Approval process using Microsoft Flow and SharePoint Online

If you are looking to build an approval workflow using Microsoft Flow, then here are simple steps which will help you to create one.


For example, I have a SharePoint list called Projects and on creation of a new project i would like to run an approval workflow.

Project ListProject List

Here are over all 5 steps which we are going to implement one by one for our approval workflow.

Complete Flow StepsComplete Flow Steps

First of all, Create your workflow from blank template

Create Flow from Blank TemplateCreate Flow from Blank Template

Step 1 - When Item Is Created or Modified

Under SharePoint action, select SharePoint Trigger called When Item Is Created Or Modified. Add your site collection URL and select associated list or library. In my case this will be a project list.

If you cannot select your site collection URL from Site Address dropdown field, then you can click on Enter Custom Value option to add your site collection URL

When Item Is Created Or Modified SharePoint TriggerWhen Item Is Created Or Modified SharePoint Trigger

Step 2 - Get File Metadata

In this step, we need to grab the metadata of newly created SharePoint List Item. The reason we need this, we need to get ETAG, which we need in later steps.

SharePoint Action - Get File MetadataSharePoint Action - Get File Metadata

Step 3 - Start and wait for an approval

In this step, add and configure, Start and wait for an approval action. It’s worth mentioning here that you can direclty add Markdown styles in Detail field. see below screenshot

Approval Type Field: You can select two options, 1- Everyone must approve 2- First to response. In this case, I will be selecting Everyone must approve. In rest of the fields, You can add dynamic data from associated list (In our case, It’s Projects list)

Approvals Action - Start and wait for an approvalApprovals Action - Start and wait for an approval

Step 4 - Condition

Here we need to add Condition action to check if outcome of the response is approve or reject. And base on the outcome, we need to set the content approval status of the SharePoint list item.

Condition ActionCondition Action

Set Content Approval StatusSet Content Approval Status

Step 5 - Send Outcome as an email

In this task, we need to send an outcome of the approval by email to submitter or prepare of the project. For this, we need to use Office 365 Outlook Action - Send an email

Send an email actionSend an email action

Make sure to run Flow Checker to check for any errors or warnings

Flow checkerFlow checker

Notification Email and Approve or Reject Actions

This is how notification email looks like. As mentioned above, you can style body of the task using Markdown.

Task notification emailTask notification email

one of the game changers for Flow is, you can simply approve or reject tasks directly from your email. You can also add additional comments. see below.

Approve or reject outcome actionApprove or reject outcome action

Once task approved, here is a final email notification to submitter looks like.

Task outcome emailTask outcome email

And associated Project list is updated with the outcome

Task outcomeTask outcome

This is very simple scenario of Approval process using Flow. You can build more complex scenario for example, adding multiple conditionally approvers based on outcome from the first approver etc.

Hope you found this post useful!

Author: Ejaz Hussain
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