cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
eliotcole
Super User
Super User

How To Define If Something Is / Isn't A Number or Integer

So you need to know if a value inside a function or expression (or anywhere!) is a number or an integer? Well join the club.

 

Flow/Power Automate has long needed something like this, but it just hasn't reared its head properly. There is a provision in the Azure Logic Functions for an isInt() function, which is part of the list of functions linked from Power Automate. This should define specifically if a value is an integer. However it doesn't quite work over here. I've raised this as a bug.

 

However, none of this should stop anyone from defining whether or not a value is a number/integer or not. 

 

Maybe you're planning on using a value to fill an integer variable, or field, somewhere, and want to ensure entries are corrected en route. Perhaps you are in the middle of a long expression, and part of it relies on knowing if a value is a number or integer outside of the conventional flow logic.

 

There are some ways of accomplishing some of this using error management (here's an example of handling errors - but not in relation to this issue), but that doesn't help with expressions that need it.

 

Finally ... maybe if you're super clever ... I have a feeling that with this you can use it to put logic gates into expressions, too.

 

I'm placing this here because I don't upload flows, sorry.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
eliotcole
Super User
Super User

Numbers

The below expression will basically return a true value if the value that you pass through in ENTER_SOURCE is a number of any kind (including floating points).

not(equals(string(xpath(xml(json(concat('{"value":"', ENTER_SOURCE, '"}'))), 'number(*/text())')), 'NaN'))

To explain what's happening here, I will work from the inside, out:

  1. concat() - This string concat('{value:"', ENTER_SOURCE, '"}') puts your value within a basic JSON object stucture, defining the value field as your input value.
  2. json() - This converts that object structure made previously into a true JSON object.
  3. xml() - This now converts the json object into an xml object.
  4. xpath(XML, 'number(*/text())') - This passes an xpath command, I'm not fully clued in on these, but I believe it's attempting to convert a string to a number. If it fails to do so, due to an invalid character (say a colon), then it will report "NaN", which means "Not a Number" and tells you your value is not a valid number of any kind.
  5. string() - This converts the result of the xpath() command into a string so that you can compare any error.
  6. equals(STRING,'NaN') - This checks to see if the string produced by the xpath() command is equal to "NaN" if so it will return a 'true' value saying it is NOT a number.
  7. not() - Since we need to know if it IS a number, we will need to reverse that equals() result to find out if our original, which this does.

That does make it seem a lot more complicated than it is, though. Essentially, you make a JSON object with your value inside a field, convert that to XML, use XPATH to check if it's a number, and pass out a true/false value.

If you want to be extra careful, you can wrap your initial value in a trim() function, too, which will ensure there's no leading or following spaces on it.

 

Integers

One might point out that if the number ends with ".", or any number of zeros ".00", then (especially in javascript, which is relevant to these functions) the number is technically an integer. The logic for that is a little more onerous, but more useful in flows due to the amount of values that need to be an integer.

The logic may be longer, but it can still be done all in one expression or within a larger expression to get something else:
if(
    not(
        equals(
            string(xpath(xml(json(concat('{value:"', ENTER_SOURCE, '"}'))), 'number(*/text())')), 
            'NaN')
        ), 
    if(
        and(
            contains(string(ENTER_SOURCE), '.'), 
            or(
                endsWith(string(ENTER_SOURCE), '.'), 
                equals(
                    int(last(split(string(ENTER_SOURCE), '.'))), 
                    0
                )
            )
        ),
        true,
        not(
            contains(
                string(ENTER_SOURCE), 
                '.'
            )
        )
    ), 
    false
)

That's all she wrote.

View solution in original post

2 REPLIES 2
eliotcole
Super User
Super User

Numbers

The below expression will basically return a true value if the value that you pass through in ENTER_SOURCE is a number of any kind (including floating points).

not(equals(string(xpath(xml(json(concat('{"value":"', ENTER_SOURCE, '"}'))), 'number(*/text())')), 'NaN'))

To explain what's happening here, I will work from the inside, out:

  1. concat() - This string concat('{value:"', ENTER_SOURCE, '"}') puts your value within a basic JSON object stucture, defining the value field as your input value.
  2. json() - This converts that object structure made previously into a true JSON object.
  3. xml() - This now converts the json object into an xml object.
  4. xpath(XML, 'number(*/text())') - This passes an xpath command, I'm not fully clued in on these, but I believe it's attempting to convert a string to a number. If it fails to do so, due to an invalid character (say a colon), then it will report "NaN", which means "Not a Number" and tells you your value is not a valid number of any kind.
  5. string() - This converts the result of the xpath() command into a string so that you can compare any error.
  6. equals(STRING,'NaN') - This checks to see if the string produced by the xpath() command is equal to "NaN" if so it will return a 'true' value saying it is NOT a number.
  7. not() - Since we need to know if it IS a number, we will need to reverse that equals() result to find out if our original, which this does.

That does make it seem a lot more complicated than it is, though. Essentially, you make a JSON object with your value inside a field, convert that to XML, use XPATH to check if it's a number, and pass out a true/false value.

If you want to be extra careful, you can wrap your initial value in a trim() function, too, which will ensure there's no leading or following spaces on it.

 

Integers

One might point out that if the number ends with ".", or any number of zeros ".00", then (especially in javascript, which is relevant to these functions) the number is technically an integer. The logic for that is a little more onerous, but more useful in flows due to the amount of values that need to be an integer.

