was Last-Modified Here’s a little bit of information about just a little bit more about getting around in here before we start testing them too much. So, it created a new flow. I have a few icons over here. It’s pretty self-explanatory. I have the ability to go at it my flow. I can delete it and I can even turn them off and on. Which is a nice functionality and just flip it to off. That way it won’t run anymore. And then the information button is where I can go get information about each time that flow has run and I can go see you know how far it’s going and its flow. Go ahead and run this workflow and then we’ll go look at the information about it and kind of look at how it’s got a nice way of diagnosing the workflow. Being able to tell how far I went and what it did it’s got a nice little visual interface for that. So, go back over to my time sheet. I’m going to log in as a different user I’m going to log in as Billy-Bob because Billy-Bob has me as his manager if I log in as somebody who doesn’t have a manager it’s not necessarily going to do the part where the manager has to approve it. So go ahead and again as him. All right. Longden as Billy-Bob my demo user. Now go ahead and fill in a time sheet item and see what happens.

[00:24:20] Click new and say more. And I love this by the way in the new list the new forms it can remember other things that have been typed in that same field kind of like the concept in excel when you’re typing in a cell and it remembers kind of other things that have been typed in that same column these new forms will do that.

[00:24:43] So it’s really nice.

[00:24:46] All right good my hours I’ll just say only two will test it out because it’s supposed to trigger four hours right. And I work day was today.

[00:24:57] Projects and then save.

[00:25:05] All right now let’s go see if the flow ran of course the Florida. Now one thing about these flows so a couple of things is it’s not necessarily going to say that it did anything because if it you know if it didn’t meet a condition and therefore just pretty much didn’t have to do anything.

[00:25:24] You have to kind of go digging for a little bit so I can go the information here about any time that this workflow has run and I can see that I can it filters it and show succeeded and failed but keep in mind that there’s also a filter up here.

[00:25:40] So if you don’t see what you’re looking for go ahead and maybe change your filter around and narrow it down and find other things that you that you mean notice I can see here that the flow succeeded.

[00:25:53] But in this case since I only typed two hours I don’t expect to have done anything yet. Let’s try another one where I type something that’s more than four hours and see the e-mail that goes to the manager.

[00:26:08] All right I’m logged in as a different user here and this user is going to go ahead and fill out his timesheet.

[00:26:25] Notice now that the manager received the e-mail and it has all the HMO formatting that was typed into the e-mail and all the manager has to do is simply click on approve or reject your response or prove has been assessed successfully registered. And so now the manager is seen everything in the e-mail decided what the outcome was and the workflow will now proceed onto whatever the next actions were such as the one that sends the e-mail or the one that sets the status of the timesheet to approved. Let’s go take a look at the status of the time sheet and look at that. The status says approved now. And that means that person’s time has been approved for that day and that’s the end of that workflow.

[00:27:20] Let’s go ahead and talk about a different flow that I created that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with SharePoint but it shows an integration of multiple services together. Same maybe for a small company running a marketing department and you want to be able to post things across various mediums. Maybe you know potentially it could start in SharePoint and include all these different services. But in this example I started mine in Instagram. The idea is that when I post something to Instagram and use the word SharePoint as one of my tags like hash tag SharePoint then I want to also post that same picture to Facebook and to Twitter. So, let’s go see how that works. All right. When I upload new media basically So anything that I upload to Instagram it’s going to trigger so there isn’t anything extra that I need to configure except to authenticate to my Instagram account when I first create this item. And then as soon as I pick tags put on the media. So, there are inherently or potentially multiple tags that you could have on any one Instagram post. I see people kind of go crazy with the tags and Instagram so because as soon as I selected tags when I chose this when I started creating a condition it automatically put this apply to each section here. So, apply to each and it’s going to be basically tags put on the media. And so, it’s what it’s going to do is it’s going to loop through each tag. This is going to put them all in lower case I discovered this by trial and error and its case sensitive.

[00:29:14] So whatever you want your tag to be typing in all lowercase here because it’s going to convert them to a lower case anyway. And these are all just things that you do.

[00:29:22] You know that’s where I spend my life doing stroll shooting workflows right. So, that’s what I did to discover that in here. So, name of the tags so for each tag it’s going to loop through each one. So, if the name of the tag is equal to share points then what do I want to happen. So, I post it to my Facebook page my company Facebook page IOW mentor and for the status message look at this so it gives me some outputs about my image. So, I have all this information that I could put in here as a status message so whatever the caption text was I’ll just have that be my status message and Facebook. And then I have all this additional information I could use and go to advanced options. Ooh look at this link. Image is going to be the image you or I link caption His caption text. And then there’s a ton of extra information that you can do or leaving to insert to Facebook apparently, a pre-Facebook gives you a lot of different fields you can fill out here. So, I’m going to put it on my Facebook page and post a tweet. So, the tweet text is going to have my caption text and then the media is going to be the image you are.

[00:30:30] So let’s go ahead and run that.

