Microsoft Forms is a handy tool to build online forms for feedback, collecting info, ordering, support requests etc. Many of those forms have been built on one individual accounts in Office 365. Of course you can share the form, but eventually when a person leaves it can a be problem (yes you can nowadays move Forms ownership to a Team/Group). Naturally more Forms are owned by Teams instead of individuals. And it a good trend.
Individual Forms support sending form owner a email notification for each response.
You can check email notifications on in Team’s Forms but: no emails are sent (not even to Group’s address). This is a problem we need to address.
Email notification? We want the response notifications to Teams!
Of course we want the response notifications to Teams instead of in email. But the great this, is that we can do both – and a lots of more if needed.
What is needed is just a few bits of Flow to get this sorted out. This is not very complicated – I was able to guide my colleague through this via Teams meet and she did all the clicking.
Here comes the Team Flow!
Flow tabs in Teams was recently released (6.12.2018)! This makes the Flow team owned as well, instead of creating a Flow owned by you and sharing it with your colleagues. This way Flows can be edited by any member of the team – and they are not tied to a single person for access or lifecycle control.
After installing Flow tab & bot you need to Sign in and Approve Flow first.
You are ready to create your first Team Flow. Depending on your display, you might need to zoom out (Ctrl+ -) first to see what’s available:
From there it is easy to pick up the ready template. You may have to fiddle with connection authentications (just ignore this look for an app in the MS store popup).
Now you can start working on your Team Flow. Looks simple enough. But it does not go like train on rails. There is one(1) catch to cover.
Picking the form and creating the Flow
When you pick a Form you notice that your new Team Form is nowhere to be found. Ouch. You need to find the FormID. So open Forms.Office.Com and go to Group Forms.
Don’t see the Form there? Hit refresh for browser until it appears and click the form open.
Check the URL and copy the FormID part from the URL.
And you might have noticed that Teams post has only Message visible, since it automatically preselects the Team and Channel where the Flow tab was added. Fill in the message as you wish, you can pick up Forms fields (answer values) to the text too.
Now go ahead and fill (paste) in custom value (the URL you copied) for both Form id fields.
Just add an action before or after the Teams message. Again – you can use Forms answer fields to be included in subject or message body. And of course these can be used to create a switch – directing email to correct persons depending on Form answers.
Let’s add Form a Field to select the coaching session (basic or advanced). If you add new fields to Forms while editing the Flow, they don’t appear there automatically. Save + Close + Open + Edit and you will see the new fields there.
If you have only two possible choices you can use Condition instead of Switch. Remember to add email sending to all necessary blocks. Notice that
when you add send an email action – make sure that you check it’s connection. There seems to be some problems in it – you may need to re-authenticate yourself in once (or twice).
When you have created email message it might be a good idea to include a link to Team or Channel (depending on your need) in the email message: making it easy to open the Teams from within email.
Testing the solution
After responding to the Form I got Teams notification and emails as expected. This is really a simple way to create better notifications – and stay up to date whenever a Team Form gets responses. I prefer plain Teams notifications, but of course there are cases for emails – or many other possibilities.
There is also a Flow bot installed along with a tab. It can list and run flows that are either scheduled or manually triggered without inputs. Perhaps a archiving or publishing process could be one of those.
Possibilities are (almost) endless!
There are about (+/- 1) endless possibilities to include notifications and do actions to your Team via Flow. Both inside and outside Office 365.
- Do you need to stay up to date when a file is uploaded to certain SharePoint library? Can do.
- When a a new team creation request is filled and stored into SharePoint list? Can do.
- Do you need to a planner task when Form is filled? Can do.
- Approving and moving a document when it’s status is set ready? Can do.
- When a Planner task is completed – notify team (and possibly contact external system or send customer email)
- and and and..