In this video on Power Automate long running Approval flows, we will explore building approval flows than span beyond the 30 day flow run duration limit.

Building long running approval flows in Power Automate ensures your approvers can have their approval action span beyond the 30 day flow limit.

Approvals Playlist – https://bit.ly/learnflowapprovals
30 day flow run duration limit – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-automate/limits-and-config#:~:text=Max%20is%2030%20days
Request limits and allocations (number of API calls per 24 hr. period) – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/admin/api-request-limits-allocations#request-limits-based-on-user-licenses

Scenario is a Contracts Management approval workflow wherein the approval flow begins from Department review and then moves to Legal review for final approval.

We will create both a multi-step and a state machine approval workflow that can run beyond 30 days.

Topics covered:
✔️ Long running approval flows pattern
✔️ Multi-step approval workflow pattern
✔️ State Machine workflow pattern

Learn Expressions – https://aka.ms/learnexpressions

#StateMachineApprovals #ApprovalsCookbook #Flow #PowerAutomate #Approvals #flowapprovals #PowerPlatform

34 Comments
  1. 4RPA 11 months ago

    Can we pull API data ?
    Send/Request HTTP ?
    Convert this DATA into Adaptive cards

  2. Dan Robson 11 months ago

    What a creative way to use the Timed Out status of an approval action. I use it today to just send an email telling the requestor to resubmit but this is so much better! More rework for me 🙂 Another excellent video, thanks Reza.

  3. koubie 11 months ago

    Very helpful video. Thanks 🙂

  4. Sundra Pillay 11 months ago

    Thanks Reza

  5. Christophe 11 months ago

    Just to confirm: when the approval times out, the Outlook actionable message doesn't get updated? That sounds strange to me. I thought the point of such actionable messages was to keep in sync with the state of the approval.

  6. Tobias Bamberger 11 months ago

    Very nice! This i defintly needed ! Mans Thanks för your Great explaination. Br Tobias

  7. Constantin Rusencu 11 months ago

    What happens if the departmental review takes 20 days and the legal review 20 days? Will the flow timeout before legal approves?

  8. Nehal Shah 11 months ago

    Hi Reza, excellent videos…..Can you please explain how to unlock the file if it is locked by approver and we can not update status then:-(

  9. Henik Baldaniya 11 months ago

    Excellent….thanks for sharing…much useful in many scenario….

  10. Henik Baldaniya 11 months ago

    Is there any way(trick / bypass) to add 2 attachment control in Customize Edit/View Form?. As i have 2 different role, who want to upload multiple files in attachment control in Edit mode form & other are able to view all files attached in both different control in View mode.

  11. Genius..Thanks for this. A small question…Can we try this for multi approvers in single approver process and using CDS which you have explained earlier. Because I need a similar 2010 approval workflow scenario with multiple approvers(parallel) and it need to run many days. But it shouldn't assign task again to those users who already taken action in 1st 29 days.

  12. Richard Clowes 10 months ago

    Excellent video Reza.

  13. Brilliant Reza I am not sure how long you spent to get this breakthrough but I respect all your time and thank you a ton for sharing this super-advanced topic!

  14. srinivas chadalavada 10 months ago

    Excellent solution. By the way is there any way to send a single email to the requestor with all the comments of all the approvers in it?

  15. Karu Karthi 10 months ago

    Very nice and much needed. Thanks a lot man for the superb video and in detailed..

  16. Ivan Zheng 10 months ago

    Very helpful. How about the log history using multiple lines with appended ON?
    Any issue with appended?

    I just don’t understanding when MS retired workflow 2010 and its replacement has the 30 days limit and there is no built in function to make it easy to set it up.

  17. Denise Morrison 10 months ago

    Great process! I like the visual of the green check and red X. Where did you get that from? Thanks!

  18. David VanSickle 10 months ago

    Reza, really helpful. Any chance your example will be available as either a template (in the future) or on GitHub to allow for an import and further customization?