[00:30:38] On my phone. I took a picture of the screen and I posted to Instagram. So here is my screen for Instagram from five minutes ago, Me taking a picture of the screen as I’m recording it. And I posted to Instagram and let’s go see what happened.

[00:30:58] OK. So, it looks like on Twitter it worked.

[00:31:03] So it posted as me and it automatically posted I posted on Instagram. And then my flow made it automatically post in Twitter and it looks like I did the image part correct as well so put that as part of this. You might have noticed that just out of the box if you are in Instagram and you flick the flip the little switch to automatically post your Instagram to Twitter. It doesn’t put the image in line like this so this kind of automation is going to be useful to be able to actually have the image showing on your tweet. So here is my tweet over in Twitter. Let’s go see if it went to Facebook as well. It looks like the image did not get posted to Facebook so this is where it would go into the flow and trouble shoot and see kind of you know maybe take that action out or reconfigure it and be able to tell by the error what went wrong. Now I have a feeling that I know what was wrong because when it asked me which page I want to post to it says Page ID and I simply typed the name of the page. So, I think that there’s a Facebook page ID that I just need to know something like ID and I could just try to use that and see if it works. But we’ll go ahead and move on to the next type of workflow that we can do in here.

[00:32:22] Another example of a useful workflow for automating some things I do with customers and projects is this flow that I’ve created called new customer contact this low is going to be triggered when I create a new item in my customer contact list in SharePoint and it’s going to send an approval email or some to basically approve or reject the fact that that new customer is getting created and potentially sending them a statement of work.

[00:32:54] And want to take a look at a few things that we’re doing in this flow. Right.

[00:32:58] Go at it at.

[00:33:03] Came new customer contact. So, this is the trigger. My SharePoint list called customer contacts when a new item gets created my flow will start soon as the flow starts. It will create a contact for me in Outlook.

[00:33:23] Right so this is the action. It’s one of the outlook for Office 365 actions and it is called Just using create a contact. And so, it’s going to. Now this looked a lot prettier when I selected the folder idea when I first created it basically just said contacts but it’s changed itself.

[00:33:46] So I’m going to leave that alone now when I’m creating the new contacts in Outlook contact.

[00:33:53] So I created I started off in SharePoint by creating the item in a list. So now this is actually going to put the person in my outlook. So, it’s going to say give them a name their full name display name email address company name phone number city state and so there are a lot of different of course contact fields that I can fill in. And then it’s going to send an approval email to this e-mail address new customer approval and then the name of the company and whether I want to approve or whether the person wants to approve or reject it. And then please take a look at this customer and approve a statement of work to be sent to them and then it’s going to have basically the contact which will have their e-mail address in the company and then based on whether the person approves or reject it it’s going to do several other things it’s going to create a customer in the customers list in SharePoint so it was a customer contact which is an individual that I first created. So, this is going to create the customer in the main list of customers. It’s going to create a new project copy file and send a statement of work in e-mail to that customer and then it’s going to update the contact status basically to say whether or not. The status is basically whether it was approved or rejected. So, that you’ll know either way things are going to happen. So, let’s go run this one. Start by creating a new contact in my contact list.

[00:35:30] Just a quick tip custom lists are the only ones right now that are compatible with flow and power apps. So, this is called contact’s but I created it as a custom list and SharePoint so I’ll go ahead and fill that in.

[00:35:47] So I’ve got here. Lois Griffin is my contact. I went ahead and put her email as mine just didn’t want to make up an email and put a fake one because I want to in case I’m doing something later with a workflow with it I want to be able to use her email maybe I could send something to the customer.

[00:36:03] That’s another good tidbit of things that we can do in flow that we can’t necessarily do in a SharePoint design or workflow. We can send e-mails outside the company huge.

[00:36:15] So I can actually make my automated workflow send the customer an e-mail welcoming them to the company and walking welcoming them as a customer.

[00:36:25] All right so I create my new contact.

[00:36:32] And let’s go see how it went.

[00:36:37] My flow succeeded. OK. So, I think it’s in progress though because I have an approval portion so let’s go see what it’s doing.

[00:36:47] I know it’s exceeded those of this page is lying to me. All right. I’m going to go look at the e-mail that I would have received and it looks like I did receive it. Let me go over to my e-mail here.

[00:37:07] This is my test demo account that this is not my real email. But anyway, this is my e-mail that arrived from the fellow and it’s got the name of the test company that I created. And it says Please take a look at this customer and approve her statement of work to be sent to them. So, I’ll go ahead and approve this and see what happens.

[00:37:30] Thank you for response. So just basically quickly pulls up a web page and then they’re done and they can just close the page.

[00:37:38] All right. And also, let’s go see it also creates a contact in my contacts list here. Look at that. Lois Griffin and it gave it the e-mail address that I created and that nice. So, there’s the person that I created. And it put the city that I had put for her contact information et cetera. That’s nice. And now it’s of the e-mail that it sent me. Oh, my goodness. This is awesome. So, I’m actually about a statement of work template and I have my flow sending this file in an e-mail.

