Q&A: SharePoint, Office 365 Customizations and Bots

Hey there! We ran a webinar recently about all things Bots, SharePoint Customizations and Office 365 Workflows. Lots of industry professionals were on hand to hear what our experts had to say about the topics and we were treated to quite a few interesting questions from our audience. Below are the results of the question and answer portion of our webinar. We hope you learn something. We think you will!

Q: What is the main difference between using Forms vs PowerApps with SharePoint lists?

Forms is an application that basically, on its own, is literally just a form. So there’s not a whole lot else you can do with it, but when you use Flow to connect it to other things, it can go through other services.

Now, the example I showed with PowerApps here, this is taking this data and dynamically creating it, like you would say a new item in a SharePoint list is going to essentially create this form in a different view.

PowerApps is essentially automatically turning this into a cell phone form, like a mobile device-based form that’s an application. You can control how this list information appears on a phone and how that’s navigated.

Q: Whats the best way to create a flow for all users or a certain group of users?

You can create a flow and save it as a template and then reuse that one, which is one approach. If there’s a larger group of users I would consider using a logic app instead. It allows you to more granularly give access. That’s the approach I would take there.

Q: Do Flows work across all site collections?

A: When it comes to how Flows work for the organization, when I come to this My Flows page, I’ve got ‘my Flows’ and I’ve got ‘team Flows’ where you can share the access for Flows to other people to be able to edit and manage.

You can really control who has access to what areas in SharePoint and applications in Office 365. The end user has to authenticate directly to that service. Just like I did when I created this first example Flow here.

I come in there and right here under ‘connections’ it has to authenticate and if this authentication changes, this Flow will fail. If someone’s authenticated to a SharePoint site or a secure document library and you change the permissions there, the Flow will fail. It’s very much attached to the individual user.

Q: Are there any security concerns with sharing Flows with already established connections?

When you share a flow by saving it as a template, it will clear out the connection data, so it won’t be in there. You’ll have to reestablish the connections the moment you import the template as a Flow.

Something else to keep in mind too — if I’m having everyone in an organization interact with a document library, for instance, and I set up a workflow that says ‘anytime a document that says ‘x’ is moved here, it doesn’t matter who puts that document in the document library.

The connections of the flows and who sets them up are dependent on the end user but the action the Flows take is not going to be restricted by permissions. If it’s targeted at a document library, it’s not going to wait for the user who created the Flow to do something with the document. It’s going to take action on document that meets that criteria.

Q: Can a flow be created by an Admin and then deployed to each end user?

Flows can be copied for end users to reproduce but the function of the Flow/the action that the Flow is taking is accessible to all users.

Q: What is the cost associated with Flow?

In terms of the detailed cost structure of Flow, I’m not super familiar, but I do know that there is a free tier of flow so you can sign up for free and start using it. After that, you’re charged based on the number of runs performed.

Q: How can we create a custom layout in Microsoft Form instead of the questions form? Is there any way for this?

Though you can customize the fields and flow of the questions on a form, you can’t change the visual structure of Forms; you may try using PowerApps with a list instead.


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