Using Flow to update SharePoint List Items – Things to be aware of

See Flow/SharePoint benchmarks here…

Cannot assign values to: Modified, ModifiedBy, Created, CreatedBy
Flow is designed to “stamp” the system columns with the current user and Date-time.
  • CreatedBy, ModifiedBy are set to the Flow user.
    (Item Create)
  • Created, Modified are set to Current-Date-Time.
    (Item Create, Item Update)
Typical tasks when you need to set the values or persist the current values
Any BULK operation on List items like when a new column is added and you want to set the initial value. Or when you want to convert a text column into a Lookup.
File Copy from one Library to another – Data Loss
  • Cannot set any metadata without creating a new version
  • Resets Created, CreatedBy to Flow User when file is initially copied
  • Resets Modified, ModifiedBy to Flow User when metadata is applied in second consecutive Flow Action
  • Cannot set Created,CreatedBy, Modified, ModifiedBy
File Copy from one Library to another – High Complexity
  • Managed Metadata cannot be copied directly (needs extensive Flow logic with UpdateItem Actions and multiple other Actions defined for each MM column since each term must be “hard-coded”
  • Lookup values cannot be copied directly (needs extensive Flow logic with UpdateItem Actions and multiple other Actions defined for each Lookup column since each Lookup ID value must be “hard-coded”
  • Term Store and Lookup List values: When new entries are added the Floe must be updated with constructs to reference the new Terms and Lookup values.
File Copy from FileShare to Library – Data Loss
cannot set Created, CreatedBy, Modified,ModifiedBy
cannot retrieve document properties and add as metadata
cannot set any metadata without creating a new version
Cannot persist Version, Modified,ModifiedBy when updating items or changing Content-Type
You loose audit trail of when and by who the item was last modified.
  • An additional version is created (when versioning is enabled)
  • The column Modified is updated to utcNow.
  • The column ModifiedBy is updated to the current user.
Cannot perform Item update/create on nnn similar Lists on same or nnn individual Sites
You cannot dynamically perform Item update/create on Lists on different Sites.
This Flow error is thrown because Flow cannot dynamically reference another List on a different site
  • Flow error message: Cannot evaluate the parameter ‘dataset’ at design-time; it is empty or has a runtime expression.
Cannot assign Lookup, Managed Metadata and Content-Type – Only hard coded values.
You cannot use variables to update these columns, hence you have to hard-code the value to assign to Lookup and Managed Metadata columns within the Flow definition.
So the Label for a Lookup value, Managed Metadata Term or Content-Type cannot be used in the column assignment.
Productivity tasks that are difficult, slow or impossible to using Flow Video Details why…
  • Create List Items based on a CSV File. Use filter on CSV file to select specific rows.
Flow: Slow, inflexible and complicated.You would have to convert the CSV into a Table in a named Excel file and put it on OneDrive or Dropbox. ………WORK in progress……

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