[00:38:19] To the customer please sign her return to us so this is me as the customer. I know it’s a little confusing that I have the ruling now go to me. And I’m also pretending I’m the customer I want to get all confusing with multi open opening multiple e-mail boxes so. But this is the e-mail that can go out to somebody outside of your company and it has a file attached. So, that’s the end of that. So let’s go look at how that happened.

[00:38:55] All right so it creates the customer and we can go check some of these other things as well.

[00:38:59] Get customers. This is the one that I created called test company.

[00:39:10] All right so it created that it creates a project.

[00:39:15] So look at the list of projects.

[00:39:22] And there it is. Test company project nice and it filled in all the fields that I wanted to fill in it copies a file. So, I have a template file in SharePoint and a specific location and that is my template for statements of work. And it basically takes a copy of that and it sends it in an e-mail to the customer. Take a look. All right I have a library. So basically I point it to my site.

[00:39:54] Again this could be any site in SharePoint it doesn’t have to be the same one that I’m working in with my customers and projects.

[00:40:01] So if get a statement of work library and a specific file called example, and that is going to be like my statement of work template and then my destination file is the it takes it and copies it and creates a new file with the name of that company.DOCX So it’s called I call this one test company in this example.

[00:40:24] Alright, and then I don’t want to overwrite if there’s already one there and then sending a statement of work.

[00:40:31] It’s going to go to and that is the e-mail from when I created the contact. So, that it’s just a text box that I typed in when I created the customer.

[00:40:43] So new customer contact, I have a lot of outputs in this window and I saw my new customer contact that was the very first trigger that I had and I typed right here the customer’s e-mail. So that is the one that I’m using, Went to send as a customer’s e-mail to send it to them and hopefully it was typed correctly in that text box.

[00:41:04] But again I’m sending an e-mail to somebody outside of SharePoint. All right. So it says blah blah blah company statement of work with your mentor and it does the attachment.

[00:41:15] How did we do the attachment name is going to be. Now when I click here I’ll show you kind of where I got these outputs from copy file.

[00:41:26] So I do the display name of the attachment is going to be the name. And then what about puts the content of the attachment is going to be name and that is what sends the attachment in an email.

[00:41:48] All right lots of output so you notice that I went through you know when the first flow that I created there wasn’t that much to it there were only a handful of outputs. But as I go through all these things were creating a contact sending an approval email creating a customer creating a project copying a file so all those things in them do give me back outputs that I can use in other places in my flow.

[00:42:11] So that was successful. All right.

[00:42:17] Was that another concept that I have here is the concept of having an issues list in SharePoint and having people be able to report an issue but be able to just report it by simply sending an email. So, I’ll just do a quick overview of this. This one when a new e-mail arrives maybe with a particular subject like issue then create an item create a list item in an ISSUES list and then there’s even a cool little action in here that’s the not necessarily get sent an approval email but send an email with options.

[00:42:58] So you can send an email with option buttons for people to click so you can have it so that automatically creates an issue for them.

[00:43:06] Send them an email back with options, whether maybe asking them what the priority of the issue is or asking them to categories it and that way they can simply click a button to give that input back and they don’t have to go to SharePoint and they don’t even necessarily have to be somebody in your company.

[00:43:23] So lots of great possibilities here with flow encourage you guys to go to float on Microsoft dot com again just log in with your Windows Live ID it doesn’t have to be Office 365 and start trying out the template start creating them from blank. Start out very simple. Don’t start by creating a flow with you know five different actions and it started out with just one or two simple things happening.

[00:43:51] And that’s my sort of best practice troubleshooting advice and then kind of work through them that way and go just very baby steps of this because again this is a preview product. Is a preview product so treated as a preview product and go by start pretty small and then build onto it later.

[00:44:13] Alright, a little bit of a recap and we showed this in the demo where for flow diagnostics and troubleshooting run the flow by doing whatever the trigger is. And then when you click that information button that’s where you’re going to see a list of all of your notifications. You’ll also see your notifications in a little sort of notification that little alert bell that pinging at the very top of the screen. And don’t forget that you can filter that by issues versus errors versus successes and you have a little drop down box to filter that.

[00:44:51] Thanks everyone, Have a great day at the conference!

 

This session was delivered at the Collab365 Global Conference 2016 and was presented by Laura Rogers.

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About The Author
- Laura Rogers​ is a SharePoint expert, speaker, author and educator. She is well-versed in helping organizations make the most of their SharePoint environments using out-of-box functionalities such as workflows, forms and Web parts. She is the owner of IW Mentor,​ a ​ SharePoint ​t​raining ​c​ompany. Laura’s technical expertise also includes over 12 years of experience working with Microsoft’s messaging and collaboration systems. She has been named a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for the past six years. ​Laura runs the Birmingham (AL) SharePoint User Group. She has contributed to several books on SharePoint 2007, 2010 and 2013 over the past eight years. You can read more about Laura’s experiences on her blog, www.wonderlaura.com.

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