cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
ArchieGoodwin
Advocate I
Advocate I

Extracting a substring from parsed JSON data in a Loop

I'm stumped on this one, folks.

I am taking JSON data from an online form, parsing it, and converting it into a .csv for import. I have built and tested a flow that works exactly as needed - almost. 

The online form gives users the option to enter information for anywhere from 0 to 10 children (family law intake). So, the JSON can contain data for 0 to 10 children. Incoming data for the fields contains either a six-or-eight-character Code, and then an explanation (it's in a drop-down on the online form). I need to export only a substring of that data (either the left 6 or 8 characters) into the .csv for import.

 

Problem is, I can't use Initialize Variable to do this within a loop (that will run x times, where x = 0 to 10).

Is there a way to substring just the raw parsed JSON data so I only grab the characters I need for inclusion in the variable table I have created for the data (prior to export to .csv)? I have tried to use the 'substring' expression, but it won't even let me select the variable I need from within the sub-data for "CHILDINV" - I'm stuck.

Child Data Loop.JPG

27 REPLIES 27
ArchieGoodwin
Advocate I
Advocate I

No, we want a consistent header line, even if there is no data in the field below. Makes it easier that way.

@Paulie78 's solution looks a bit less daunting tbh, but I'm stuck on understanding how he is referencing the fields.

 

I now see that doing it the way I was doing it, via variables, is long and cumbersome - this "compose" function makes it more of a one-shot schema creation. As much as I hate to throw away what I have done already, I like that it moves all of the expressions and fiddling with the data into one place.

I have lots to learn on this stuff, it's only the first of many I am going to have to create. Thanks so much for your patience and efforts thus far.

If you need help building it reach out via private message and will get you started off.

It does produce two rows, perhaps I copied the wrong scope. Will check in a moment. 

eliotcole
Super User
Super User

Absolutely, @ArchieGoodwin, here's a solution which produces all the rows, all the headers, and the full 10 kids.

 

I'll admit that were this me I'd space out the logic a bit more so that others won't be blinded by the long expressions on show. One of the main things I try to show folks in a work environment that Power Automate makes an office less reliable on Jon/Janey and their wizard excel formulas. As soon as you start sprinkling long 'formula' everywhere here, anyone taking over the management of it might still be a bit taken aback.

 

If I were to do that here, I might make the two sides of that union in the CSV separate object variables then reference them.


Solution

This solution is transferrable if you want to apply it to more than one array in the original data.

finally.jpg

@Paulie78 thanks for the help, and for the range fiddle, too! I had originally done ten fields that long way, and thought that there *had* to be a way to get it done with less typing. 😅


Code

kidsVAR

This just counts the number of kids, and subtracts it by one. This saves overcomplicating the multiple if() statements in the Select action.

 

 

sub(length(variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV']), 1)

 

 

SelectKidsData

In the 'From' field this uses a trick that Paulie taught me elsewhere, the range() function. So it iterates through 10 items, regardless.

 

 

range(0, 10)

 

 

In the 'Map' 'key' fields (left), this uses some basis logic looking at the current item() number in the range, and adds 1. This provides your child number.

 

 

add(item(), 1)

 

 

In the 'Map' 'value' fields (right), this uses a simple condition. If the current item() number is greater than the number returned in the kidsVAR variable, then it places nothing ('') in the field, otherwise it picks the child data that is correspondent to the current item() number. It looks like more than it is. 👍

 

 

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['Id'])

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['C1NAME'])

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['C1BD'])

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['Gender'])

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['C1LEGAL'])

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['C1PHYS'])

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['C1VISIT'])

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['FIELD8'])

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['ItemNumber'])

 

 

Create CSV Table

This one is basically constructing an array for the Create CSV Table action to make its data from. Don't forget to place the square brackets around it in the 'From' field:

 

 

union(removeProperty(variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body'], 'CHILDINV') , json(replace(join(body('SelectKidsData'), ', '), '}, {', ',')))

 

 

The union() function is usually used to join two arrays together, but it works with objects, too, so the main thing here is ensuring that the child data is represented as an object instead of an array, after the previous Select action has done its thing.

 

So, in the second section of that union function this is done by:

  1. Using a join() function to join the separate children items together in a string value.
  2. Once they're in the string, they're still actually separated by curly brackets, so the replace() function removes the ones separating the children '}, {', and puts a normal comma in their place.
  3. Then finally the json() function makes that all readable by the union otherwise it would error thinking it's just a string.

 

The first part is getting all the non-child data by simply using the removeProperty() function to strip the CHILDINV data out of the original object.

 

Additional Arrays

To apply this to other fields in the original JSON just requires a few tweaks. Let's look at the potential for the DOCUMENTS array field to need it.

