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AnnaChu
Employee
Employee

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.

134 REPLIES 134

I would love this.  Sometimes when I'm creating (and testing) I realize I need to move something to a different location in the flow.

ianwuk
Post Partisan
Post Partisan

I would like the ability added, when extracting details from a Teams message, to somehow easily extract the attachment and its data so it can be worked on.  Especially if the attachment is not in a format Teams really likes.

Sorry to bring this up again, but it's super important for functionalities.

 

You've now blocked us from using other endpoints on the old Groups HTTP action, too.

 

So, calls like the below just aren't possible without setting up complex app permissions and paying for premium subscriptions to do so, which is not right when the ability to perform these existed mere months ago.

 

https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/rolemanagement/directory/roleAssignments?$filter=principalId eq 'INSERT_ID'

 

 

I can appreciate that someone decided that functionality should be split between the various Microsoft action connectors, but if you're not offering the full availability, then by restricting it you're really killing us, here.

dasd


@eliotcole wrote:

Hi, @AnnaChu, I've thought of something that will really help make Flow Design easier:

 

Do Not Remove The Graph API Functionality From The Office 365 Groups Connector Action "Send an HTTP request"

 

You would basically be destroying HUGE swathes of usability of the system, forcing users into needlessly complex routines using Azure apps, which just need a simple HTTP call.

 

I've created an "Idea" to bring this to the fore, here:

https://ideas.powerautomate.com/d365community/idea/d51463df-6f0c-ed11-a81b-6045bd7c3e3f

 

If they're aware of this action's power, I'd call on my fellow Flow Ninjas, @Pstork1, @Expiscornovus, @tom_riha, @ScottShearer, @annajhaveri, @takolota, @ekarim2020, @Paulie78, @MarconettiMarco, @fchopo to join me in protesting the removal of such a tool.

 

(sorry for @'ing you all, folks)

 

If they aren't aware of it's usability, then I suggest they perform just any simple (non-groups 😉) Graph call in V1, and then try it in V2.

 

Here's some pictoral evidence of the change:

Send an HTTP request
wah1.jpg
Send an HTTP request V2
wah2.jpg
Current docs page (no V2 listed)
Spoiler
wah3.jpg

 

That Idea again:

https://ideas.powerautomate.com/d365community/idea/d51463df-6f0c-ed11-a81b-6045bd7c3e3f

 

Do not do this to us, Anna, what's the point of an automation service that can't automate?


 

maxpower45255
Advocate III
Advocate III

I don't know if this is the right place to submit a feature request. But can we add multiple condition support to the "IF" action? It's hard to build complex "If" checks with the current design. You can only add one condition at a time. This forces the user to write longer and more verbose flows unecessarily. 

thanks!

I just learned about SWITCH.  Not sure if it will work for what you're doing, or if you've already tried, but just wanted to pass it along just in case.  You can have multiple paths based on conditions.

maxpower45255
Advocate III
Advocate III

@slarson77 Thanks. SWITCH won't work. It checks the value of a single variable and provides you with multiple paths. It's not the same as doing an "IF condition1 AND/OR condition2 AND/OR condition3" all in the same action. 

For example. I'm comparing two variables that I know are usually blank. I want to execute something only when they're truly equal and not blank. 

So with the current design, I have to nest 3 IFs to check that var1 = var2 and that var1 isn't blank and var2 isn't blank. See my screenshot.  

Ventit
Post Patron
Post Patron

I don't really think it needs to be made easier,  just more enhancements like those mentioned above.  From where I sit teh most difficult thing is understanding the odata syntax.  I have taught myself just as teach myself functions in excel.  My observation with many people in my organization is they cannot even maximize productivity in excel.  Those that can find flow awesome and easy

livingstonep
Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

Is it possible to 

livingstonep_0-1674827274035.png

 

 

livingstonep
Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

Is it possible to GROUP multiple flows together, for example as a Project?

So in the below, those 5 flows would all be in one Project:

livingstonep_1-1674827399184.png

 

Redders
Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

Hi @livingstonep ,

 

I am also looking at this at the moment and the small amount of research that I have done seems to point to 'Solutions' being what you are looking for.

 

I'm happy to be corrected though

maxpower45255
Advocate III
Advocate III

You should create a solution. You can group all your flows, connections, bots, tables, etc in it. 

