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bhitchlockfcs
Resolver II
Resolver II

Copy/Duplicate a Flow in a Solution

I have a Flow in an existing solution for which I need to create several variants. Ideally I would copy the flow and edit the copy. 

Unfortunately the copies are created outside the solution and are not visible to import into the solution.

Any ideas on how to replicate a Flow inside of a Solution?

 

Thanks,

 

Brian

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abm
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Hi @bhitchlockfcs 

 

Yes you can but only way is to edit the xml files.

 

Follows the below steps:

 

Note: Before you do this take a backup copy of your existing solution.

 

1. Export the current solution

2. Once the solution is exported then unzip the current solution

3. You will see the following files and directory

     image.png

 

4. Go to Workflows directory. Here you can see the flow json file.

 

5. Duplicate the flow file and rename to another filename and new GUID. To generate new GUID use this site https://www.guidgenerator.com/online-guid-generator.aspx

 

6. Once the file is copied and renamed with new GUID you will have two json flow files like below. Makes sure GUID must be capital case.

 

image.png

7. Next go to back to parent folder and open customizations.xml file

 

8. Copy and paste (duplicate) the workflow element. See below. Here the highlighted part is the first flow you created. Below you can see my new workflow node I copied.  change the GUID's workflowID (Use the GUID you generated), Name and JsonFilename. Please be careful that all are case sensitive. So follow the same pattern as the first workflow where you copied form.

 

image.png

Save the file.

 

9. Next open the Solution.xml file

Duplicate the Root Component. Again the id is case sensitive. Use the same flow GUID as above.

 

image.png

 

   Save the file

 

10. Finally Zip all the files.

 

12. Delete your existing solution. (Please take a backup copy of your solution).

13. Import the new zip solution.

 

Here is my result

image.png

If you need any help in this please let me know.

 

Thanks



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View solution in original post

Welbywelb
Advocate III
Advocate III

Sorry I know this is old but it might help someone.

Actually you can do it with Postman. Create a Skeleton destination flow (just through away steps in it) and save it.

In Chrome open the inspect window and navigate to the "network" tab and capture the PATCH post URL (we will use this in Postman) and Bearer token.

Go to the flow you want to copy and in Chrome open the inspect window and navigate to the "network" tab. Click the "Save" on it and capture the body of the Patch command (Request Payload - starts "properties:..). 

Got to Postman and create a new Patch request (copying your Bearer token to the authentication) and past the body of the flow you want to copy. Lastly edit the "displayName" so it matches what you called the Skeleton flow.

Hit Post and the Flow should be be updated with the contents of the one you just copied.

 

Really ugly way of doing but its probably quicker than exporting the entire solution and updating it.

 

You might need to watch out for the only "16 connection limit" on one reference issue - if you get this open the Skeleton app and connect to CDS and create a new connection save it as before and examine the properties payload you will see the mentioned connection has changed name - copy this to the same field in the payload you want to test and you should be up and running. 

View solution in original post

39 REPLIES 39
abm
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Hi @bhitchlockfcs 

 

Yes you can but only way is to edit the xml files.

 

Follows the below steps:

 

Note: Before you do this take a backup copy of your existing solution.

 

1. Export the current solution

2. Once the solution is exported then unzip the current solution

3. You will see the following files and directory

     image.png

 

4. Go to Workflows directory. Here you can see the flow json file.

 

5. Duplicate the flow file and rename to another filename and new GUID. To generate new GUID use this site https://www.guidgenerator.com/online-guid-generator.aspx

 

6. Once the file is copied and renamed with new GUID you will have two json flow files like below. Makes sure GUID must be capital case.

 

image.png

7. Next go to back to parent folder and open customizations.xml file

 

8. Copy and paste (duplicate) the workflow element. See below. Here the highlighted part is the first flow you created. Below you can see my new workflow node I copied.  change the GUID's workflowID (Use the GUID you generated), Name and JsonFilename. Please be careful that all are case sensitive. So follow the same pattern as the first workflow where you copied form.

 

image.png

Save the file.

 

9. Next open the Solution.xml file

Duplicate the Root Component. Again the id is case sensitive. Use the same flow GUID as above.

 

image.png

 

   Save the file

 

10. Finally Zip all the files.

 

12. Delete your existing solution. (Please take a backup copy of your solution).

13. Import the new zip solution.

 

Here is my result

image.png

If you need any help in this please let me know.

 

Thanks



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Jcook
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Most Valuable Professional

@abm that is a great post.. definitely saving this for later.

—Josh
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abm
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Hi @Jcook 

 

Thanks for the comment. Really appreciated it. Keep up the good work. I can see you doing well in this community sharing your knowledge.

 

 



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Jcook
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Most Valuable Professional

@abm thanks, I enjoy helping where I can. Also I have found that I learn so much more when helping others.

So it’s a win win.

—Josh
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Thanks @abm,

 

I was afraid that would be the answer. These Flows are part of a larger Model Driven App solution. So editing and replacing the solution is a little more involved. Does the content of the solution or whether it is managed/unmanaged make a difference to your workaround?

Thank you for the detailed directions.

 

Brian

abm
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Hi @bhitchlockfcs 

 

I haven't checked the managed solution to extract and reconstruct the solution. It may be possible. Not sure that is supported or not?

