How to Use Microsoft Flow to Notify of New Files in a Folder?


Power BI is one of the newest additions to the Microsoft team, and it comes with enterprise-level power business intelligence and analytic tools that can be highly beneficial for business analysts all over the globe. This kind of new-tech revolution was needed in today’s world, and it is at the disposal of big, small and medium-sized businesses alike. You no longer require a fully-functional technical team at your disposal to analyze your business’s needs because Power BI consulting can do it for you just the same.

That being said, how do you keep up with the many changes in Power BI and be notified whenever new files are added in a folder? You can use Microsoft Flow push notification services found in Power BI to obtain this. We are not saying that this feature is limited to Power BI only, as it can also be accomplished through the help of SharePoint independently. However, this post is all about what you can do with Microsoft Flow in Power BI.

Monitoring a Folder for Newly Added Files: Getting Microsoft Flow Push

Notifications via Email

Many processes in business are done manually, and that is the way it should be. Certain factors can only be analyzed by a human mind with the use of empathy, which a computer device does not have access to yet. However, certain tasks can be delegated to Power BI and automated with the help of Microsoft Flow push notifications. Here we have compiled a way for you to do that on your own.

How to Monitor a Folder

You can start with a OneDrive shared folder with a replica folder existing in your desktop device. This folder will then shadow as a SharePoint offline document library for this guide where you can set up a Flow trigger for it.

Three Ways to Create a Flow

In Microsoft Flow, you will get an option to create a blank Flow, or you can choose from three pre-existing templates listed below.
1. Automated Flow
A particular event triggers these flows.
2. Instant Flow
These flows are triggered manually by individuals.
3. Scheduled Flow

You can set a custom trigger yourself for an event, time and frequency.

As a beginner, we recommend that instead of creating a blank Flow, you stick to an existing template that best reflects your needs. There are several moving elements that you will find in the existing templates, which can be quite tricky to set up in a new model yourself.

For a SharePoint file email, you can search in the list to find a suitable template. You will find a template to send an email when a new file is added into a folder.

Here is a snapshot of the template to gauge a better understanding.

You will click on “Use this template” which will take you ahead to configure some of the settings to set up Flow triggers. You will get options to set emails for the following:
• Office 365 Outlook
• Office 365 Users

Then you will be directed to a page where there are pre-existing configurations, and all you have to do is set folder names yourselves. You will also have to set an email template which will be sent directly to your inbox when a file is added into the folder you have created for your Flow. When you are done, click on Save and upload a file to test the email’s authenticity and to ensure smooth-sailing in the future endeavours. The email that you receive will have a hyperlink to the new record that you will easily be able to click on to direct you to the file itself, saving you a lot of time and hassle searching for it manually.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, we don’t get more options than this but we do have the opportunity to create multiple Flow triggers for different actions and events that occur in SharePoint. Since Microsoft keeps rolling out new and improved features, we can surely expect to see more innovative features towards the very start of the year 2020.