  1. Add a branch after the input.
  2. Initialise a docsVAR integer variable in the new branch to count the items in DOCUMENTS.
  3. For the Select copy the original and edit it to save time to SelectDocsData.
  4. Change the letters either side of the add(item(),1) expressions in the key fields to make your document headers.
  5. Edit each value to point to DOCUMENTS instead of CHILDINV, the new docsVAR for the counts, and change the referenced field names.
  6. Finally, bridge the branches with the CSV:

 

union(removeProperty(removeProperty(variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body'], 'CHILDINV'), 'DOCUMENTS') , json(replace(join(body('SelectKidsData'), ', '), '}, {', ',')) , json(replace(join(body('SelectDocsData'), ', '), '}, {', ',')))

 

If there is no set limit to the documents, then take the docsVAR and add 1 to it for the other side of the range() expression.

 

EDIT - I've tested this on ten children ... and they're all still alive to tell the tale!

One teeny tiny problem. I can't figure out how to put the SUBSTRING instruction into the map. I keep getting "invalid expression" errors; how do I grab only, say, the first 6 characters in C1LEGAL for example? I know it's probably a syntax issue.

Where would you squeeze in the SUBSTRING?

Also - I really only need the CHILD output from this, because I don't carry across all the fields, only ones I need. But, if I try to create a CSV table from OUTPUT, there are a bunch of extra commas in there that I don't need.

Thoughts?

eliotcole
Super User
Super User

(sorry, was weirdly scared to come back in case it wasn't a good solution!)

 

I'm glad all is good, @ArchieGoodwin  ... apologies if I'd misunderstood. But given your responses after Paulie mentioned ensuring there were 10 kids each time, I thought the extra data was what you were after there.

 

Those extra commas in the example of 4 children are the empty children 5-10. (or empty fields in the base data)

 

If you wish to have only what's there (for the kids, at least), that's more simple, just change the SelectKidsData to be like in my OG solution with the ['body']?['CHILDINV'] source, item()['ItemNumber'] for the numbered keys, and reference the fields accordingly (item()?['Id']) on the value side. You can delete the count, too.

02 - Kids Data OG.jpg

 

 

SUBSTRING

This part is thankfully easy, I'll give you two ways you can do it and hopefully the first is the way that it can be done easiest.

 

Method One - Add An Extra Select Value

This assumes that you will always have "TEXT - TEXT", meaning that there is always that space-hyphen-space, there.

 

On the 'Key' side it will be however you like, as before. I labelled mine as C3LGLSh (where the 3 is the expression).

 

On the 'Value' side it will be:

 

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', first(split(variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['C1LEGAL'], ' - ')))

 

You are splitting the "CLIENT - sdfkjhsfgldihsd fg" text on that ' - ', and then with the array that returns you take the first item. A safer bet might be to split on just the hypen, and then wrap the first() in a trim() expression.

 

This ensures that you are always going to get whatever text is there, even if it's longer than 6 characters.

 

Method Two - Substring

If you really have to use substring, then this would work with the otherwise same setup as the first method:

 

 

if(greater(item(), variables('kidsVAR')), '', substring(variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body']?['CHILDINV'][item()]['C1LEGAL'], 0, 6))

 

 

It definitely works, just tested, I just feel that the split+first (+trim!) method is going to be better data capture long term.

 

 

KIDS ONLY!

If you only need the CHILD output, then you can junk the union() expression and just keep the second half of it. So, non-code view thats:

[

  json(repl...)

]

In the json() you'd have:

 

json(replace(join(body('SelectKidsData'), ', '), '}, {', ','))

 

 

NONSENSE STUFFS 😉

There's a few ways to go about the unimportant fields.

  1. Filter - Filter out stuff you don't want, try to use branching if you can to keep the original data available when needed.
  2. Handle Externally - Keep the extra fields, and handle the relevant output on the other end. You then have that data when you need it.
  3. Layered Property Removal - removeProperty() layers to remove the fields you don't currently need.
  4. Explicit Select Fields - Use Paulie's setup to be very exact precisely which field and where you're taking data from.

#2 would be the most accepted/normal way. For example if you were querying an API for data, you would take what you get, and use what you need.

 

With #3 you just layer it up, like this:

 

removeProperty(removeProperty(variables('jsonInputVAR')?['body'], 'CHILDINV'), 'DOCUMENTS')

 

That would supply an object with all the original fields except the CHILDINV, and DOCUMENTS, fields. 

 

Here's one more image to assist, this one has all 10 kids included, obviously:

extra bitz.jpg

 

Helpful resources

Announcements

Super User of the Month | Drew Poggemann

As part of a new monthly feature in the Community, we are excited to share that Drew Poggemann is our featured Super User for the month of February 2024. If you've been in the Community for a while, we're sure Drew's name is familiar to you, as he is one of our most active contributors--he's been a Super User for five consecutive seasons!   Since authoring his first reply 5 years ago to his 514th solution authored, Drew has helped countless Community members with his insights and expertise. In addition to being a Super User, Drew is also a User Group leader and a Microsoft MVP. His contributions to our Super User sessions and to the new SUIT program are always welcome--as well as his sense of humor and fun-loving way of sharing what he knows with others.   When Drew is not solving problems and authoring solutions, he's busy overseeing the Solution Architecture team at HBS, specializing in application architecture and business solution strategy--something he's been doing for over 30 years. We are grateful for Drew and the amazing way he has used his talent and skills to help so many others in the Community. If you are part of the SUIT program, you got to hear some great tips from Drew at the first SUIT session--and we know he still has much more to share!You can find him in the Community and on LinkedIn. Thank you for all you do, Drew!

