Cincinnati SharePoint User Group – June 22nd

On June 22nd 2017, I will again be speaking to the Cincinnati SharePoint User Group and this time around we will be discussing workflow. I will present the options for creating workflows in SharePoint and Office 365, as well as look at the process (and potential pitfalls) for upgrading your SharePoint Designer workflows to Microsoft Flow.

Find details on the topic, as well as register on the Meetup page.

[UPDATE]
Thank you so much to everyone who came out tonight to the meeting – I had a great time and the group participation was wonderful.

I mentioned tonight the Known issues and resolutions page Microsoft is maintaining for Flow – here is the link: https://ms.flow.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/release-notes/#known-issues-and-resolutions

There were a few questions about Flow during the meeting that I wanted to make sure I followed-up with – the list of questions & my answers are below:

  1. Can Microsoft Flow monitor list item changes while the Flow is running – meaning can another Flow instance start if a user updates a list item while the Flow is already running.
    • It is my understanding that if the Flow is currently running on a list item, another instance of the Flow will not start when a trigger occurs.
  2. Is there a trigger in Microsoft Flow for item deletes?
    • No, just like SharePoint Designer workflows, there currently isn’t a way to detect item deletes.
  3. Is there a particular patch level for SharePoint 2013 that is required for Microsoft Flow to connect?
    • I haven’t seen documentation noting a specific service pack or patch-level that is needed, but I will ask Microsoft for clarification and post the answer here.

Atlanta SQL Saturday 2017

I am happy to announce that I’ll be speaking and attending SQL Saturday Atlanta on July 15th. As one of the largest SQL Saturday events in the USA, we always have a great time of learning and meeting new people.

Please join me – Register via the #SQLSatAtlanta site.

[This post will be updated after the event]

Chattanooga SQL Saturday 2017

Please join me on June 24th in Chattanooga, Tennessee for the third annual SQL Saturday Chattanooga! We will be discussing SharePoint BI and how Power BI brings a new level of data storytelling to collaboration.

Register via the #SQLSatChattanooga site.

[This post will be updated after the event]

New Simple Approval Flows In SharePoint Libraries

Microsoft announced today the newest improvement in workflow for the SharePoint platform – easy-to-use approval workflows built-in that will enable you to route a document for approval and give you the ability to give a custom message.

In my workflow presentations, I talk about having a simple approval workflow being a great first step but we need a better user experience than what we have been given out-of-the-box with SharePoint in the past. We need the user to be able to approve/deny directly within their email client, without having to go to a SharePoint page, edit the task, complete the task, and then save it. Too many steps!!

New: Simple Approval Flows

With this new functionality using Microsoft Flow, we will now be able to ad-hoc route documents for approval and approval participant will have a one-step action link in their email.

New built-in approval flows

Make sure you check out the new Microsoft Mechanics video “Zero code business process apps in SharePoint with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow” showing this and other improvements to the SharePoint experience.

Using PowerApps to Build SharePoint List Forms

Today Microsoft announced the next step for PowerApps integration with SharePoint – using PowerApps forms within the context of a SharePoint list or library.

This is another way PowerApps is becoming a strong successor to InfoPath forms and will give your users a rich viewing, creating, and editing experience right within their SharePoint library or list.

Using a PowerApps Form to View, Create, and Edit SharePoint List Items

This feature will be coming to SharePoint Online & Office 365 this Summer and I expect we will immediately start using the functionality within my client organizations to improve the user experience.

I highly recommend watching the new Microsoft Mechanics video “Zero code business process apps in SharePoint with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow” to get an idea on how the forms will be created and used.

Microsoft Stream General Availability

Yesterday Microsoft announced via a message (MC101855) in the Office 365 message center that Microsoft Stream will be generally available soon.

A few months ago, a preview of Stream was announced and you can view more information about the service on the Microsoft’s site. The service will be on by default now and will be visible in the Office 365 app launcher.

If you are using Office 365 Video to serve content within your organization, there is nothing you need to do at this time. The move to Microsoft Video will be a phased approach and Microsoft has promised that the move will include all your content and metadata.

After the transition, existing Office 365 Video embed codes and links to videos will still work, redirecting to the same content in Stream.

The full message can be viewed within your Office 365 tenant’s message center.

[UPDATE]
Originally, this post made reference to Microsoft Stream being available now. Stream will be generally available soon and another announcement will be made when it is out of preview. Sorry for any confusion the original post may have caused.

Creating & Upgrading SharePoint Workflows – April 9th 2017

I am excited to be speaking once again at the Nashville SharePoint Users Group. The meeting on May 9th 2017 is in-person and via online meeting and the topic is “Creating & Upgrading SharePoint Workflows”. The details of my presentation are below.

For a long time, we have used workflow for automating business processes in every version of SharePoint, while using various tools to create them: out of the box workflows, SharePoint Designer, Visual Studio, & third-party applications like Nintex and K2.

  • Now that SharePoint Designer will no longer updated and there is a push to move to the cloud, what are we supposed to do now to automate tasks and business workflow?
  • What if you aren’t moving to Office 365 and just want to know what tool you should use to create workflows moving forward?
  • Should you migrate your existing SharePoint Designer workflows to Microsoft Flow or a third-party tool? What would that process look like?
  • Should you continue to build workflows using SharePoint Designer in SharePoint 2010, 2013, 2016?In our time together, we will review those questions and more so you can be confident in your path forward with process automation, no matter what version of SharePoint you are using or where it is hosted!

[UPDATE]
I had a great time with the group tonight. There were some great conversation concerning the gaps between SharePoint Designer workflows and Microsoft Flow. Everyone stay tuned to this space and make sure you register for the May 16th Microsoft Virtual Summit.