I have a form that goes round in an approval flow. Every member of the process (around 4-5 per form) has to open it, do some modification and submit again.

I have used concat formula in the Submit data connection and added 3 fields together (one is to show if the request has been approved or declined - copied from a field in the form).

Whenever I open the form and do some changes on existing entries (it is true mainly for those elements that I have used for naming the form) it saves it under a new name.


_123456_MyName - I open the file and I realize that I have to decline this request. I open the form, do the changes (set to decline) and submit. I got Declined_123456_MyName saved next to the one that has the short name (_123456_MyName) so 2 files with the same content.

See screenshot for Submit settings. enter image description here

  • The point is that when someone opens the form the first element of the 3 items does not exists. Hence this is one form and as soon as someone approves or declines this will be added to the name of the form and the system recognizes it as being a new form. – Guido Matis May 24 '16 at 13:21
  • You're essentially trying to store metadata in the form name. I think a better approach would be to not modify the name, but pull the status (Accepted, Declined, etc) into its own column and display that next to the name instead of renaming it at each stage. – thanby May 24 '16 at 13:55
  • The reason it is displayed together with the name is that the Alert Me notification will send this information (as subject of the email) to the addressees. If this can be sorted in the way you described that would be the best solution for sure. – Guido Matis May 24 '16 at 14:45
  • Can you please describe with a bit more details how you would do that? I'm really curious as this would save me a lot of time. – Guido Matis May 24 '16 at 15:22

Based on your comments, this is one possible solution:

  • Add the "status" column to the default list view so you can display it next to the form's title.
  • Create a new view that will be used for alerts only, and use a CAML query in the view filter to only display "Declined" forms.
  • Create alerts for the necessary people that have an appropriate title (like "Item was declined") and set it to trigger only on items that show up in the custom view you just created.

The only tricky part is that creating the view requires a little .NET code (as shown in the link), but it's easy to do even if you're not a hardcore developer.

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  • Thank you for the comment. It has been sorted in the mean time (with a workaround). – Guido Matis May 26 '16 at 9:31
  • You should add your solution as an answer to your own question so others can benefit :) – thanby May 26 '16 at 13:37
  • Usually I do that but this is an internal solution (company policy ..etc) so unfortunately I am not allowed to do so. – Guido Matis May 27 '16 at 12:54

As suggested by somebody else, you should be using meta data columns rather than updating the form name.

Create a hidden status field that has relevant string - maybe "first submission", "submitted" (whatever makes sense for your business process)

And then when the submit button is clicked check to see whether the form has been submitted using the Action rules(e.g. if status = "submitted") if it hasn't, set another field 'formName' using your concat forumula.

see here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Add-rules-for-performing-other-actions-5322d726-b787-4e5f-8d37-ba6db68b451d?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US&fromAR=1

Then use 'formName' in the submit criteria to name the file rather than your concat formula.

This would certainly mean that you'd only ever have one file name unless you decided that you did want multiple names.

If you need to alert people, then you can build a very simple workflow in SharePoint Designer that triggers when the form is modified,checks your status column and sends appropriate emails to the people within the team.

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