About Ian Hayse

SharePoint Admin. SharePoint Guy. I have been working with SharePoint nonstop for the past nine years. In those nine years, I've done everything from 'normal' Admin work, development, migrations, training, planning, search, workflow, InfoPath, to crazy fixing of the hands-off SharePoint databases. I'm located in Austin, TX and can always help out with small projects.

Add Company Holidays to Your Outlook Calendar Using Power Automate

Below are all the steps required to add your company holidays to your Outlook calendar. This is a simple approach that can easily be updated to pull the holidays and dates from other data sources like Exel, SharePoint, Dataverse…

Overview of the flow that will be created:

All of the holidays (events) will be stored in an array using a compose action.

[
{"Event":"Holiday - New Years","Date":"01/01/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - MLK Day","Date":"01/17/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Presidents Day","Date":"02/21/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Memorial Day","Date":"05/30/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Juneteenth Day","Date":"06/20/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Independence Day","Date":"07/04/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Labor Day","Date":"09/05/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Thanksgiving Day","Date":"11/24/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Day After Thanksgiving","Date":"11/25/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Christmas Day","Date":"12/26/2022"}
]

After that, a parse JSON event will be used to make the events available in the apply to each action. Note: after the parse JSON action is added to the flow, click the generate from sample button and paste in the holidays JSON from the step above.

Next, add an apply to each action to the flow. In the action, the output box will hold the body of the parse JSON action.



The convert time zone action is used to standardize the date format. For the base time use the Date field from the parse JSON action.

The last item that needs to be added is the outlook create event action. Note: for the End time property a formula is used: addDays(body(‘Convert_time_zone’),1)






Save the flow and run it.

Flow Error Unable to process template language expressions for action

Unable to process template language expressions for action 'Apply_to_each_sftp_file' at line '1' and column '30517': 'The template language expression 'body('List_files_in_folder')?['body']' cannot be evaluated because property 'body' cannot be selected. Array elements can only be selected using an integer index. Please see https://aka.ms/logicexpressions for usage details.'.

From one day to the next one of my flows stopped working with the error above. The flow is super simple:
Get files from an SFTP folder
Loop through the files
Copy file to another location
Delete file

Looking at the apply to each step I noticed body element was referenced. This might have been related to how I set up the loop or the autogenerated action.

Action the flow was unhappy with:

Updated the flow and it started working:

Note how the ?[‘body’] element is missing from the second picture.

Fix?
Created a new Apply to each loop by first setting a variable to the name of the file I’m looping on, then added my other actions. There might be a better way to fix this, but for now, this is what works.



Flow and SharePoint Online Large Libraries

Using Flow to get or check for files in a large SharePoint library can be a little tricky. If you are sure your library will always stay under 5,000 items the Get Files (properties only) Flow action is a quick n’ simple approach to use. When your library crosses over the mythical 5k mark or somewhere in that neighborhood, the Get Files action will fail to return results without warning. What I’m outlining below are other options when working with large libraries.

Setup:



Option 1: Get Files using an Odata filter query
downside: only use this in small libraries



Result:


Option 2: use the SharePoint API
downside: the lack of transparency from Microsoft related to how often data is crawled.

Result:

Option 3: use the SharePoint API along with a filter action on the library. This option does require that you have metadata set up on the library to filter on and there is not a wildcard / contains option. The filtered value needs to be exact.
downside: you will need to set up your metadata ahead of time or create it after the fact then backfill.

Result:

The more I learn about Flow and SharePoint Online, the more I’m starting to like Option 3 when doing a lookup type of search. SharePoint Search is an extremely powerful tool if the search index is fresh.

Download a File From SharePoint Online Using Python

How do you download a file from a SharePoint Online library using Python?

Items needed to run the script in this example:
Office365 Rest Python Client library:
https://pypi.org/project/Office365-REST-Python-Client/
SharePoint App Only Client Id and Secret:
Microsoft documentation:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/dev/solution-guidance/security-apponly-azureacs
You can create an app principle that is limited to a single site, list, library, or a combination of them:
https://piyushksingh.com/2018/12/26/register-app-in-sharepoint/

from office365.runtime.auth.authentication_context import AuthenticationContext
from office365.sharepoint.client_context import ClientContext
from office365.sharepoint.files.file import File

app_settings = {
    'url': 'https://YOURtenant.sharepoint.com/sites/somesite/',
    'client_id': '12344-abcd-efgh-1234-1a2d12a21a2121a',
    'client_secret': 'Oamytacohungry234343224534543=',
}

context_auth = AuthenticationContext(url=app_settings['url'])
context_auth.acquire_token_for_app(client_id=app_settings['client_id'], client_secret=app_settings['client_secret'])

ctx = ClientContext(app_settings['url'], context_auth)
web = ctx.web
ctx.load(web)
ctx.execute_query()

response = File.open_binary(ctx, "/Shared Documents/Invoice.pdf")
with open("./Invoice.pdf", "wb") as local_file:
    local_file.write(response.content)

