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First Approval Flow - Microsoft Flow

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This module walks a user through the entire process of building a Microsoft approval flow on a SharePoint Online list using two different approval flows.
This module also displays the approval interfaces available for each flow, a list of resources, Benefits of flow approvals and overall business benefits using flow compared to other workflow software.

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First Approval Flow - Microsoft Flow

  1. 1. Microsoft Flow - First approval flow
  2. 2. Resources Sign in Sign Up https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/ Introducing Modern Approvals in Flow https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-modern-approvals/ PowerUsers - Flow https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Flow-Ideas/idb-p/FlowIdeas
  3. 3. What will I learn in this module? 1. You will learn to create and associate a flow with a custom SharePoint Online list 2. You will learn to create an email based approval flow 3. You will create a flow using the Approval action and email actions 4. You will learn the differences and configuration options with the approval action 5. You will learn to create a flow starting from a template 6. You will learn what the approval interfaces look like and how to approve a flow
  4. 4. Create an Audits list in SharePoint Online Create a custom SharePoint Online list from the modern interface (not classic) and name it ‘Audits List’. It should be configured with the following column names and column types: Site Name Audit Address Audit Date Design Color Configuration Audit Manager Audit Approval -rename the title column to ‘Site Name’ url column Date column Choice: Correct Incorrect Choice: Correct Incorrect Choice: Correct Incorrect People Choice: Approved Rejected
  5. 5. Completed Audit List Below is the completed Audits list with one entry for reference. Next we will attach the flow. If visible, select the Flow link. If not visible select it from the ellipsis …
  6. 6. 3 ways to get the Flow approvals An approver can be notified/approve via three methods: 1. Via email 2. Via mobile Flow app - http://bit.ly/2jqmcGN 3. Via Approval interface in Flow – ‘Approvals’
  7. 7. Let’s start by creating an approval flow that only uses email for approvals. This flow will email an approval notification (ACTION) to a manager designated in the Audit list when a new item is added to the Audits list (TRIGGER). Based on the ‘Approve’ or ‘Reject’, an ACTION will update the approval status in the Audit list. A second email will be sent to the creator of the audit item informing them if it was approved or rejected (CONDITION/ACTION) that also includes a link to the item. Create Audit Approval Email Flow ACTION Send Approval Email TRIGGER When a new item is created FLOW ACTION Send ‘Approved’ Email CONDITION If Yes (Approved), If No (Rejected) ACTION Update Audit Item(set approval) ACTION Send ‘Rejected’ Email ACTION Update Audit Item(set reject)
  8. 8. Select ‘See your flows’ to create a blank flow This will navigate to the main landing page for creating and working with flows. Create Audit Approval Email Flow
  9. 9. My Flows is where you can create a new flow or view existing flows Select, Create from blank Name it: Audit Site Approval - Email Notification
  10. 10. We will need to start with a trigger Select, ‘When an item is created’ or search for that trigger
  11. 11. Populate the trigger with: The site and audit list name Select the ellipsis and change the name of the trigger to read, ‘When a new audit is created’
  12. 12. Add an action: Select Office 365 Outlook Scroll to the action: ‘Office 365 outlook – Send approval email’
  13. 13. Populate action with dynamic content: To: Subject: Approval Request - User Options: Approve, Reject
  14. 14. Select ‘Show Advanced Options: Populate the Body input field with text and dynamic content (as displayed) to provide relevant information in the body of the email. Set the importance field to ‘High’
  15. 15. Add a Condition: ‘is equal to’ ‘Approve’
  16. 16. Populate the ‘If yes’ and ‘If no’ Update items in parallel as they contain the same information: Set the Approval Status Value to ‘Approved’ If Yes Set the Approval Status Value to ‘Rejected’ If No
  17. 17. Add a new item to the SharePoint Online Audits List Flow will automatically trigger and send the approval email Once Approved or Rejected the Audit list will be updated and the user is re-directed to a Thank you page Final email sent notifying the audit list audit creator the Audit Site was ‘Approved’ and link to the item
