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I often find myself in this scenario:

  • Create a flow with the SharePoint list When an item is created or modified trigger
  • Add an Update Item action (on the same item that triggered the flow)

(For reference, I use a service account to run the flow, and a conditional structure on the Modified By email address to avoid an infinite loop when the flow updates the item).

Even if I want to update a single column value in the item, the Update Item action requires that you re-populate all column values in the item (if you leave column values blank, it will update the column values to be blank).

This is bothersome, but simple enough if the column is of type Single Line of Text, or even a Choice or Lookup column (Single) - the 'Dynamic Content' that is available from the original trigger can easily be added to the Update Item action.

However, when the column type is one of the following, it seems to become trickier:

  • Choice (Multiple)
  • Lookup (Multiple)

The Choice (Multiple) column seems to require data in this format:

[
{
  "Value": value_a
},
{
  "Value": value_b
}
]

And the Lookup (Multiple) column seems to require data in this format:

[
{
  "Id": 1
},
{
  "Id": 2
}
]

In order to get these values in the required format, I find myself having to create a loop on the original column values and manually appending each value to an array variable (similar to the approach in this article), and then using that array variable to re-populate the same column fields.

This is VERY messy and time consuming when there are several multiple choice columns in the list.

It would be EXTREMELY HELPFUL if there was 'Dynamic Content' in the format required by the Update Item action.

The 'Dynamic Content' in the Power Automate interface that is available on these fields are:

 - ChoiceMultiple
 - ChoiceMultiple Item
 - ChoiceMultiple Value  

 - LookupMultiple  
 - LookupMultiple Item  
 - LookupMultiple Value 
 - LookupMultiple Id

But I don't know what these different values refer to (and they often get put in a loop when I try and use them - even if I am putting them in a field in 'array input mode').

Am I overlooking something?

Is there a way to repopulate multiple value fields without having to manually construct an array of objects in the format required in the Update Item action?

In order to troubleshoot the issue, I did a Compose on the body value that is grabbed via the trigger action:

Choice column (Multiple) data looks like this:

"ChoiceMultiple": [
  {
    "@odata.type": "#Microsoft.Azure.Connectors.SharePoint.SPListExpandedReference",
    "Id": 0,
    "Value": "Choice A"
  },
  {
    "@odata.type": "#Microsoft.Azure.Connectors.SharePoint.SPListExpandedReference",
    "Id": 1,
    "Value": "Choice B"
  }
],

"[email protected]": "#Collection(Microsoft.Azure.Connectors.SharePoint.SPListExpandedReference)",

"ChoiceMultiple#Id": [
  0,
  1
],

"ChoiceMultiple#[email protected]": "#Collection(Int64)"

Lookup column (Multiple) data look like this:

"LookupMultiple": [
  {
    "@odata.type": "#Microsoft.Azure.Connectors.SharePoint.SPListExpandedReference",
    "Id": 1,
    "Value": "Value A"
  },
  {
    "@odata.type": "#Microsoft.Azure.Connectors.SharePoint.SPListExpandedReference",
    "Id": 2,
    "Value": "Value B"
  }
],

"[email protected]": "#Collection(Microsoft.Azure.Connectors.SharePoint.SPListExpandedReference)",

"LookupMultiple#Id": [
  1,
  2
],

"LookupMultiple#[email protected]": "#Collection(Int64)"
4
  • Are these required/mandatory fields in list? What happens if those are not mandatory and you do not pass the value for these columns in update item action? Oct 29, 2022 at 10:42
  • 1
    Also, instead of using "Apply to each" action, you can use "Select" action to generate values in specific/required format. Oct 29, 2022 at 10:43
  • Can I infer from the first comment that only Required fields need to be passed a value? And that fields that are not Required do not need a value specified (and retain their existing value)? And in regards to the second comment, a multiple Choice column has three Dynamic Content values available: ChoiceMultipleColumn, ChoiceMultipleColumn Item and ChoiceMultipleColumn Value. I used ChoiceMultipleColumn as the From value in the Select and ChoiceMultipleColumn Value as the mapped value and it seems to have worked. Oct 30, 2022 at 8:38
  • Great, glad it worked for you. Yes, if fields are not required, you don't need to pass the value again in update item action. That's how it worked in the past. You can try it once from your side to be sure. Oct 30, 2022 at 12:37

1 Answer 1

1

Try this suggestions for your requirements:

A. Instead of using "Apply to each" action to get the lookup and choice column values in required format, you can use Select action to generate values in specific/required format very easily. It also reduces the number actions / API calls in your power automate flow

B. If you lookup and choice fields are not required/mandatory in SharePoint list, you don't need to pass the value to these columns again in update item action. Try using update item action without passing any value in these non mandatory fields.

1
  • 1
    Confirming that Select works well to 'reshape' the objects in an array of objects and that when using the Update Item action, you DO NOT need to repopulate fields with the same values submitted, UNLESS they are Required fields, in which case you cannot Save the flow unless a value is provided. Nov 5, 2022 at 6:23

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