  19. Maroun Sader 10 months ago

    hi reza why you chose update property not update item in the sharepoint?

  20. Ramesh Mukka 10 months ago

    Hello Reza, During the flow run if properties of file or item are updated wouldnt it trigger the flow again and create confusions with multiple flows on the same file or item? How to handle this?

  21. Naveen Kumar 10 months ago

    Nice One!!!

  22. Vanisha Rodrigues 10 months ago

    Hello there, great insightful video as always. Had a doubt tho, my data is coming from forms and so where do I put the trigger option in there as all the data is being saved into SharePoint, with use of create item and hence have no where to put the trigger

  23. Dragan Rakita 10 months ago

    Great series Reza, your way of explanation is excellent!!! One question… what is your suggestion for dealing with permission for document which is in process of approval? Just complicated SharePoint http request for break inheritances and setting new privilege? Thank you again!!!

  24. Aman Bhatnagar 10 months ago

    Excellent. Thank you for sharing.

  25. IOANNIS BELOURIS 9 months ago

    Thank you for your video. I have created a very complicates state machine that frequently timesouts and you have given me a lot of ideas. One question though: Suppose we execute this flow. And the first approval action Department Review takes 28 days to successfully complete. Then the flow will go to the second part, the legal review. If the legal departement takes more than 2 days, then the flow will timeout. not just the approval, but the total flow. So the 30 days limit is for the whole apporval flow not just the individual approval processes

  26. IOANNIS BELOURIS 9 months ago

    How do you insert the nice icons in the approval history? I though it was text only.

  27. Fleur Williamson 9 months ago

    I’m watching this on Christmas Day 2020 and I feel like I just received the best Christmas present. Thank you Reza! So much better than the way I have been handling this. 💛

  28. Brett Governanti 9 months ago

    Reza, this is an ingenious method for retriggering a step that has timed out and for logging histories on a multi-step Flow approval. These are important to my business process, kudos to you. I do have two issues, however. #1 Everything works as expected, except for when the timeout is reached; the Flow simply updates StartWF in SharePoint to 'Yes', then stops everything on the Terminate step. The run history reports that the flow has run successfully, however no new email notification appears to indicate that the Flow run on that step has, in fact, retriggered. The Flow run is simply done, full stop. I wonder if the condition on the trigger is actually getting touched?

  29. Brett Governanti 9 months ago

    #2 I also can't seem to get my workflow history (comments field) to stack up as individual lines in my Sharepoint list as you are able to do, the history column in SharePoint just shows one history line, with the latest history replacing the last as the Flow progresses. The comments for each step can be seen in the Append to Array variable output and the Append Join output in the run history, they just don't show up in the multi line history column in SharePoint, just the latest history. Weird huh?

  30. Jon Davies 8 months ago

    Great video :). Regarding production, you suggested setting1st approval to timeout to 29 days. Would the 2nd approval also be set to 29 days ? – I'm asking because I don’t know when the timeout starts, is it when the approval gets executed or are all the approvals timeouts running from a global variable ?

  31. ankit pandey 8 months ago

    Hi Reze,
    Thanks for the video.

    What if i have multiple approvers, in that case out of 3 approver only 2 approvers approve the request and it is timeout for 3 approver.
    How we can identify who have not approved the request ? Any Suggestion.

    I don't want to use CDS connector

  32. Bhushan Nagdev 8 months ago

    Thanks Reza. I have different problem as in I don’t need to start the approval process until a particular date is reached . Currently I am using Delay until functionality but getting a message that max days should be 30 days however business have dates that in some cases are 3 year in advance . Thanks in advance.

  33. Mauricio Iannini 8 months ago

    Ditto! Impressive, very well explained and full of business value. I have one simple question: how to indicate the flow a specific email address on the moment it runs? I have a similar need, one document needs to be approved by a process owner and his/her manager. Obviously both emails will change based on the content being approved. Thanks for the impressive contributions

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