SharePoint and Microsoft Flow – Part 3: Creating a Custom Flow Template Gallery
New flow templates can be created from existing flow
templates located in the Flow Template Gallery, or one can create a new flow
template from scratch. If using an existing flow template, the flow template
can either be downloaded from the Microsoft Flow Template Gallery (a public
gallery) or from your organization’s Custom Flow Template Gallery (a private
gallery). Once downloaded, the template can be easily modified to meet your
business automation needs.
There are many different types of flow templates that are organized into collections that are based on the purpose of the flow. We reviewed the five types of flows in a previous instalment, SharePoint and Microsoft Flow: Automating Business Processes.
Sharing your newly created template to your organization’s
Custom Flow Template Gallery is simple and straightforward:
Create your flow template either by creating from scratch or modifying an existing template from your organization’s Custom Template Gallery or by importing a template from the Microsoft Template Gallery;
Go to https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/ and sign in. Note that there is no Office 365 tenant level to share templates with other users; hence, sharing must utilize the Microsoft Flow website;
Click on the My Flows tab;
Choose the flow that you would like to submit;
Click the ellipses on the right-hand side;
Choose Export (in the Microsoft Flow Resource Community, there is a step by step guide on how to Export);
Once you choose Export, the flow will be turned into a zip template file;
Name the Flow with a descriptive name so it clearly explains what it does;
Under Package Content, there are two options for import set up. The default option is Update where an existing flow will be updated. The second option, which is chosen when creating a new template, is Create. Once you have completed these steps, choose Save;
Choose Export on the next screen. This will now package and download it as a zip file;
Return to the Template Page. Click New and then Item under the Submit New Flow Template. This will now load a custom power apps form that is automated to alert approvers that there is a new submission for the Gallery. Provide the name of the Flow, an accurate description, attach the zipped file, and then choose Save.
You will be redirected to the Submit a New Flow template page. Your template has now been submitted for review and approval by your organization’s Flow Approval Team. Depending upon volume, it may time some time before the Approval Team is able to review your template.
If the Approval Team rejects your submission, they will have the opportunity to provide a brief explanation as to why it was rejected. Once rejected, it will be automatically removed from the list to eliminate any confusion as to whether the flow is being reviewed, pending, or rejected. If it is approved, it will be made available to the users in your organization in the Custom Flow Template Gallery. Being a very collaborative system, it can be downloaded, copied and used by corporate users as is or they can modify to their needs.
important that the Approval Team automate a flow to notify them when a new
submission is sent. Without this, it will be difficult to track the
submissions. It is also highly suggested that a flow is used to delete rejected flows from the list to keep it clean.
Sharing in the Public Microsoft Flow Template Gallery
Creating a new
template or modifying an existing template follows the same steps as described
new flow template is the same process as well, but the difference between the
Microsoft Flow Template Gallery and your organization’s Custom Flow Template
Gallery is that when you submit to Microsoft’s Gallery, the template is routed
externally, not internally, to Microsoft’s Flow Approval Team.
Sharing Microsoft Flow Templates in a Customized Gallery
It may not be optimal to share flow templates in the public Microsoft Flow Template Gallery, but sharing internally within your organization, without compromising data security or exposing proprietary connections, is preferred to encourage collaboration. A Custom Flow Template Gallery in SharePoint Online addresses these issues.
By integrating Microsoft Flow with SharePoint, many business functions can be automated to help eliminate repetitive tasks but by creating new or modifying existing flow templates from a gallery and sharing these with either the world or within your organization, processes can become more streamlined, efficient and accurate. By creating, supporting, and encouraging a self-service resource community of users with access to resources, knowledge, and training, the users will learn, create and implement flows in a collaborative environment.