Announcing Power Apps Copilot Cookbook Gallery

We are excited to share that the all-new Copilot Cookbook Gallery for Power Apps is now available in the Power Apps Community, full of tips and tricks on how to best use Microsoft Copilot as you develop and create in Power Apps. The new Copilot Cookbook is your go-to resource when you need inspiration--or when you're stuck--and aren't sure how to best partner with Copilot while creating apps.   Whether you're looking for the best prompts or just want to know about responsible AI use, visit Copilot Cookbook for regular updates you can rely on--while also serving up some of your greatest tips and tricks for the Community. Our team will be reviewing posts using the new "Copilot Studio" label to ensure we highlight and amplify the most relevant and recent content, so you're assured of high-quality content every time you visit. If you share a post that gets featured in the curated gallery, you'll get a PM in the Community to let you know!The curated gallery is ready for you to experience now, so visit the new Copilot Cookbook for Power Apps today: Copilot Cookbook - Power Platform Community. We can't wait to see what you "cook" up!    

Celebrating a New Season of Super Users with Charles Lamanna, CVP Microsoft Business Applications

February 8 was the kickoff to the 2024 Season One Super User program for Power Platform Communities, and we are thrilled to welcome back so many returning Super Users--as well as so many brand new Super Users who started their journey last fall. Our Community Super Users are the true heroes, answering questions, providing solutions, filtering spam, and so much more. The impact they make on the Communities each day is significant, and we wanted to do something special to welcome them at our first kickoff meeting of the year.   Charles Lamanna, Microsoft CVP of Business Applications, has stressed frequently how valuable our Community is to the growth and potential of Power Platform, and we are honored to share this message from him to our 2024 Season One Super Users--as well as anyone who might be interested in joining this elite group of Community members.     If you want to know more about Super Users, check out these posts for more information today:    Power Apps: What is A Super User? - Power Platform CommunityPower Automate: What is A Super User? - Power Platform Community Copilot Studio: What is A Super User? - Power Platform Community Power Pages: What is A Super User? - Power Platform Community

Super Users 2024 Season One is Here!

   We are excited to announce the first season of our 2024 Super Users is here! Our kickoff to the new year welcomes many returning Super Users and several new faces, and it's always exciting to see the impact these incredible individuals will have on the Community in 2024! We are so grateful for the daily difference they make in the Community already and know they will keep staying engaged and excited for all that will happen this year.   How to Spot a Super User in the Community:Have you ever written a post or asked for help in the Community and had it answered by a user with the Super User icon next to their name? It means you have found the actual, real-life superheroes of the Power Platform Community! Super Users are our heroes because of the way they consistently make a difference in the Community. Our amazing Super Users help keep the Community a safe place by flagging spam and letting the Community Managers know about issues. They also make the Community a great place to find answers, because they are often the first to offer solutions and get clarity on questions. Finally, Super Users share valuable insights on ways to keep the Community growing, engaging, and looking ahead!We are honored to reveal the new badges for this season of Super Users! Congratulations to all the new and returning Super Users!     To better answer the question "What is a Super User?" please check out this article: Power Apps: What is A Super User? - Power Platform CommunityPower Automate: What is A Super User? - Power Platform Community Copilot Studio: What is A Super User? - Power Platform Community Power Pages: What is A Super User? - Power Platform Community

Did You Attend the Microsoft Power Platform Conference in 2022 or 2023? Claim Your Badge Today!

If you were one of the thousands of people who joined us at the first #MPPC Microsoft Power Platform Conference in 2022 in Orlando--or attended the second-annual conference in Las Vegas in 2023--we are excited to honor you with a special community badge! Show your support for #MPPC Microsoft Power Platform Conference this year by claiming your badge!           Just follow this link to claim your badge for attending #MPPC in 2022 and/or 2023: MPPCBadgeRequest    Want to earn your badge for 2024? Just keep watching our News & Announcements for the latest updates on #MPPC24.

Microsoft Power Platform | 2024 Release Wave 1 Plan

Check out the latest Microsoft Power Platform release plans for 2024!   We have a whole host of exciting new features to help you be more productive, enhance delegation, run automated testing, build responsive pages, and so much more.    Click the links below to see not only our forthcoming releases, but to also try out some of the new features that have recently been released to market across:     Power Apps  Power Automate  Copilot Studio   We can’t wait to share with you all the upcoming releases that will help take your Power Platform experience to the next level!    Check out the entire Release Wave: Power Platform Complete Release Planner 

Users online (2,924)