  18. 18. This flow will use the Microsoft Approval action. This flow will function like the email based workflow but provides a more comprehensive interface to capture approver information such as comments. It will provide alerts and approval actions in the flow mobile app or Flow home site under Approvals Create a new Audit Approval flow with Approvals Connector ACTION – Approval Connector Send Approval Notification TRIGGER When a new item is created FLOW ACTION Send ‘Approved’ Email CONDITION If Yes (Approved), If No (Rejected) ACTION Update Audit Item(set approval) ACTION Send ‘Rejected’ Email ACTION Update Audit Item(set reject)
  19. 19. Navigate to the flow site. The first Audit Site Approval flow – Email Notification should be visible under, ‘My Flows’. Turn off the flow Flow Site
  20. 20. Create a new flow from blank Name it: Audit Approval – Audit Connector and email Create an Audit Approval flow with the Approvals Connector
  21. 21. We can create the Flow using individual parts Or Search for the Trigger: When a new item is created Search for the Action Approvals OR
  22. 22. Search existing templates Or Microsoft has already done some of the work Select: Start approval when a new item is added
  23. 23. A new interface is presented Or Skip this interface by selecting: Edit in advanced mode You will be directed to the primary flow design canvas
  24. 24. Populate the trigger: The site and audit list name Select the ellipsis and change the name of the trigger to read, ‘When a new audit is created’
  25. 25. Populate the Approval action with: Assigned to: Complete the other fields as displayed.
  26. 26. The Condition input uses response instead of ‘selected option’: These inputs should already be pre-populated and will save us time!
  27. 27. Differences with the Approval Action: The image displayed is the ‘Yes’ option of the condition. 1. You have access to more dynamic content such ‘Comments’ in the Body field. These comments are captured at the time of the Approve or Reject. 2. You also have access to the ‘Approver Name’ which is useful if you have a group of approvers. 3. You also have access to the ‘Response’ dynamic content which you can add to the subject field instead of hard coding the response
  28. 28. All the dynamic content included with Approval Action: Here is the complete list of Dynamic content available with the Approver Action
  29. 29. There is one other important difference with the Approval Template: Can you see it?
  30. 30. The Approval Template is only configured to Inform the creator of the Audit item via email. This may not be an issue if your use case is to only request approvals and not record the approval outcome. The goal of our Audit list was to record the Approval decision in the Audit list in context with the information.
  31. 31. Add the Update Item In order to have the Audit list updated with the approval decision, add the SharePoint action – Update item ‘Inform item creator of approval for both the yes and no conditions before the Inform item creator action. Set the fields as displayed in the purple image. Set ‘Approved’ as the Approved Status Value for the Yes condition and Set ‘Rejected’ as the Approval Status for the No condition.
  32. 32. Populate the ‘Inform item creator of approval’ action Complete the fields in the “Inform item creator of approval as seen in the image. Your Audit Approval flow is complete! Save your flow: Update flows
  33. 33. Add a new item to the Audits List Flow will automatically trigger and send a notification to my phone Once approved or rejected, the ‘add comment’ field is available In my example I have added a new item called Content Delivery to the Audit list. Select, confirm and your request is approved Email to creator of Approval Status
  34. 34. The Approval can also be approved from the Flow home page Select Approvals, Received requests
  35. 35. Primary Benefits of Flow Approvals 1. Flow approvals are triggered and sent incredibly fast! Approval notifications are approximately < 2 seconds after a new a new item is added to a list using the mobile app. 2. Faster testing cycles 3. The approval interfaces are more user friendly and easier to understand compared to SharePoint designer workflows. 4. Flows can be turned on/off on demand easily 5. Flows can be shared with a team of people ensuring business continuity 6. Flows can be exported
  36. 36. Business Benefits of Flow Approvals 1. No extra software installed in your environment. 2. Flows offer a layer of transparency not available in other workflow design tools. 3. Flows have a universal architecture and configuration. Flows are easily updatable by multiple service providers on-site and remotely Security, time savings, money savings Group collaboration, knowledge sharing, flow re-use, smaller learning curve Faster business solutions, time savings, money savings
  37. 37. Need help or a responsive intranet? https://www.linkedin.com/in/greg-gignac-4026837/

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