ArcGIS Field Maps

Automate field notifications with Microsoft Power Automate

With ArcGIS Connectors for Power Automate, you can create automatic notifications every time a feature is added in ArcGIS Field Maps. Notifications are customizable and can include anything from a detailed email to a quick message sent to Microsoft Teams.

Email notification
Email notification

Microsoft Power Automate provides a low-code to no-code environment to create webhooks, meaning you can connect to your data in ArcGIS and automate workflows with little to no coding experience. This is accomplished by creating a flow of triggers and actions to perform a task.

Flow in Power Automate
Flow in Power Automate

Scenario 

In this blog post, we’ll walk through a debris reporting scenario. We’ll configure a flow in Power Automate that sends an email notification each time a mobile worker creates a new debris feature in Field Maps. 

Video demo 

The following video demonstrates the steps outlined in this blog post and may be helpful to reference while following along. Note: The video does not have audio.

Requirements 

Prepare a map and layer

You must create a map with at least one feature layer before creating a flow in Power Automate. If you already have a map and layer, skip ahead to the next section. If you don’t, create a map and layer in Field Maps Designer. For step-by-step instructions, see Create a map with Field Maps Designer (help section). 

You must also ensure that change tracking is enabled for the feature layer; otherwise, the flow will not work. You can verify this by going to the Settings page of the layer’s item details and ensuring the Keep track of changes to the data check box is checked. 

Keep track of changes to the data
Keep track of changes to the data

Create a flow in Power Automate

After creating a map and feature layer, you can begin creating the flow in Power Automate. 

Step 1—Browse to https://make.powerautomate.com and sign in to your Microsoft 365 account. 

Step 2—On the left navigation pane, click Create.

Create button
Create button

Step 3—Under Start from blank, select Automated cloud flow. 

Automated cloud flow
Automated cloud flow

Step 4—In the Build an automated cloud flow window, name your flow and select a trigger. 

The trigger is what initiates the flow. In this example, we’ll select a trigger that checks for new features being added to a layer. Enter the following information in the window: 

Flow name and trigger
Flow name and trigger

Step 5—Click Create. 

The cloud flow designer opens with the selected trigger.

ArcGIS trigger in Cloud flow designer

Step 6—Establish the connection to your ArcGIS account. 

Click the When a record is created in a feature layer trigger. In the pane that appears, click Change connection and follow the prompts to sign in to your ArcGIS organization.  

Change connection
Change connection

If you’re using ArcGIS Enterprise, there are additional steps you must take to connect your organization to Power Automate. For step-by-step instructions, see Set up the ArcGIS Enterprise connector (help topic). 

Step 7—Select the feature layer used to trigger the flow. 

When a feature is created in the selected feature layer, the flow will be triggered in Power Automate. 

Select the feature layer
Select the feature layer

For this example, I’m selecting a Storm Debris Reporting layer, so I’m notified each time a new debris feature is created in the field. 

Step 8—Click the add button below the ArcGIS connector, click Add an action, and search for and add the Apply to each control. 

Apply to each control
Apply to each control

There may be multiple items in the payload (the content sent from ArcGIS to Power Automate), so this control will loop through all of them. 

Step 9—Select the Apply to each control and click the lightning bolt button next to the Select An Output From Previous Steps text box. 

Lightning bolt icon
Lightning bolt icon

Step 10—Select Body as the output from the previous step. 

This is the content included in the payload. 

Step 11 Add the Fetch updates, changes, or deletions from the feature layer action to the Apply to each control. 

Fetch updates, changes, or deletions action
Fetch updates, changes, or deletions action

This is the action that will retrieve any changes made to the feature layer. 

Step 12—Under the Parameters tab for the Fetch updates, changes, or deletions from feature layer, action, enter the following information: 

Fetch updates, changes, or deletions from feature layer action parameters
Fetch updates, changes, or deletions from feature layer action parameters

Step 13Add another Apply to each control beneath the Fetch updates, changes, or deletions from feature layer action but still within in the original Apply to each control.

Second Apply to each control
Second Apply to each control

Step 14—In the parameters for this control, in the Select An Output From Previous Steps text box, click the lightning bolt button and select items. 

This will cycle through each change item (such as multiple feature creations) and generate a notification for each one. 

Step 15—In the second Apply to each action, add the Send an email (V2) action from Office 365 Outlook (you can also use a different email provider, such as Gmail, or a different messaging app, such as Microsoft Teams or Slack).  

Send an email action
Send an email action

Step 16—Create a connection to your email provider if you haven’t already. 

Step 17—Configure the contents of your email. 

Specify who the email should be sent to (such as your email or group alias), enter a subject line, and write the body of the email. You can use the lightning bolt button to include dynamic information from fields within the layer.  

For this example, I included information that mobile workers will enter in the form, such as type of debris, additional details, and a return phone number. I also included an email field value in the To line so mobile workers have a receipt of their submission. 

Example email
Example email

With that, your flow is complete and should look like the following image:

Flow in Power Automate
Flow in Power Automate

Step 18—Click the Save button to save your work.

Test the flow

Now it’s time to test your flow. Click the Test button (next to the Save button). In the Test Flow pane, select Manually and click Test.

Test Flow pane
Test Flow pane

A blank screen appears, waiting for you to trigger the flow (submit a new feature in Field Maps). On your mobile device, open the map in the Field Maps mobile app, fill out the form, and tap Submit to add the new feature to the layer. 

Storm debris form in Field Maps mobile app
Storm debris form in Field Maps mobile app

In a few minutes, the flow will be triggered, and the test screen will return the results in Power Automate. If the flow was successful, it should look like the following image: 

Successful test
Successful test

You should also receive an email that represents what you configured in your flow. 

Email notification of new feature
Email notification of new feature

Once you’ve confirmed your flow is error-free, return to the previous page in Power Automate. Click the Turn on button to enable your flow (it may be turned on automatically). Once on, the flow will be checking for new features added to the layer. 

You can check the run history for the flow, noting each time the flow was run, its success, and the run duration. If you click an individual run, you can view the inputs and outputs for the flow, which can be helpful for troubleshooting.

Run history
Run history

In this blog post, you learned how to create a flow in Power Automate that sends an email notification each time a feature is created in Field Maps. This is just one of many flows you can create with Power Automate, so be sure to try out different combinations of triggers and actions. To keep exploring, try creating the following flows: 

There are also several templates for ArcGIS workflows that you can search for on Power Automate, so be sure to check those out as well. 

Additional resources

To learn more about Power Automate and ArcGIS Connectors, see the following resources: 

About the authors

Josh is a Product Engineering Writer with a background in geography and comparative literature. When he isn't writing for the field apps team, he enjoys reading short stories, trying new recipes, and playing his bass clarinet.

Connect:

Justin Colville is a Product Engineer on the ArcGIS Field Apps Team. Justin works on many parts of the apps including location sharing, geofencing, taking maps offline and workflow automation.

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