In this blog I will share a possibility to digitize internal events, via your standard Office365 licenses. What many people don’t know is that the Microsoft Power Platform also has the ability to use the Bot module, Power Virtual Agent, within Microsoft Teams. Thanks to this integration, beautiful solutions can be built.
The solution I share in this blog has to do with the hackathon we organized in December. My colleague Stefan has written a blog about this before. The organization of this hackathon was communicated via email, from explanation to registration. This was then registered again in Excel. But what if we automate this process. What does this look like?
Enable Power Virtual Agent within Microsoft Teams
Within Microsoft Teams you can start creating a bot by clicking on the three dots in the menu and then searching for Power Virtual Agent.
After opening the Power Virtual Agent via Microsoft Teams, a new bot can be created, or an existing bot can be opened.
After creating the new bot, a new topic can be created, which I call ‘Hackathon’. This topic can be triggered later, by different trigger sentences. Here multiple solutions can be built within one bot (HR, Christmas packages, etc) that can each be started by means of different trigger phrases.
Setting up the bot
When we are going to set up the bot, after some general text, the first step is to retrieve information. In my case, this information is retrieved from a SharePoint list, where all hackathon sessions are registered. I do this by an action through Power Automate.
Important for this flow is that I want to get a structured overview back from SharePoint. I do this by adding an initialize variable of type String. Inside this variable I add, within the ‘Value’ column, headers of my SharePoint list, followed by an enter and ‘| :–|’ for each column header.
For adding the string variable, the dynamic fields are selected, which results in showing the correct columns in the table.
When these steps have been completed, the result can be returned to Power Virtual Agent.
The bot can then be asked whether the user wants to register for one of the hackathon sessions.
If the user only wants information, the bot will be stopped as soon as they click ‘No’. Otherwise, the user will be asked for which session number he would like to register.
With the answer that the user provides, a new Power Automate flow is started, where the result of the subscription is written in a second SharePoint list.
Within the retrieval of the items, a query filtering is used, whereby only the specified session number of the hackathon is retrieved. There is no output in this step back to Power Automate, leaving the bot ready to save and publish.
Run the bot
After the bot has been published, it can be started in Microsoft Teams.
All hackathon sessions are shown in an overview and the user has the option to register for one of these sessions.
Solution can be deployed in several ways
The solution can be used in many ways, such as for example for selecting Christmas gifts by employees or for organizing and registering ideas or company outings.
Would you like to know more or if you need help with one of your challenges?
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