Update SharePoint column without new item version in Power Automate

“I’m using Power Automate to update a backup column with each user update on the item, how can I do it without doubling the item version?”


For some solutions, e.g. when triggering a flow on SP column update, you might need a ‘backup’ column. A column you’ll use to store a previous value of another column when user updates it. But if you have a separate action to update only that one column, it can mess up your versioning. Each user update will trigger the flow, and the flow will do another ‘sync’ update. One extra item version only to keep the columns synchronized. There has to be a better way to keep the versions under control.

SharePoint sync double version

Use HTTP request for the update

The solution is to use HTTP request for the ‘sync’ update. With HTTP request you have more control over the update than with the ‘Update item’ action. While the action allows you only to update columns, with HTTP request you can define additional parameters. And one of the parameters is ‘bNewDocumentUpdate’. By adding the parameter to the request Body you can tell the update to not create another item version.

"bNewDocumentUpdate": true

The full HTTP request format should be as below.

Uri: 
_api/web/lists/GetByTitle('<ListName>')/items(<ItemID>)/validateUpdateListItem

Body:
{
    "formValues":[
	{
	    "FieldName": "<FieldToUpdate>",
	    "FieldValue": "<ValueToUpdate>"
	}
    ],
"bNewDocumentUpdate": true
}
Power Automate HTTP update SP column without version

Updating the item with an HTTP request as above will add the ‘sync’ update to the already existing item version.

SharePoint sync single version

Summary

You should use the ‘bNewDocumentUpdate’ parameter only to update system columns, never to update user columns. For user columns it should be always clear which user and when did an update, and you should never ‘overwrite’ it.

But if you just need to keep the number of ‘sync’ versions under control, it might be an optimal solution. Just keep in mind that even if it doesn’t create a new item version, it’s still an update that can cause infinite trigger loop.


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