 

Thanks



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FIN
New Member

@bhitchlockfcs 

Also you can go to your flow click save as (a new copy will appear in "My flows") and add new flow to your solution.

 


@FIN wrote:

@bhitchlockfcs 

Also you can go to your flow click save as (a new copy will appear in "My flows") and add new flow to your solution.

 

You would think it would be this easy.  It would save a lot of time for larger projects.  The copies are not available to me either when attempting to add them to my solution.


 

Now I see why I had this problem. So there is a list of known limitations (for example Button triggered flows are not available in solutions). So if you want to copy and import a flow you'll need to switch trigger (or anything else on the list) to be able to import it.

See:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/common-data-service/solutions-overview#known-limita...

 

So i created a solution and 2 flows:

FIN_1-1606929725271.png

Saved the copy:

FIN_2-1606929780826.png

 

And on add existing flows I see only Copy of - TestSaveAs - OneDrive

FIN_3-1606929841547.png

And i can add it.

 

So to be able to import existing flow you'll need to change/delete some steps.

dialedin
Advocate II
Advocate II

Ah, good find.

 

In my case, I created the copy from a flow already in the Solution, so it didn't have any unsupported limitiations.

Welbywelb
Advocate III
Advocate III

Sorry I know this is old but it might help someone.

Actually you can do it with Postman. Create a Skeleton destination flow (just through away steps in it) and save it.

In Chrome open the inspect window and navigate to the "network" tab and capture the PATCH post URL (we will use this in Postman) and Bearer token.

Go to the flow you want to copy and in Chrome open the inspect window and navigate to the "network" tab. Click the "Save" on it and capture the body of the Patch command (Request Payload - starts "properties:..). 

Got to Postman and create a new Patch request (copying your Bearer token to the authentication) and past the body of the flow you want to copy. Lastly edit the "displayName" so it matches what you called the Skeleton flow.

Hit Post and the Flow should be be updated with the contents of the one you just copied.

 

Really ugly way of doing but its probably quicker than exporting the entire solution and updating it.

 

You might need to watch out for the only "16 connection limit" on one reference issue - if you get this open the Skeleton app and connect to CDS and create a new connection save it as before and examine the properties payload you will see the mentioned connection has changed name - copy this to the same field in the payload you want to test and you should be up and running. 

Wow, this s/b the actual solution. Well done.

Jcook
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

Awesome post @Welbywelb !


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FlowAltDelete





Thanks Welbywelb!

 

Your solution worked great!  Where you stated, "Click the "Save" on it and capture the body of the Patch command (Request Payload - starts "properties:..).", when I saved the file from Chrome Dev Tools, the double quotes were escaped by backslashes, that I had to remove (a simple find and replace).

 

In file saved from Chrome:   

"text""{\"properties\":{\"definition\":{\"$schema\":...
 
In postman, placed in the Body - Raw section,  I put:
{"properties":{"definition":{"$schema":...

thx @Welbywelb for the fantastic workaround. I've added some more details including screenshots 🙂 The post is in german but this should be no problem. Klonen bzw. Kopieren von Power Automate Flows innerhalb von Solutions | applied technologies GmbH

Your article explains @Welbywelb solution in details! Precious! Thank you both!

GamerTuku
Advocate I
Advocate I

   

maxpower45255
Advocate III
Advocate III

The solution I found without exporting/reimporting the solution is to use "save-as" for the flow you're interested in. Then importing the new exported flow back into the solution. I'm always weary of deleting my solution and trying to reimport especially if it's a critical flow. I have seen odd issues over time and don't trust the solution import too much.

Has anyone tried this workaround and what has been your experience? 

 

I really wish Microsoft would fix the "Save-As" and the "Clone" features so we can safely work/test our work. The "save-as" should just save the flow inside your solution if the flow is already inside, and not outside. 

The "Clone" solution should clone the entire solution including flows and connection references (I read this article and made me scared to even try that feature: Solved: Clone Solution issue - Power Platform Community (microsoft.com) See also this for more info: Power Platform – Clone Solution | innovativeaj (wordpress.com)

Maybe MSFT will fix this in future releases. Hope MSFT is reading this blog 🙂 

 

Welbywelb
Advocate III
Advocate III

Hi Maxpower4522,

 

Very interested in this so I just tried to do a "save as" from within flow in a solution and the flow is placed in "My flows".  If I try to "Add existing" ..."Cloud flow"-> "From Dataverse or Outside Dataverser" then the flow is not visible (I've assumed this is what you mean when you say "importing the new exported flow back into the solution") but perhaps there is another way to do it from inside a solution. FYI this was a "manually triggered flow" so this might be the issue.

 

Can you share the navigation steps you do which successfully imported a previously "save as"'d flow please if different from above?

Also what kind of flow trigger is used with within it?

 

FYI it appears that there are many reason for this not to work see - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/powerapps/maker/data-platform/solutions-overview#known-limitations

 

This is the reason I provided my solution above which basically allows you cut and paste the code content for a any flow into a skeleton flow which you have created where you want it (inside a solution or not).

I totally agree that we shouldn't have to do this but until MS gets the finger out its the best solution I've found to date.

 

Thanks.

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