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AnnaChu
Microsoft
Microsoft

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.

91 REPLIES 91
spamtomas
Advocate I
Advocate I

General improvements to the UI and removing annoying bugs would be the best area to work on.

 

Examples are

 

  • Clicking on dynamic blocks that open the expression box but then don't actually show the expression, requiring you to select and copy it again
  • Sometimes the cursor sometimes doesn't select objects at all
  • Cursor jumps away to a completely different place after positioning it, this is really common in some connectors.
  • When running a test, clicking through x4 screens is just more than needed, i don't need an entire splash screen to say the word Done.
  • Sometimes i find that changes to expressions are not saved, simply doesn't save it.
  • Sometimes it will tell me an expression is invalid, but i know its correct and clicking again accepts it. 
  • I am constantly having to jump between a previous run test and the edit screen because a lot of the info isnt available in edit, some improvements here would be great such as being able to run up to breakpoint and actually see inline results.
  • Please allow us to disable blocks without deleting them, often i have built large blocks but then need to tweak something and save but i cant save unless i fill in required bits, i would much rather you allowed saving of flows and flow checking to be independent.

I understand the push to bring out new features but we have raised this countless times with our MS rep, products always seem to come out with documentation missing critical elements, no explanation for some options on connectors, numerous bugs. While it may seem trivial for a cursor to jump about randomly, when you're trying to make something/learn it becomes a burden and at that point I am going to switch to another system that is more polished, I have often started work in PowerApps become overly frustrated at what should be a simple task and then just wrote the whole thing in powershell in azure functions instead.

While that's a lot of negative, thats what you asked for and on the whole power automate can be a great experience, but please some bugs are now 3+ years old, please fix them

 

edit - Another random error just happened to me when I made a simple alteration to an expression and tried to save. This message appeared "Some of the connections are not authorized yet. If you just created a workflow from a template, please add the authorized connections to your workflow before saving." So closing the flow losing my saved change going back in and editing again works. Its this kind of stuff that is really frustrating

iso
Advocate III
Advocate III

REQ: Every time you drop a new action on the design surface, have the Power Automate assign it an sequence number automatically and display that number in front of the default title for the action.  

 

WHY:  This makes it clear where in the flow a particular action runs and makes it easier to locate it.  Right now, my flows contain in over 100 actions on average and when I started renaming each action, well, you can imagine the pain since Power Automate does not automatically rename references that occur further down the flow (yes for SET VAR, and no for COMPOSE).

iso
Advocate III
Advocate III

Power Automate does not automatically rename references to prior action titles when these are renamed (yes for refs in a SET VAR, no for refs in a COMPOSE).

Thanks for writing this up. Couldn't have said it better.  How much more productive and faster one is with a CLI  like TMUX or a simple PowerShell editor, which gives me hope that real developers ain't gonna be replaced by no-code-bros any time soon, as it should be IMHO.  

takolota
Super User
Super User

@iso 

 

Well we can still just make sure to name things right the first time.

And if it’s really complex with a lot of references, maybe download the export file, go to the definition.txt file, use a replace on that action name, then save & re-import the flow. But I’ve only had to do that 1-3 times in the past few years.

Absolutely! Hopefully these items will be taken on board and help make Power automate more robust and easier to work with for all!

The fact that you only had to do this 1-3 times in the past few years is irrelevant. 

 

The point is:  The naive user shouldn't have to worry about simple renames breaking things and certainly shouldn't have to worry about having only one chance of getting things right, or else there are N additional steps suddenly to find out about to fix a simple basic thing. 

 

This type of issue is one of the most basic things in computer science when designing a UI.  Additional mental discipline should not be required and imposed on the user for a low-code/no-code platform.  In other words, and as an analogy to the dev world, we should avoid the nonsense Python users have to put up with because there is no compiler to catch basic mistakes and thus devs have to have a set of mental disciplines to do things just right or else everything devolves into a mess.

sudosaurus
Post Prodigy
Post Prodigy

Would really love it if you could specify how long a flow can run for, rather than the set 30 days. As trying to make complicated workflows to go beyond this is a real pain!

Caspar_Rubin
Solution Supplier
Solution Supplier

Hey guys,

 

would love to see some kind of "structuring system" implemented in the flow overview list...

 

For example, additional columns in the overview list that can be "sorted by" / "ordered by" / "filtered by" to enter project names for example because we have multiple flows per project and we can't even order the list by name...

 

Or some kind of accordion system where we can group flows into groups that can be opened and closed... 

 

Caspar_Rubin_0-1667401218599.png

 

Or maybe something like "tag" in Microsoft Planner with color codes idk... 😃

 

cheers

 

"Sometimes i find that changes to expressions are not saved, simply doesn't save it.

Sometimes it will tell me an expression is invalid, but i know its correct and clicking again accepts it."

 

These happen far too frequently  so a +1 from me to work out why and fix it.

The request I'd like to throw into the mix is to have a system to send a copy of a flows with email actions without causing problems, it's not possible and gives the error "Flow contains one or more email addresses. Remove any personal content from flow before sending copy." But if you remove any email content, it won't let you save because it's required! There must be a way to add some kind of placeholder in email actions in order to send a copy - so many of our useful little flows include email actions so being able to send copies without worrying about personal emails would be a godsend.

stayinginsync
Advocate II
Advocate II

@AnnaChu - I realize this post was started back in June. I was wondering if you have already reached out to those who submitted the survey feedback already, or if you are still doing so?  Is there another recommended outlet for submitting feedback and suggestions besides this thread?

