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AnnaChu
Administrator
Administrator

Help make Flow Design easier

The Power Automate Designer team would love to hear feedback from the perspective of novice Power Automate users, citizen developers and low coders on their experience with Power Automate Designer. When designing flows, what do they struggle most with? If this sounds like something you’ve heard someone mention, please forward them this pre-screening survey to complete: https://aka.ms/MPA_DesignerFeedback

 

@kishbuy238 and team are interested in hosting a screen-sharing session to identify opportunities to improve the experience. This survey will be open through to August.

33 REPLIES 33
takolota
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

@AnnaChu 

 

Is there a way to easily share custom connectors the same way we can export & import flows?

 

There is the option to submit template connectors to Microsoft.

But I’d like to eventually get into making some custom connectors for the community & this often means releasing something, getting community feedback, then submitting it as a potential template if it gets good enough. A more user-friendly way to share custom connectors & templates would help.

 

Just generally making it easier to develop & share things can allow us to make more complex things relatively simple for other developers & users.

This is great feedback for @SameerCh and the Connectors team!

SameerCh
Power Automate
Power Automate

Thanks for showing the interest!

 

We do provide and have been getting great response from the community on this.  The independent publisher connector process is what you are looking for: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/connectors/custom-connectors/certification-submission-ip

 

We will certify connector submission made by the community.  Today,  we have over 100+ connectors submitted by the community! Looking forward to seeing your connector. 

 

You can also push an open source custom connector in our GitHub repo as well. 

 

Thanks

Sameer

David-
Solution Supplier
Solution Supplier

One of the things I struggle with is when using the Update Item action. It makes you fill in required fields and also prepopulates yes/no and choice fields with the default value. I can see this needing to be the case if the action were for creating an item, but not for updating an item. This action should be designed so that all of the values are blank, so that it only updates the the actual fields you want to update, and everything else keeps the value it had before the update action.

 

It would also be great if flows did not time out after 30 days. Many processes take longer than 30 days to complete, and this then requires multiple flows to run when an item is updated, which then requires trigger conditions to make sure the flow does not run more than once each time the item is updated. This in turn then requires extra fields to be created in the list just to deal with the multiple flows to avoid timeout issues.

 

Kind regards,

David

MarvinBangert
Super User
Super User

I agree with @David-, I also often hear customers citizen developer asking, why they need to fill in so many fields using "Update item", if they just need one or two fields to be updated. Back then it was even worse that they accidentally had overwritten a field (which already got better). A little bit different idea to Davids would be: Instead of showing all fields, you have a choice/dropdown option (like the planner "update task details") and you can select the columns you want to update and have a button to add more columns.

MarvinBangert_0-1655311422322.png

Only the selected columns will be updated and need to get filled (similar if you would use a HTTP action and update items). 

Citizen Developer also often struggle with building expressions. They always try to use actions, they need this "simple" fill out a field with information, so maybe it would be helpful to them, if more standard expressions were also available as actions (like "Math" or "Date and time" functions). 

 

Thanks very much!

Best regards
Marvin

Blog: Cloudkumpel

takolota
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

@SameerCh 


I have never needed to, but I bet for any component of a process that requires more than 30 days, you could have it call a child flow with an HTTP call, then have that child flow set to call itself in another HTTP call again if it needs to wait more than 30 days.

 

https://www.enjoysharepoint.com/call-a-flow-from-another-flow-in-power-automate/

David-
Solution Supplier
Solution Supplier

Workflows that take longer than 30 days can certainly be handled this way, but the original question was how to make things easier for beginners and citizen developers. Most beginners are not going to know what an HTTP call is or how to set that up. For most beginners, having to deal with HTTP requests would be a turn off and lead to them giving up on Power Automate.

takolota
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

@David- 

At one point they had a "Call child flow" action. The only reason I posted the HTTP version is because last time I looked for that action it wasn't there anymore. 🙃

David-
Solution Supplier
Solution Supplier

The call action is available, but only if you develop it within a solution. Call Child Flows - Power Automate | Microsoft Docs. We currently don't have our environments configured to use solutions, but I am looking forward to trying it out once we do.

takolota
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

I just remembered a very specific problem I have for designing & sharing flows & templates.

 

Whenever I have a Select action with anything more than really simple expressions in the key value pairs, I can’t copy & paste the action or the scope containing the action without it ruining all the expressions & changing the expressions to a form of text.

 

It can make things onerous if people need to copy a part of a template or other flow into their existing flows. Instead they have to import the template & copy & paste the rest of their workflow around the template with the Select action expressions.

Seems pretty backwards. 

takolota
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

I almost forgot this until talking with a new member today. Is there any way to allow us to add actions to the top line of condition/scope/loop segments without having to add another action & drag down the top action?

 

It’s a weird design quirk I’ve become used to, but it likely confuses many new builders.

ryleybauer
Resolver II
Resolver II

Push the copy step option to the system clipboard! 

The copy action function is awesome, but it only allows you to copy between active sessions within the same tenant. I have a repository of template flows in my dev tenant, and sometimes I just want to pull an action from it for a new flow in a client tenant, like a complicated http call. 

ryleybauer
Resolver II
Resolver II

I know this one is also a big ask, but I find the suggested help topics fairly unhelpful. Some of them link to general topics instead of what I'm working on. What would be nice would be to integrate docs.ms into the side rail, so we can search the documentation without leaving the page. 

 

Example: SharePoint HTTP call brings you to the general page, it would be nice if it could look at which property we are actively filling out to provide better suggestions i.e. when the "URI" box is selected, it'd be nice if the help topics were the list of site endpoint URIs instead of the generic SharePoint REST page. 

@ryleybauer 

What's the issue copying between different environments?

Because I often share templates where I provide a text file with just the code for some scope & set of flow actions. People can then copy that code to their clipboard, go to the "My clipboard" section of a new action, & use control + V to paste it into the new action clipboard options. You should definitely be able to do the same by copying an action to your clipboard in one environment, then control + V it into the other environment.

@takolota 
I'm now seeing the details in my clipboard on my Windows 11 VM, but wasn't on my Windows 10 PC. When it was loading up the other items automatically, I didn't even think to try the paste directly, but that worked like a charm! 

Thank you for your comment. Dragging and dropping is one of the areas we are considering improving on the designer. 🙂

Thank you for your comment. Acknowledged on the ask to integrate MS Docs into the side panel. I hope you are using the PVA chatbot which links an MS Doc for any How-to/Troubleshooting questions.

 You should be able to copy/paste actions across solutions, but ack on the need to copy/paste actions across environments for the scenarios just like you mentioned above.

Ack on the 'Update actions' usability concerns. Thank you! 

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