Use a custom connector from a flow

Note

This topic is part of a tutorial series on creating and using custom connectors in Azure Logic Apps, Microsoft Flow, and PowerApps. Make sure you read the custom connector overview to understand the process.

In this topic, you build a basic flow that uses the custom connector you created in a previous topic. The flow is triggered when an item is added to a SharePoint list, then the flow uses the custom connector to call the Cognitive Services Text Analytics API. The connector returns the sentiment score (0 to 1) for the text in the list item, and the flow writes the score back to the list. The following image shows the finished flow:

Finished sentiment analysis flow

Prerequisites

Create the SharePoint list

You first create a simple three-column list in SharePoint Online; this list stores movie review data that the flow analyzes for sentiment. For more information about SharePoint lists, see Introduction to lists in the SharePoint documentation.

  1. In your SharePoint Online site, choose New, then List.

    Create new SharePoint list

  2. Enter the name "Movie Reviews", then choose Create.

    Specify name for new list

    The list is created, with the default Title field.

    Project Requests list

  3. Choose New item icon, then Single line of text.

    Add single line of text field

  4. Enter the name "Review", then choose Save.

  5. Repeat steps 3. and 4. to add another column to the list: use a data type of Number, and the name "Score".

Create a flow from the list

SharePoint Online provides the ability to create flows right from a list, so we'll use that approach. You could create the same flow from flow.microsoft.com.

  1. In the SharePoint list, choose Flow then Create a flow.

    Create a flow

  2. In the right pane, choose Show more.

    Show more flows

  3. Choose the template When a new item is added in SharePoint, complete a custom action.

    Custom action for SharePoint

    The custom action in this case is calling the API through the custom connector.

  4. Ensure you're signed in to SharePoint with the correct account, then choose Continue.

    SharePoint connector permissions

  5. In flow.microsoft.com, choose Edit. You should see the SharePoint site and list from which you launched the Create a flow process.

    Confirm site and list

Add the custom connector

Microsoft Flow created a basic flow with a trigger that fires when an item is added to the SharePoint list. Now you add actions to take based on the item that is added.

  1. Choose New step, then Add an action.

  2. Search for the connector you created, then choose the action associated with that connector.

    Choose SentimentDemo action

    The name and description for the action come from information you provided when you created the connector.

  3. Enter values for all the fields.

    Connector parameters

    Parameter Value
    Language "en"
    ID "1"
    Text The SharePoint Review field (from the Dynamic content dialog box)

    ID is required because the connector can handle multiple documents; in our examples, we send one document at a time. In a production flow, Language and ID values might come from a list or another data source.

  4. Choose New step then Add an action.

  5. Add the action SharePoint - Update item and enter values for all the fields.

    Update list item action

    Parameter Value
    Site Address The address of the SharePoint Online site from which you launched the Create a flow process
    List name The list from which you launched the Create a flow process
    Id The SharePoint ID field
    Title The SharePoint Title field
    Review The SharePoint Review field
    Score The custom connector score field

    When you add the dynamic content for the Score field, notice that Microsoft Flow adds an Apply to each container because it recognizes that the custom connector accepts multiple documents. Your flow only sends one at a time, but it's cool that the flow matches the capabilities of the connector.

    Apply to each

    The finished flow should now look like the following image:

    Finished sentiment analysis flow

  6. Enter a name for your flow, like "Sentiment Analysis", then choose Create flow and Done.

Test the flow

Now the flow is complete, it's time to test it by adding reviews to the SharePoint list, and seeing how the flow responds.

  1. In your SharePoint Online list, choose Quick Edit.

    SharePoint list quick edit

  2. Add two reviews to the list (one negative and one positive), then choose Done.

    Quick edit done

    Parameter Suggested value
    Title (positive) My Favorite Movie
    Review (positive) "I enjoyed the new movie after a long day"
    Title (negative) Some Other Movie
    Review (negative) "The worst movie I've seen in decades"
  3. In flow.microsoft.com, choose My flows, then choose the flow you created.

    Choose new flow

  4. Look at RUN HISTORY, and you should see two runs - one for each review you added to the list.

    Run history

  5. Back on the SharePoint list page, refresh the browser to see the scores that the flow added.

    Scores added from flow

You're all done! This is a simple flow, but it gains powerful functionality by being able to call Cognitive Services through a custom connector.

Next steps

Share the connector within your organization and/or get the connector certified so that people outside your organization can use it: