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How to Automate a Task in SharePoint using Power Automate? - Evolvous

How to Automate a Task in SharePoint using Power Automate? 

SharePoint can significantly improve productivity at the workplace, especially when you use it together with applications. For example, you can automate processes like document approvals in SharePoint with the help of Microsoft Power Automate. Automating workflows in SharePoint with the help of Power Automate can reduce the time spent on repetitive tasks.  

At Evolvous, we help organizations realize the potential of their SharePoint environment. This includes helping to automate critical business processes in SharePoint. Here, we will look at how you can automate a task in SharePoint using Power Automate. 

Do More with SharePoint Integration 

SharePoint does not only integrate with Power Automate, but also with several other applications, ranging from Power BI to Microsoft Teams. Explore our SharePoint integration services to know more. 

Things You Will Need to Automate a Task in SharePoint using Power Automate.

Here are the things you will need to automate SharePoint task with Power Automate: 

  • A SharePoint Account – Make sure that you have the required permissions to access and modify the content on the document library where the task is to be automated. 
  • A Power Platform Account – You will need to have a Power Automate account to automate the task. You can also use your existing Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) account to access Power Automate 
  • Workflow Plan – It is recommended that you have a detailed workflow flowchart that details the sequence of steps, the conditions and the triggers as required. 

Read More on Digital Workflow: Read our blog on digital workflows to know the basics of creating a digital workflow. 

The Steps to Follow to Automate a Task in SharePoint 

STEP 1: Sign into Power Automate  

The first thing that you need to sign into your Power Automate account. There are different Power Automate pricing plans that you can choose from, based on your requirements. 

STEP 2: Start Creating Your ‘Flow’  

Once you have successfully logged in, it is time to create the flow. Make sure that you have the workflow plan ready. We recommend that you review it once and try to make sure that it is free from errors. If possible, try to optimize the plan further. 

STEP 3: Choose a Trigger  

While creating a flow, you will first need to choose a trigger. It is crucial that you choose the right trigger for your process. 

So, what are triggers?  

Triggers are events that initiate an action. For example, let us say that you need to send an email to the creator whenever the document is edited. In this case, editing the document is the ‘trigger’ which initiates sending of the email – the ‘action.’ 

Common triggers in SharePoint include: 

  1. “When a file is created” (for document related tasks. For example, you send an email to managers when a file is created) 
  2. “When an item is created or modified” (for list or library related tasks. For example, you make an automatic entry onto a spreadsheet whenever a list item is added) 
  3. “Recurrence” (a time-based trigger. For example, if similar entries are made to a spreadsheet, then the system will send email notifications) 

Once you have chosen the trigger, it is time to move on to the next step. 

STEP 4: Connect to SharePoint 

Now, you need to connect your Power Automate account to your SharePoint site. Ensure you have access to an account with the necessary permissions to execute the integration. Integration is simple & straightforward. 

 However, if you do encounter issues, you can speak to our SharePoint consultants to get expert help in resolving integration issues. 

STEP 5: Configure the Trigger & Conditions 

Now, you will have to configure the trigger. Here, you will have to specify the SharePoint site, library, or list where the trigger event will occur. You can also add additional conditions or filter based on your requirements. 

What are ‘conditions’ in Power Automate? 

Conditions in Power Automate can be defined as ‘if’ clauses.  

For example, you can configure a condition where a mail is sent to the technical department only if certain technical documents are edited. Otherwise, all mails notifying document edits are sent to the content management team. 

 If a workflow has a condition, it should meet the criteria for the trigger and the condition. 

STEP 6:  Select Actions 

Next, you need to add actions in the Power Automate flow. 

What are ‘actions’ in Power Automate? 

Actions are the tasks that will be performed when the trigger event occurs, and all set conditions are met. Common actions for SharePoint include creating, editing, or deleting of items and files, sending emails, sending messages on Microsoft Teams etc. 

To configure the action, you will need to specify the data sources, mapping fields, setting email addresses, etc.  

Pro Tip: Use Dynamic content and expressions. Dynamic content is generated data that flows between different steps of the workflow. This allows you to create flexible, personalized, and hence more effective workflows. 

STEP 7: Test the Flow 

Before you deploy the automated workflow in SharePoint, you should always test it. You can use the ‘test feature’ to run the flow with a sample data set or even actual data. If there are issues, rectify them before saving the flow. 

STEP 8:  Save and Name the Flow 

After you are satisfied with the test results, you need to save the flow and give it a descriptive name that makes it easier for the user to understand what the flow is about. 

STEP 9: Activate the Flow 

Once everything is done, you can enable the flow to activate it. You need to monitor the performance of the flow and update the flow, as necessary. 

Common Issues in Automating Tasks in SharePoint Using Power Automate 

When you are looking to automate a task in SharePoint using Power Automate, you might encounter issues. Here are some common issues and how you can fix them: 

  • Permission Issues

Sometimes the account running the flow might lack sufficient permissions to perform the specified actions. Certain actions might also require item-level or list/library level permissions. 

Solution: If you are getting permission related error messages, make sure that the account running the flow has all the required permissions. 

  • Rate Limiting and Throttling

SharePoint has limits on the number of API requests it can process. If your flow is making too many requests within a short time, you might get errors. 

Solution: You can add delays between actions to lower the rate of requests. At the same time, you can consider batching of your flow to reduce the number of API calls. 

  • Data Mapping Issues 

Due to incorrect configuration of field-mappings, there might be a mismatch between the data from SharePoint and the expectation of the flow. Similar issues might arise if you do not follow the data structure of SharePoint. 

Solution: Double-check the field mappings and expressions and ensure that the flow aligns with the current SharePoint data structure. 

Discover the True Potential of Your SharePoint Platform 

SharePoint can do much more than storing your documents. There are many exciting possibilities you can explore. Contact Evolvous – for SharePoint Consulting Services the leading Microsoft Gold consultant in Canada and discover how you can use SharePoint to increase the productivity at your workplace. 

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