 

One item I would definitely like to see addressed is the discrepancy in templates available in the GCC (and higher environments) vs. the consumer environment.

 

For example, in GCC, if I searched for "OneNote", this is all I get: 

 

stayinginsync_0-1667914860259.png

 

But if I search in my Dev, or the consumer environment, here is just a sample of all the templates users have access to:

 

stayinginsync_1-1667914958103.png

 

 

 

 

stayinginsync
Advocate II
Advocate II

It would be really, really, nice if we could capture a GAL contact from a manual trigger, as opposed to just a String text, Yes/No, etc...  That way we can assign a task, or have an email sent (to a person or group or distribution list).

Henderson87
New Member

It would be really great if there were cross triggers to other cloud flows. I have scheduled cloud flows that run ever so often to collect data. I have another automated flow that updates some of the data that the scheduled cloud flow updates into other locations. So I can either copy the large scheduled cloud flow  code into the automated flow to preform the same action, or I wait for the cloud flow the trigger at the scheduled time interval. 

 

It would be great if  the automated flow could trigger the scheduled cloud flow to run because it knows there is new data available.

Change the trigger in the scheduled flow to use "When an HTTP request is received" trigger.  then create a second flow with a recurrence trigger that calls that larger flow.  You can then add a step in your automated flow to call the larger flow as well using an HTTP Post.



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Seems like a great work around! I have been reluctant to purchase the Premium as most of what I need it for is Microsoft to Microsoft automation. That being said the HTTP trigger is premium. Thanks for the quick response. 

inzil2k
Frequent Visitor

@AnnaChu Please take everything that @spamtomas wrote in message 61 and bring it to the relevant team. These bugs or 'features' are the main reason why we're not letting any users without prior IT knowledge near Power Automate at the moment, simply because we would be overwhelmed with feedback from frustrated citizen developers.

Hello,

I came across this post and saw what you said about 100+ connectors submitted by the community. Is there a repository or a place in powerusers.microsoft.com to see them? I just want to see some examples/samples.

 

Thank you kindly!

 

Delly

ajohnson1
Frequent Visitor

As someone who is self-teaching myself power automate currently there are a couple of things I would like to mention.

1 - when I am editing or adjusting someone else's flow (in my organization) it's sometimes hard to find the errors. For example, I moved a bunch into a solution and it took me forever on some of the larger flows to find every connector. 

2 - the integer in the switch is challenging. It just needs to be documented better, I literally found posts in this community saying you couldn't do an int but after 4 days I finally found out how to do it by accident.

 

2leftthumbs
Frequent Visitor

This has most likely been posted before, but if not...Some smaller things might improve everyone's experience if these are common issues.

 

Better fidelity of the delete function

I'm constantly in the middle of building a flow and suddenly, the delete function doesn't work. It asks me if I want to delete a step, I confirm, and nothing happens. It still remains in the flow. Maybe it's my company's instance, or my browser. If not, the only workaround I've found is to leave the flow and reopen it. 

Getting stuck in renaming

I've gotten stuck in the process of renaming steps where it won't allow me to continue on to another step to rename. The focus is stuck on a previous step. I've found that choosing 'Settings' > 'Cancel' on that step will usually clear up the issue and I can continue on.

Updating the SharePoint Connections lookup to include personal Lists URL as an option

I would love for my personal data to be populated in the "Site Address" list in the SharePoint connectors. If you're using Lists for a quick workflow rather than pulling from a SharePoint site you've got to go and get your personal my.sharepoint.com URL and use the 'Enter custom value' process each time. I spend a lot of time testing new flows on my personal Lists before I push them out to work with published SharePoint data and this would reduce the repetitive need to have that URL handy. 

 

 

 

takolota
Super User
Super User

More detailed, data-source level connection controls
 
Microsoft & the Power Platform would be more attractive to several organizations if it was the easiest platform to share cross-organization processes & automations. It would be increasingly valuable to be a part of the Microsoft ecosystem if creating automated processes across multiple organizations was as easy as a few team members securely providing their user credentials on a flow.
This video shows how to create such flows that can span multiple tenants & organizations.
 
It's very easy from a developer perspective, but it could turn into a nightmare from a security & governance perspective. There are general options to prevent entire tenants from accessing your tenant, but not much for allowing more specific access to specific datasets.
A better interface with more detailed restriction options for requesting & managing connections on other tenants would be amazing.
Then we could get a request from a team member at a partner org like a supplier, to create a connection they can use to automate different processes, like updating available inventory records in a copy on our tenant. And we could set the connection to only allow flows using that connection to access the specific datasets like SharePoint lists, Excel tables, folders, SQL tables, etc that they need to automate that process.
 
Again, this would significantly decrease the complexity of sharing data & processes across organizations in a secure way, without really skilled full-code developers & API builders. And it would make the microsoft ecosystem that much more attractive to all organizations that consider using it.

 

Vote For This Idea Here: https://ideas.powerautomate.com/d365community/idea/c15b4bd5-3377-ed11-a81c-000d3ae40b6a

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