In this Power Automate article, we will learn how to trigger a Power Automate for a selected item in SharePoint Online that boost your productivity.
In today’s fast-paced and digitally-driven world, productivity is a key factor that drives success. With the abundance of information and tasks that we face on a daily basis, it can be challenging to keep up and stay on top of everything. This is where automation comes in, allowing us to streamline our processes and focus our energy on more important tasks.
In this context, Trigger Power Automate for a Selected Item in SharePoint Online is an excellent trigger to boost productivity. This feature allows you to automate repetitive tasks in SharePoint Online and trigger actions based on selected items. In this article, we’ll explore how you can use this feature to boost your productivity and get more done in less time.
Generally, businesses need automated cloud flow, and the flow should be triggered conditionally, but sometimes businesses need manually triggered cloud flow from the front end, that is, from a SharePoint Online list or document library.
Trigger Power Automate for a Selected Item: Use Case (Power Automate SharePoint)
If you have a SharePoint Designer workflow or Nintex workflow deployed to a SharePoint Online list or document library that triggers automatically based on a certain condition in the list or document library on the creation or edit of the items, it works fine.
However, if the trigger misses due to a technical reason, we can trigger the workflow (Designer or Nintex workflow) manually for the missing item by navigating the property menu of the selected item, and then we can trigger the workflow.
The above feature is missing in Power Automate flow, meaning if you have developed an automated flow for a list or document library in SharePoint Online and the trigger is missed due to some technical reasons, we cannot manually trigger the flow the way we can in SharePoint and Nintex workflow. In this case, to trigger the flow, we must edit the item, which is not a good solution or recommended because unnecessarily we have to update some metadata that was not intended by the users and that will update the item’s modified date and modified by column.
To overcome this issue, Microsoft in Power Automate provided a trigger template for the selected item that will fit either a list or document library that will allow the user to trigger the flow manually from the item menu, the way SharePoint and Nintex Workflow do.
The other use case could be that once the document comes into the SharePoint Online document library or list, at a later point you want to start some process that should be user-initiated and not automatic, and then we can develop a manually triggered Power Automate Flow.
Now, let’s get started on how to develop a manually triggered flow for the user.
Trigger Power Automate for a Selected Item: Flow
Below are my two manually triggered flows for selected items:
- Send an email for selected items in SharePoint with item properties
- Trigger Flow for selected item
You can see your custom manually triggered flow using the below navigation:
Select your item or document, then click on the three dots in the list or library ribbon menu. You can see the “Automate” menu.
Now, we will see how to create the manually set trigger for a selected item flow.
Trigger Power Automate for a Selected Item: Flow development
To develop a manually triggered Power Automate for a selected item, follow the below navigation:
Click on the three dots (from the List or Document Library Ribbon menu) -> Click on “Integrate” -> Click on “Power Automate” -> Click on the “Create a Flow” link.
Click on the “Create a flow” link.
Then, we can see flow creation template lists.
Click on the “Show more” menu; this will list out more templates for you.
Select your template, if you find one; otherwise, click on the “See more templates” link.
This will take us to the Power Automate all templates page.
In the search box, enter “for a selected item” text and hit enter; this will list out all the selected item triggers.
Select the template that fits your needs, then create and save the flow.
Then, you can see this flow from your SharePoint Online list or document library menu, which is where you started creating it.
- This step is very important because if you directly create your flow from the Power Automate site, you cannot see your flow in the item menu in SharePoint Online.
Trigger Flow for a selected item in SharePoint Online list: My Test flow
Below is my just a test flow; this is as usual another type of flow trigger that needs the site address and list name to trigger the flow.
In the above example, we are just updating the “Title” and “Item Created Channel” columns for the proof of concept. However, you can handle any types of business logic in your flow based on the outcome of the “For a selected item” trigger.
Demo – Trigger Flow for selected item in SharePoint Online list
We are selecting the item two for this trigger test.
Then, clicking on the “Trigger Flow for selected item” flow as shown below:
This will validate your Power Automate connection references.
After successful validation of the connection references, click on the “Run flow” button.
Then we can see the status message: “Started flow – Trigger Flow for selected item”
Then, when we refreshed the URL, we could see that the flow had completed execution successfully and updated the list column values as shown below (Title and Item Created Channel).
Summary: Trigger Power Automate for a selected item in SharePoint
Thus, in this article, we have learned how to create a Power Flow for a selected item in SharePoint Online and how to work with it.
FAQs: Popular questions and answers on Power Automate Flow for selected item trigger
In the below section, we will discuss the most popular questions and answers asked on the Power Automate selected item trigger.
Can the “For selected item” trigger be applied to multiple items or files at one time?
