Note: I previously shared how to do this in SharePoint Designer. The following method utilizing Flow is better, and does not use loops/pauses.

It’s well-known that SharePoint calculated columns don’t permit [Today] to be used as a formula for a calculated date column. And the “default to today’s date” setting only works upon creation, and doesn’t update daily. But we can create a standard date column and have Microsoft Flow automatically update it daily for us, therefore allowing us to effortlessly perform calculations against today’s date such as:

  • Age =(TodayDate-Birthday)/365
  • Years of Service =(TodayDate-StartDate)/365
  • Days Past Due =(TodayDate-DueDate)
  • Weeks until summer break =(SummerStart-TodayDate)/7

Here’s how to create your own, always accurate/updated, today column (see bottom of post for video):

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Automatically create and send reports, files and lists on a regular schedule using Microsoft Flow’s recurrence trigger. Whether hourly, daily, weekly or monthly you can deliver the most current and relevant data from SharePoint or OneDrive to interested parties via email without lifting a finger. Combine this with calculated columns in SharePoint and conditions for some awesome possibilities:

Alerts Calendar Relevance Routine
Report costs or expenditures above a certain amount Current month’s birthdays and/or workiversaries to your secretary Send expenses per department or individual to that department or individual Budget and salary or payroll figures weekly
Notify when an open ticket is idle for a week or incomplete Upcoming events per location Share evaluation status with supervisors for just their employees Recently closed deals and contracts
Survey responses or reviews under 3 stars Upcoming deadlines per department Client info and updates to proper salespeople based on location or product Distribute new hires’ contact/location info to the organization in weekly batches

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Microsoft Flow mobile buttons are magical. One touch on your mobile device, and gears start turning to retrieve and deliver the data you need when and how you need it. Recently, I set out to deliver all Microsoft Forms responses to a recipient on-demand as an excel file using a Microsoft Flow mobile button they could press whenever they wanted the results. I also created a button someone could use to be sent all the birthdays coming up in the next week for our organization whenever they need it. You can adjust the following steps to fit your situation and tools, but the following outlines two ideas:

  • Sending someone all responses to a Microsoft Forms survey whenever they press the button (Take a snapshot in time of responses, or pull up-to-the-minute feedback into your meeting)
  • Sending someone SharePoint list items in an excel sheet that match a certain criteria (Projects ending in the next two weeks)

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Even if your SharePoint site’s regional settings are correct (or whichever data source you’re pulling from), Power BI could convert it to the wrong time zone upon import. It’s a quick fix, luckily. Instead of using your “modified,” “created” or other date field in your report, we’ll create a new calculated column in Power BI to use with an accurate time zone.

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We’ve been waiting a lifetime (dramatic?) for this feature. And now it’s here! Sort of.

Currently, with a new “Preview” action release in Microsoft Flow, we’re able to convert documents to PDF in OneDrive for Business via workflow. While this isn’t ready for SharePoint yet, we can make it look that way for our end users. Basically:

  1. When a file is created or modified in SP
  2. Create document in OneDrive for Business
  3. Convert document
  4. Create document in SP

It’s roundabout but we get exactly the result often requested: convert SharePoint docs to PDF automatically. Here’s how to set this up. A video walkthrough is available at the bottom of this post.

If you’re using a document Name field in a workflow but it’s not working as expected, it could be because there are apostrophes () or ampersands (&) in document names. In this case, SharePoint evaluates apostrophes () to &#39semicolon and ampersands (&) to &ampsemicolon As you can see here, most other punctuation evaluates perfectly well:

cats

Note: This problem only occurs when using apostrophes and ampersands in document names, in document libraries. And we can fix the issue without needing to rename the files.

Document names cannot contain these punctuation marks: \ / . : * # “

Regular lists and document library fields aside from the Name field shouldn’t experience this issue. But if you’re using & or in your file names, and calling those file names in workflow, here’s how we can make it work:

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If you’ve seen a similar notification, I empathize with your pain. I don’t know that there is one solution to this problem, either, so I’m going to share a number of them we’ve used and hope that one (or all) of them will help you.

Basically a file is added through file explorer (a cloud library in OneDrive or SharePoint being synced locally to your computer) but then after a moment a notification appears which says “You now have two copies of a file; we couldn’t merge the changes in [filename]” and then the filename is appended with your computer name again and again until eventually the filename is too long and is harder to delete. Let’s not get to that point.

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It’s not uncommon to want to use yes/no checkboxes when building Microsoft Flow conditions. [Field] is equal to “Yes” or [Field] is equal to true won’t work because it reads the Yes or true as a string rather than a value. So when the flow runs, even if the checkbox is checked (true), the run history says the expression result was false.

Fortunately it’s a simple two-step fix. Follow these steps to be able to use yes/no checkboxes as conditions in your flows: