I have a list in a SharePoint website that will grow/update as data entries are made.

Purpose: I would like to tell the SharePoint website that whenever a new row is added, auto generate the next column (Reference Number (datatype numeric)) value based on the previous value which for example is 10822.

I found a workflow on Google using Power Automate however, I am getting an invalid expression error.

Power Automate workflow:

enter image description here


add(outputs(`Reference Number`),1) 

How can I fix this?

1 Answer 1


It depends a bit on your setup.

If this expression is within an apply to each loop you could use:


Otherwise it would probably be something like:

add(outputs('Name_of_Action')?['ReferenceNumber'], 1)

All these examples assume that your column is of type number. Otherwise you probably also need to add an int() function around the column to be able to add +1

When the property needs to be retrieved from a trigger action you can use:

add(triggerOutputs()?['body/ReferenceNumber'], 1)
  • In that case it probably is: add(triggerOutputs()?['body/ReferenceNumber'], 1)
    – Expiscornovus
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 15:18
  • So once I save the workflow, whenever I click on add new item on the SharePoint website, it will autogenerate the column value in the new row, right? Or do I also need to add Update Item to the workflow or anything else?
    – Ed_Gravy
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 15:24
  • 1
    What your flow currently does is retrieve the existing value of that column and increment it with 1 in the variable. Nothing is written back to SharePoint unless you tell the flow to do that ;) You would have to use the update item to actually write it back to the SharePoint item.
    – Expiscornovus
    Commented Sep 30, 2022 at 15:28
  • I am getting an error with the expression provided in the edited answer. For more info, kindly look at this question.
    – Ed_Gravy
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 20:43

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