One of the differences between SharePoint Designer workflows and Microsoft Flow is the way you can have multiple copies of the same flow for multiple lists and or libraries. Where in SharePoint Designer you would be able to refer to the current list. Flow does not offer this option. Therefore when you create copies of a flow you will find that you are updating the site url and the list name in many different places.

In the past I tried to make sure that my SharePoint actions would use dynamic content or variables however this was never supported as Flow wasn’t able to validate list columns during design time.

Today I tried this again and I found that things worked.

In my flow I started with a When an item is created or modified.



Then I set two variables a SiteUrl and a ListName. I used the Compose actions rather than the variables connector to do this for performance reasons. However you could consider using varibales as that will make your flows more readable. We will see this shortly.

Then within my Get items action I use

  • outputs(‘ListName’)
  • outputs(‘SiteUrl’)

and this is where you can see a small problem:

If you get it wrong you will rely on the hover over tool tips to find out what you did wrong. When you use a variable instead of a Compose action you will notice the difference.

Now when you create multiple copies of the same flow you can simply update the variables and potentially the trigger and you can copy flows from one list to another within seconds. It woud still be nice if you could get the list name and the site url out of the trigger but at least this is a good start towards creating generic flows.