The solutions can be accessed via the "Solutions" link on the left nav. 

Take a look at the documentation on solutions. There are a some best practices to follow. 

This is a good place to start. 

Application lifecycle management (ALM) with Microsoft Power Platform - Power Platform | Microsoft Le...

 

I REALLY wish I could envelope all of my initialized variables into a Scope block in order to clean up my waterfall when i go to edit it and work with it...

gidiscacciati
Advocate I
Advocate I

Please:

  • allow us to read and manipulate data from Excel files that do not contain tables;
  • a CSV parser that is not a third-party connector;
  • something to change file encoding;
  • UI/UX needs improving. Sometimes actions do not load properly and we can't save the flow, we need to reload the page and everything not previously saved is lost;
  • the ability to run scripts (i.e. python) from cloud flows.
KarlH
Advocate I
Advocate I

I would like MS Devs to tally up all of the reasons and workflows that force PowerAutomate users to use the SharePoint HTTP action for workarounds, and then formulate these into official easy to create/setup/manage actions.

For example, users shouldn't have to craft a SharePoint HTTP action just to rename a Document Library folder or file. That action should come standard within existing actions - or at least, have its own dedicated action.

@gidiscacciati 

  • UI/UX needs improving. Sometimes actions do not load properly and we can't save the flow, we need to reload the page and everything not previously saved is lost;

I thought it was just me with this issue.  Glad it's not - completely agree!

@gidiscacciati 

 

A full non-3rd party CSV parser in a single action would be nice. But for now there is this CSV parsing template using only standard actions:

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Power-Automate-Cookbook/CSV-to-Dataset/td-p/1508191

But the behaviour seems very inconsistent. Sometimes I copy items and paste them into a different part of the flow. Later I want the same time so I often try Windows+V to find the earlier item. Sometimes it's there and sometimes it's not. I have no idea when items go to the system clipboard and when they don't. Using Windows 11.

>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.

 

This is such an obvious thing, it really is a bug IMO

Formatron
Advocate I
Advocate I

Some of the things I've been struggling with:

  • Not being able to disable or "switch off" a branch or a block that isn't working is quite frustrating. It means you have to delete something that you are still fiddling with, in order to get your flow to run successfully
  • It's not designed for reusability, in the sense that you cannot reuse what you've already done, for example, you can't copy and paste an action - at least I can't see how - so if you want two almost identical actions you have to create them individually
  • The presentation of the dynamic content could be a lot better
  • I've had a lot of trouble using conditions - when you run the flow, you can see the outcome (e.g. "expressionResult": true) but you can't see the inputs to the expression - which means that if you aren't getting the expected result, you can't see why
  • Expressions are not very easy to use - when you select dynamic content to insert into an expression, it changes immediately to a long string that is not human-readable; that also makes the expression very long, and the text field is not very long so you can only see a small piece of the expression (I've resorted to pasting expressions into notepad so that [a.] I can actually read them and [b.] I don't have to recreate them from scratch every time I need the same thing); the expression syntax is also not very clear, there is no styling or colours applied
  • I also had an issues with the expression builder where it allowed me to use the multiply function with 4 numbers and only gave me an error when I tried to save the flow (also for goodness sake - why can't you multiple 4 numbers? I had to work around this by doing 3 multiplies instead of one!)
  • The actions are often not intuitively named (for a newbie anyway), and there is no contextual help - when you click on the info icon, it takes you to the Microsoft site - contextual help would be better
  • If you rename actions so that you can easily follow the logic of your flow (e.g. changing "Condition 2" to "Check for scenario ABC" then you can't see what the action was originally called
  • I've had issues where my flow seems to revert back to an older version - perhaps I'm doing something wrong - but it shouldn't be that easy to make such an impactful error
  • I have to spend a lot of time debugging, which it's not designed for - e.g. today part of the flow where I update a list item keeps failing, and I can't see why, I've ended up replacing calculated values with "hard coded" values so that I can see if my calculation is breaking it or something else
  • Generally I'm just not finding it very easy to use, or intuitive, although it's really powerful and I am starting to get the hang of certain things (due to persistence and helpful people on the forum)

 

Edit:

  • When editing a flow, the Save button is always active even if you've just saved. Bad UX. There is no way to see whether a flow needs to be saved, and because there's no auto-save, you have to keep saving just in case.

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