I have a flow that is used for auto-numbering. My list has three different content types. I have a custom ID field that is populated by a variable. Each content type has a corresponding prefix [ie Content Type A would have an ID Number that reads A0004. Content Type B would have an ID number that reads B0005 and so forth]. The autonumber capability is held in a variable. In order to get the correct prefix, I have set three conditions based on the content type and concatenate the correct corresponding prefix with the autonumber and then put that result in a variable. I am having difficulty trying to figure out how to Set my custom ID field to the variable value [which is a string].

In the Nintex Workflow I use for OnPrem, it is literally just 'Set field to ___'. We do not have this option in Flow. How do I update my custom ID field to whatever the variable is??

1 Answer 1


One of the actions is sharepoint: update list item. It will ask for the id of the list item, just use the id of the item from a previous step.

Be careful though, this action is a PITA: if your list has 20 fields, all 20 fields will be added in the designer. choice fields will have their default values set, so you'll need to go through and clear those as to avoid resetting those fields to their defaults.

This action also handles required fields really poorly. If there are 5 required fields, you'll need to specify values for those fields even if you don't want to change them. Again, you'll need to grab the values from a previous step. If I have a workflow where I'm using this action where it's a potential that a user has changed the item since the flow started, I will add another get action right before the update as to get current values to be able to use those current values to update the required fields.

  • Thanks Mike. This is really painful :\. Seems like a very colluded way to do something super simple. Do you know if MS plans to add the 'Set Field to a value' option to Flow anytime soon? May 13, 2019 at 16:48
  • Not that I've heard. The positive thing about Flow is that it works with 100+ different services, not just sharepoint. One negative thing about flow is that it wasn't specifically designed to work with SharePoint... So we can do things in flow that weren't possible in SPD, but some things that were easy in SPD are difficult or impossible in Flow.
    – Mike2500
    May 13, 2019 at 16:51
  • 1
    Yes, I realize that. But I work for the government, so those 100+ different services aren't as relevant for me since the government takes forever to adopt new tools [even in the MS space] and it rarely links up with tools external to its network. Lol sigh, gain one power lose 15 I suppose. Aw well. Thanks for the guidance (: May 13, 2019 at 17:59

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