If the above script does not work, take a step back and make sure you are connected to the site.

from office365.runtime.auth.authentication_context import AuthenticationContext
from office365.sharepoint.client_context import ClientContext
from office365.sharepoint.files.file import File

app_settings = {
    'url': 'https://YOURtenant.sharepoint.com/sites/somesite/',
    'client_id': '12344-abcd-efgh-1234-1a2d12a21a2121a',
    'client_secret': 'Oamytacohungry234343224534543=',
}

context_auth = AuthenticationContext(url=app_settings['url'])
context_auth.acquire_token_for_app(client_id=app_settings['client_id'], client_secret=app_settings['client_secret'])

ctx = ClientContext(app_settings['url'], context_auth)
web = ctx.web
ctx.load(web)
ctx.execute_query()

print("Site title: {0}".format(web.properties['Title']))

Use Flow to Get Files Created or Modified Today in a SharePoint Library

Scenario:
Each day I have a couple of Azure Runbooks export SharePoint list items and upload them to a SharePoint library. If one of the Runbooks fails, I needed to send an email alert that something went wrong.

Basic logic:
If files created today in SharePoint <> X, send an email.

The easy solution would have been to loop through the files, check their created date, increment a variable, then make a condition statement.

More-better way:
Run flow daily at 6:00 PM
Send an HTTP request to SharePoint to get files
Parse the response
Condition statement
— if true, send an email

Uri text from the HTTP call:

_api/search/query?querytext='Path%3Ahttps%3A%2F%2Fsharepointed.sharepoint.com%2Fsites%2Fsitename%2Fsubsite%2Fexports%2F*%20LastModifiedTime%3Dtoday'

Parse JSON schema

{
    "type": "object",
    "properties": {
        "odata.metadata": {
            "type": "string"
        },
        "ElapsedTime": {
            "type": "integer"
        },
        "PrimaryQueryResult": {
            "type": "object",
            "properties": {
                "RelevantResults": {
                    "type": "object",
                    "properties": {
                        "TotalRows": {
                            "type": "integer"
                        },
                        "TotalRowsIncludingDuplicates": {
                            "type": "integer"
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
}

Power BI and SharePoint Person or Group Field

I created a simple Power BI report to pull data from a SharePoint list and quickly ran into a problem with the Person or Group column type.

Error:
Expression.Error: We cannot convert the value “” to type Table.
Details:
Value=
Type=[Type]

In the report, I was trying to expand a Person or Group column, but not all of the field values were populated.

Here is the fix:

let
    Source = SharePoint.Tables("https://taco.sharepoint.com/sites/food", [Implementation="2.0", ViewMode="All"]),
    #"abcc-b8fe-4b23-be01-abc5f2c3320c" = Source{[Id="abcc-b8fe-4b23-be01-abc5f2c3320c"]}[Items],
    #"Expanded Assigned User2" = Table.TransformColumns(#"abcc-b8fe-4b23-be01-abc5f2c3320c", {{"Assigned User", each if Value.Is(_,type list) then _{0} else [title = "not assigned"], type record}} ),
    #"Expanded Assigned Analyst" = Table.ExpandRecordColumn(#"Expanded Assigned User2", "Assigned User", {"title"}, {"Assigned User.title"})
in
    #"Expanded Assigned User"

Use PowerShell PNP to Create an Alphabetical Directory of Folders in SharePoint

I’m in the process of reorganizing a document library and wanted to store all of the documents in alphabetical folders. Yes, I’m using metadata, but I’ve passed the magic 5,000 item threshold and want to rearrange the library and leverage a rich search experience.

So, using PowerShell, how do you create a bunch of folders going from A to Z?

$siteURL = "https://sharepointed.sharepoint.com/sites/parent/child"

$conn = Connect-PnPOnline -Url $siteURL -Credentials (Get-Credential) -ReturnConnection

try{
(65..(65+25)).ForEach({     
$xy = [char]$_    
Add-PnPFolder -Name $xy -Folder "/mylibrary" -Connection $conn
})
}

catch{ Write-host -f Red "Error:" $_.Exception.Message}

More information about creating folders using ASCII:
https://devblogs.microsoft.com/scripting/use-powershell-and-ascii-to-create-folders-with-letters/

Get and Set SharePoint Yes No Field Using Flow

Simple question: Using a Flow condition, how do you check the value of a SharePoint Yes No field?

My first attempt was to set a variable equal to the SharePoint list value, then check the condition like this:



And, for good reason, this did not work.
My next attempt was to try replacing the condition value with true or false.



And, again, this did not work!
Sooo, what if I convert the true or false to a string?


It worked!



How do you set or update a SharePoint Yes No field using a Flow variable?


Create a string variable, then set the value to true or false.
SharePoint display values:
Yes = true
No = false