Background: I have been tasked with setting up a moderately complex document appproval process using Sharepoint and Microsoft Flow. I have very little experience with either.

Requirements: I need a way to present a form to users when they upload a new file to Sharepoint (see below for an example). This form will be used to collect required metadata for the document they are adding. I am working with a modern Sharepoint Site and Sharepoint Designer isn't an option because it is being phased out in favor of MS Flow.

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Question: How can this be achieved in Sharepoint?

What I Have Tried: Per the answer by Susan, I changed the document library to 'Classic' view which does result in the desired behavior (prompts user for input when document uploaded) but falls short in many ways:

  • Classic view does not support column formatting
  • Classic view doesn't seem to support manually triggering flows at all
  • Users can still drag and drop items into the library without the input form prompt
  • Users can close the input prompt without filling it out!

I have spent more time that I care to admit trying to find a solution to this (seemingly) simply problem. I am pretty new to Sharepoint, so if this is a dumb question, I appologize in advance!

1 Answer 1


To obtain mandatory metadata you do not need a flow (or a workflow). It is just enough to add columns with the metadata options and mark them as 'require that this column contains information'.

The classic view will force users to fill in the metadata on upload more than the new experience view. A workflow is needed if you need specific people to approve said file.

To make people aware that there is a new file (if this is needed) basic alerts can be set up on relevant people with no need to create a workflow.

  • Can classic view be used even if the Sharepoint site is using the modern experience?
    – Rekamanon
    Nov 20, 2019 at 16:32
  • yes, it is a setting of the document library/list. This is evidence of what I say (techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Office-365/…). Either you have a very disciplined sharepoint-loving user base so that they will behave and fill the metadata anyway, otherwise you will struggle with empty metadata. The classic experience is less forgiving than the new one, which simply limits itself to a mild visual reminder.
    – susan
    Nov 20, 2019 at 16:35
  • Unfortunately the classic view does not support formatting column as buttons (which I was using to manually trigger a flow). In any case, this is the correct answer so I have marked it as such. Thanks!
    – Rekamanon
    Nov 20, 2019 at 16:39
  • After further testing, it appears that 'classic' view doesn't support manually triggering flows at all which is a serious deal-breaker.
    – Rekamanon
    Nov 21, 2019 at 14:04
  • 1
    that's true, but it does support automatic trigger (when file is uploaded). I have encountered too many dodgy behaviours with flow (the approval flow does not communicate with the approval status that is inbuilt in the approval feature of the library) that I decided to stick to Sharepoint designer workflows whenever it is possible. Every single semi-technical person I asked this, they told me the new experience looks fancier but it is harder to use for the average end user. This alone is a deal breaker for any SharePoint admin.
    – susan
    Nov 25, 2019 at 11:04

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