As of now, this is not possible; this trigger only works for a single selected file or item. Below is an answer from the Power Apps community forum:
“There is no “out of the box” method of running a flow on multiple items at once. Alternative solutions that you might investigate include inserting custom code on the page. Also, you might investigate using PowerApps to create a customized view that allows you to select multiple items and calls a flow to run against each selected item. You might try posing this question in the PowerApps forum.”
Other possible workaround or solution:
- Develop a list view command set using SPFx that will allow selecting multiple items and run an HTTP-triggered Power Automate flow.
- Create a HTTP-triggered Power Flow that will collect all item IDs from the SPFx list view command set. Trigger child power to automate flow for each list item ID.
- Create a child power automate flow that will receive item ID from HTTP-triggered power automate flow. This flow can have the common logic required for your business use case.
Can we have multiple triggers in one flow?
Yes, you can have multiple triggers in one flow in Power Automate. Power Automate allows you to create complex workflows that can include multiple triggers and actions. You can use various types of triggers, such as automated triggers, scheduled triggers, and manual triggers, to initiate a flow.
For example, you can create a flow that is triggered by a new item being added to a SharePoint list, and then use additional triggers such as a timer-based trigger to send a reminder email to a specific recipient if the item hasn’t been updated within a certain time period. You can also add multiple conditions to your triggers to further customize your workflow.
Using multiple triggers in a single flow can help you create more powerful and flexible workflows that can respond to various events and conditions. However, it’s important to keep in mind that using multiple triggers can also make your flow more complex and harder to manage, so it’s important to plan your workflow carefully and test it thoroughly before deploying it in production.
How do you create a custom trigger in Power Automate?
Creating a custom trigger in Power Automate requires developing a custom connector using Azure Logic Apps. Here are the high-level steps to create a custom trigger:
- Create a new Azure Logic App.
- Add a new trigger to the Logic App by selecting the “When an HTTP request is received” trigger.
- Define the inputs and outputs of the custom trigger by using the “Ask in PowerApps” and “Response” actions in the Logic App.
- Save and deploy the Logic App as a custom connector.
- Connect the custom connector to Power Automate by creating a new flow and selecting the custom connector as the trigger.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of each step:
Create a new Azure Logic App:
- Open the Azure Portal and create a new Logic App.
- Choose a blank Logic App template to start from scratch.
Add a new trigger to the Logic App:
- Select the “When an HTTP request is received” trigger from the list of available triggers.
- Define the schema for the trigger by specifying the inputs and outputs of the trigger.
Define the inputs and outputs of the custom trigger:
- Use the “Ask in PowerApps” action to define the inputs of the custom trigger.
- Use the “Response” action to define the outputs of the custom trigger.
Save and deploy the Logic App as a custom connector:
- Save the Logic App and navigate to the “API Connections” section in the Azure Portal.
- Create a new API connection and select the Logic App as the connector.
- Test the custom connector to ensure it is working correctly.
- Publish the custom connector to Power Automate by sharing it with the relevant users or groups.
Connect the custom connector to Power Automate:
- Create a new flow in Power Automate.
- Select the custom connector as the trigger for the flow.
- Configure the actions to be performed when the custom trigger is fired.
Creating a custom trigger in Power Automate requires some technical knowledge and experience with Azure Logic Apps, but it can be a powerful way to automate your business processes and customize your workflows to meet your specific needs.
What is the difference between trigger and action in Power Automate?
In Power Automate, triggers and actions are two key concepts that work together to create automated workflows. While both triggers and actions play important roles in the workflow, they serve different purposes.
A trigger is an event that starts the workflow. It’s the starting point of the automation, and it determines when the workflow will run. Triggers are external events that happen outside of Power Automate, such as a new email arriving in your inbox, a new file being added to OneDrive, or a new record being created in a database. When a trigger event occurs, it starts the workflow and passes data to the next step in the process.
An action, on the other hand, is a specific task or operation that is performed by the workflow. Actions are the steps in the process that follow the trigger, and they are responsible for performing the necessary actions to complete the workflow. Actions can be anything from sending an email or creating a task to updating a database record or generating a report.
In summary, triggers initiate the workflow and determine when it will run, while actions perform specific tasks or operations within the workflow. Both triggers and actions work together to create powerful automated workflows that can help you save time, increase productivity, and streamline your business processes.
See Also: Power Automate Tutorials
You may also be interested in the following Power Automate tutorials:
- ChatGPT and SharePoint: The Top 5 Ways ChatGPT Can Improve Your SharePoint Workflow
- ChatGPT and Power Automate: Boost Your Power Automate Productivity with ChatGPT Integration
- Why Power Automate Trigger Conditions are Crucial for Effective Automation (30 Examples)
- 50+ Tricky SharePoint Online Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
- 50 Tricky Power Automate Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
- Top 50 Tricky Power Apps interview questions and answers for experienced – Part 2
- Top 50+ Power Apps interview questions and answers for experienced – Part 1