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  • How to Create Automated Notifications
    for Meeting Series on Last Iteration
    With Power Automate

    Once upon a time, I interviewed to be an Executive Assistant at Amazon. For those who are unaware, interviews at Amazon oftentimes include a "Bar Raiser." A Bar Raiser is an additional interviewer at Amazon who is brought into the hiring process to be an objective third party. The Bar Raiser in my interview asked me a terrific question. They asked if I could develop any application to help increase workflow productivity, what would it be?

    I thought for a minute and responded by saying I'd develop a Microsoft Outlook add-in that would display an alert for recurring meetings happening that day that are on their last iteration of the meeting series. According to my research, the only way to be notified when a meeting series was on its last iteration was to set up a separate reminder with a date that matches the end date on the initial meeting notification. This is a terrible approach for various reasons. For example, if the end date changes, which it often does, the user would have to remember to update that separate reminder. While this isn't exactly terrible per se, it is certainly not ideal.

    If I could somehow handle this dilemma programmatically, it would lessen the chances of the user forgetting to update that second reminder, or mistakenly updating the reminder with a date that doesn't match.

    I have now decided to implement a solution to this problem through process automation using Microsoft Power Automate. The process is described below.

    Overview

    I created a Power Automate flow that runs every day at 4:00 AM, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), or 12:00 AM when converted to my timezone (Eastern Standard Time). The order of events are described below.

    1) Get all of the events on my calendar.

    2) Filter for events that are recurring.

    3) Filter the recurring events for events that have a recurrence end date equal to the current date.

    4) Check if there are any events that are found after running steps 2 and 3.

     - If there are events, send an email notification for each event.
     - If there are no events, send an email notification with blurb stating no events found.

    Example

    For this example, we have two recurring meetings shown below.



    The two recurring meetings have a recurrence end date that matches today's date (2021-09-18). As a result, two separate email notifications are sent.



    The body of each automated email is shown below.





    If there are no recurring events, or recurring events with a recurrence end date that doesn't match the current date, an email notification is also sent.

    Code

    Below is the Power Automate flow I created for this project. Feel free to use my code as a framework for your own implementation!

    Overview





    Details

















    UPDATED 09/21/2021



    I had a community request to add in the ability for users to input n number of days out from the current date to allow for more preparation ahead of the recurring meeting's last iteration. I thought this was a terrific idea! To accomplish this, I initialized a variable named numberOfDays of type integer. If numberOfDays is 0, then the current date will be used. If, for example, numberOfDays was 10, then the code would look for recurring meetings with a recurrence end date of current date + 10 days.







    If you're an assistant, have access to Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Power Automate, I'd be happy to help you implement this. Feel free to visit the Contact section of my website for ways to reach me.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Until next time,

    Eric