The logic may be longer, but it can still be done all in one expression or within a larger expression to get something else:
if(
    not(
        equals(
            string(xpath(xml(json(concat('{value:"', ENTER_SOURCE, '"}'))), 'number(*/text())')), 
            'NaN')
        ), 
    if(
        and(
            contains(string(ENTER_SOURCE), '.'), 
            or(
                endsWith(string(ENTER_SOURCE), '.'), 
                equals(
                    int(last(split(string(ENTER_SOURCE), '.'))), 
                    0
                )
            )
        ),
        true,
        not(
            contains(
                string(ENTER_SOURCE), 
                '.'
            )
        )
    ), 
    false
)

That's all she wrote.

eliotcole
Super User
Super User

For whatever reason editing either of the previous posts is proving problematic, so apologies if this looks like a bump, it most certainly is *not*. 🙂

I've realised that step 2 is pointless, but it does help you understand some of the structures you'll see elsewhere. You'll be fine with this:

xml(concat('<N>',ENTER_SOURCE, '</N>'))​

Helpful resources

Announcements

Check out the Copilot Studio Cookbook today!

We are excited to announce our new Copilot Cookbook Gallery in the Copilot Studio Community. We can't wait for you to share your expertise and your experience!    Join us for an amazing opportunity where you'll be one of the first to contribute to the Copilot Cookbook—your ultimate guide to mastering Microsoft Copilot. Whether you're seeking inspiration or grappling with a challenge while crafting apps, you probably already know that Copilot Cookbook is your reliable assistant, offering a wealth of tips and tricks at your fingertips--and we want you to add your expertise. What can you "cook" up?   Click this link to get started: https://aka.ms/CS_Copilot_Cookbook_Gallery   Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to be one of the first in the Community to share your app creation journey with Copilot. We'll be announcing a Cookbook Challenge very soon and want to make sure you one of the first "cooks" in the kitchen.   Don't miss your moment--start submitting in the Copilot Cookbook Gallery today!     Thank you,  Engagement Team

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. Check Out the new Copilot Cookbook for Power Apps today: Copilot Cookbook - Power Platform Community.  We can't wait to see what you "cook" up!    

Welcome to the Power Automate Community

You are now a part of a fast-growing vibrant group of peers and industry experts who are here to network, share knowledge, and even have a little fun.   Now that you are a member, you can enjoy the following resources:   Welcome to the Community   News & Announcements: The is your place to get all the latest news around community events and announcements. This is where we share with the community what is going on and how to participate.  Be sure to subscribe to this board and not miss an announcement.   Get Help with Power Automate Forums: If you're looking for support with any part of Power Automate, our forums are the place to go. From General Power Automate forums to Using Connectors, Building Flows and Using Flows.  You will find thousands of technical professionals, and Super Users with years of experience who are ready and eager to answer your questions. You now have the ability to post, reply and give "kudos" on the Power Automate community forums. Make sure you conduct a quick search before creating a new post because your question may have already been asked and answered. Galleries: The galleries are full of content and can assist you with information on creating a flow in our Webinars and Video Gallery, and the ability to share the flows you have created in the Power Automate Cookbook.  Stay connected with the Community Connections & How-To Videos from the Microsoft Community Team. Check out the awesome content being shared there today.   Power Automate Community Blog: Over the years, more than 700 Power Automate Community Blog articles have been written and published by our thriving community. Our community members have learned some excellent tips and have keen insights on the future of process automation. In the Power Automate Community Blog, you can read the latest Power Automate-related posts from our community blog authors around the world. Let us know if you'd like to become an author and contribute your own writing — everything Power Automate-related is welcome.   Community Support: Check out and learn more about Using the Community for tips & tricks. Let us know in the Community Feedback  board if you have any questions or comments about your community experience. Again, we are so excited to welcome you to the Microsoft Power Automate community family. Whether you are brand new to the world of process automation or you are a seasoned Power Automate veteran - our goal is to shape the community to be your 'go to' for support, networking, education, inspiration and encouragement as we enjoy this adventure together.     Power Automate Community Team

Hear what's next for the Power Up Program

Hear from Principal Program Manager, Dimpi Gandhi, to discover the latest enhancements to the Microsoft #PowerUpProgram, including a new accelerated video-based curriculum crafted with the expertise of Microsoft MVPs, Rory Neary and Charlie Phipps-Bennett. If you’d like to hear what’s coming next, click the link below to sign up today! https://aka.ms/PowerUp  

Tuesday Tip | How to Report Spam in Our Community

It's time for another TUESDAY TIPS, your weekly connection with the most insightful tips and tricks that empower both newcomers and veterans in the Power Platform Community! Every Tuesday, we bring you a curated selection of the finest advice, distilled from the resources and tools in the Community. Whether you’re a seasoned member or just getting started, Tuesday Tips are the perfect compass guiding you across the dynamic landscape of the Power Platform Community.   As our community family expands each week, we revisit our essential tools, tips, and tricks to ensure you’re well-versed in the community’s pulse. Keep an eye on the News & Announcements for your weekly Tuesday Tips—you never know what you may learn!   Today's Tip: How to Report Spam in Our Community We strive to maintain a professional and helpful community, and part of that effort involves keeping our platform free of spam. If you encounter a post that you believe is spam, please follow these steps to report it: Locate the Post: Find the post in question within the community.Kebab Menu: Click on the "Kebab" menu | 3 Dots, on the top right of the post.Report Inappropriate Content: Select "Report Inappropriate Content" from the menu.Submit Report: Fill out any necessary details on the form and submit your report.   Our community team will review the report and take appropriate action to ensure our community remains a valuable resource for everyone.   Thank you for helping us keep the community clean and useful!

Users online (4,220)