I’m excited to be a part of the speaker lineup next weekend at SPS Baltimore. If you’re nearby, be sure to register (it’s free!) and check it out on Saturday, May 20. At the time of this post, there’s just one ticket left! Here’s what you can expect from me:
Let Microsoft Flow and SharePoint Designer Workflows Do the Work
Your team members would appreciate getting some time back. Give it to them in ten minute increments here, thirty minutes there by using Microsoft Flow and SharePoint Designer to build them thoughtful workflows that range from simple one-steppers to more complex and conditional multi-stagers, even across site collections. We’ll cover specific HR and Accounting scenarios in this session based on real-case experience at KU Libraries, including automation of some onboarding and off-boarding processes, simple automated management of otherwise complex item-level permissions, travel plan submission and approval, receipt submission and reimbursement tracking and more all through utilizing workflows to save you and your colleagues time.
Perhaps you, like me, built an exciting Microsoft Flow workflow and let it go into the wild without much additional thought. But at some point, you drop a lookup column into the mix and your Flow stops working. It tells you the field is not supported in query, even if that specific field isn’t being utilized in the Flow. I believe this has something to do with REST, but we won’t dwell on the cause – let’s get to the workaround.
The scenario I’ll be using is my cross-site publishing alternative using Microsoft Flow where I’m basically copying data from list items in one site collection to create new list items in a different site collection. This is helpful when someone does some sort of data entry once, and other people are then entering much of the exact same data. This copies all of the overlapping data to a new list item for the second site collection to reduce duplication of work.
It sounds simple but with a lookup column in the destination list we get the error. For this I’ll be using SharePoint Designer and Microsoft Flow (of course) in combination, though you could certainly try it all in Microsoft Flow. I just find parts of the process simpler in SPD. And while your origin data may be different (MailChimp, Twitter, etc.), and your exact scenario may differ, this workaround should still have value in concept.
You may, at some point, find yourself working with calculations among dates, including “today’s date” which conceptually seems simple but requires a bit of work to function correctly. You may have even created a “today” column that defaults to “current date” or attempted a calculated column only to find that the date will not automatically update each day or that calculated columns cannot show dynamic data like that. Fret no more.
Today columns are essential for use in calculated columns that tell you things like “days until event”, “days without incident” or “years of service” without needing to click any buttons or take any additional steps. Your list’s calculated columns using your new Today column will always accurately reflect calculations using the current date. We’re going to create our solution via SharePoint designer workflow and a new Today column. Continue reading “Creating a “Today” column in SharePoint that always gives today’s date”
A zero-maintenance tool I find quite useful in a SharePoint calendar, particularly if your organization is not using Exchange for email, is to provide users a quick option to save something they see on a SharePoint calendar to their own calendar. Spend 5 minutes on these few instructions and your users can reap the benefits for years to come.
Basically we’re going to add a calculated text column called iCal which will use the list’s GUID (easy to get, don’t worry) and the specific calendar item’s default ID number to generate a clickable .ics (iCal) file link. Let’s get started!
Continue reading “Automatic iCal (.ics) hyperlinks for SharePoint calendar items using calculated column”
You may have several forms or lists using dropdown menus across your site that you would have to update if, say, an individual resigned, or a department changed its name, or a building relocated. Manage this type of information (individuals, departments, buildings, etc. frequently used in lists and forms) in separate lists that we’ll then use to create site-wide lookup columns to replace the many individual dropdowns across our sites that are repetitious. Basically, we’ll update the information in one place and know that it’s updated everywhere it’s needed across our site (or site collection if you’re familiar enough to go the extra mile with collection content types or Microsoft Flow, if your permissions aren’t at the site collection level).
Continue reading “Simplify site-wide SharePoint list and form revisions by utilizing lookup columns”
It’s not easy to show a list (or part of a list) from one site collection on another. There are data view web parts you could try in SharePoint Designer, content search queries and page viewers in SharePoint web parts and then some scripting methods you could try, but I, in my enterprise environment, had no luck with those. This method, however, utilizes Microsoft Flow and works flawlessly. Here are a couple great features:
- Permissions are completely flexible. Set the “new” list to view only or whatever permissions you like while keeping tight control over the original. People will not be able to access the original list or site collection but they’ll see your up-to-date info you’re wanting to share.
- You can set this up so it’s a one-way publishing experience so updates on list 1 show on list 2, but updates on list 2 don’t show on list 1 OR you can set it up two-way so each list will update the other, creating a shared list experience without allowing permissions to access each other’s site collections
So let’s get started!
Look at that workflow above – have you ever seen something so beautifully simple? I’m excited to share several solutions with you in this one post. This post should cover the following:
- Working with content types
- Creating a template for each content type capable of having merge fields
- Finding a way to merge list item info into a new document via workflow
- And if you’re super ambitious, expanding the workflow just a bit with an if/then statement to use different templates based on conditions in your list
But because this is a massive topic and could be tailored an infinite number of ways, I encourage you to comment or tweet me for additional guidance more specific to your scenario. So here we go!
Continue reading “SharePoint workflow that creates a document based on a template”