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Frequent Visitor

Need Help! Having trouble figuring out how to make a string variable use another variable at reference and not just at initialization



I'm trying to create a notification flow inside PowerAutomate. Basically it'll notify a user with an Adaptive Card and wait for their acknowledgement. If they don't, it'll go to another user. 


I simplified the flow below to try and narrow down what I'm looking to do. Basically I'm trying to have all the formatting (message) for the adaptive card be in 1 variable and not in every adaptive card.


I first initialize a variable, called, 'userName', that tells the original user who will next be notified if they don't acknowledge. This variable get's used in another variable called, 'msg', that will be the message sent in the Adaptive Card. 





The adaptive card is below. If PowerAutomate doesn't receive a response, it'll then change the 'userName' to the next user and send an adaptive card to someone else using the same variable, 'msg'. 





The issue we are seeing is the two messages are the same when we hope to see the first have 'John' and the next have 'Jane'. 



Believe the reason behind this is that the variable 'msg' is initialized and created at the start and even though you change 'userName', it does not modify 'msg'. Now the reason we want to not keep "Set Variable" 'msg' is so that we can have 1 variable where we keep all of our formatting for the adaptive card. If we have >20 users in this notification use case and we need to make a change to the formatting, we don't have to modify >20 adaptive cards. 


Do you think there is a way to have 'msg' call 'userName' each time at reference in each card or is it not possible? Maybe there is another way to accomplish this? 


Thank you for the help!


@Jakeapril You don't need to initialize a variable for the adaptive card JSON. Use a Compose action instead.


You can use a Scope action to run the Set Variable (to Jane) and the Post Adaptive Card and wait for a Response action (for Jane) to run after the Post Adaptive Card and wait for a Response action (for John) has failed and/or timed out.  



Hope this helps!

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Thank you for the input! Still no luck but I may be doing something wrong?


Here's my new setup, 



I created my msg in a Compose now



First Adaptive Card uses the output from the Compose



Once it fails, it goes to a Scope where I set the userName now to Jane. And I use the same output from the Compose



But my messages are both 'John' still 



Can you see where I may have went wrong? Thank you!


Sorry I made an error with my original response. Remove the Compose action and add back the Initialize Variable action—but don't set it. 



Scope action isn't necessary (but I like to use it to group my action so I can easily collapse them). Insert the JSON with the variable for the name (John). 


Then insert the variable outputs into the Message field of the Post Adaptive Card and Wait for Response action. 



Hope this helps!

If I helped you solve your problem—please mark my post as a solution .
Consider giving me a 👍 if you liked my response!

👉 Watch my tutorials on YouTube
👉 Tips and Tricks on TikTok




You need to set the MSG variable after you set the UserName variable to Jane.


Right Now You Have:

  • Set User Name John
  • Set Message variable with John
  • Post adaptive card
    • If No response
    • Set UserName to Jane
    • Post Card

You Need to have and additional message change after you change the user name to Jane. 

Change to:

  • Set User Name John
  • Set Message variable with John
  • Post adaptive card
    • If No response
    • Set UserName to Jane
    • Set Message variable with Jane 
    • Post Card
Frequent Visitor

Thank you both!


That will absolutely work but kinda what I was trying to avoid. If I have to set the msg each time before each Adaptive Card and then in the future if I have to make a change to the formatting within the msg, I'll have to go to each one. 

Was hoping to have 1 variable I could make the change on and have it cascade to the rest. 


I wonder if I can get all possible users in an array and then loop through each one? And then build the msg with different variables, having the userName be somewhere in the middle. Would this work?

@Jakeapril Sorry for misunderstanding your original ask. How many users are you going to be looping through? Are you wanting to send all adaptive cards (and wait for the first response) or do you want to send one after the other (send one first, then trigger the other if the first one times out...)?

Frequent Visitor

Hi @creativeopinion


No worries at all, I really appreciate your help and I'm learning a lot still!


Right now we have 7 levels of users. To give some more background, these 7 users are selected by someone on a different application outside of PowerAutomate and then it does an API call to PwrAut. 


I would like to go by levels/users (employee -> manager -> sr manager -> etc) so it will send the first Adaptive Card, wait 15 minutes and if there is no "Acknowledge" then move on to the next level/user. 


As I said, right now it's 7 levels/users but eventually I'd like to hook up with another outside application that'll feed us a wide variety of levels so I'd like to keep it dynamic which is making me think an Apply to Each for users would be even better. 


What do you think?

If building out more steps to prevent you from possibly needing to use copy and paste on some text in the future a priority.

Then I would try to find some way to set up multiple variables. Like a primary message compose, then "varMsg1" and "varMsg2" will follow. And then use some kind of find and replace that will go into the text string of the "varMsg1" or the varMsg2" with the user name. 

replace() expression 


So if your primary message compose had Text: 'usernamehere'


You could replace the usernamehere in the text with the varUserName that was set before the replace.


So adaptive card 1 is using "varMsg1" and adaptive card 2 is using "varMsg2"


Similarly you could use replace on the actual userName 'John', but you would need two userName variables because you would not be able to compare the variable to itself.


To prevent any need to update 2 strings, I don't see any other way to do this other than making multiple message variables that come from a primary Compose. Or making multiple username variables and replacing them based on finding the previous user name.


You're not going to get away with setting 2 variables to make a single object. Then adjusting 1 variable without changing the other variable.

Frequent Visitor

Hi Everyone, 


Apologize for the delay, was tied up with other topics. 


I think I found a good solution, I took a combination of the responses and ended up using an initialization of the msg and then an Apply to each on an array of users and then setting the variable msg each loop. 


What's great is this loop will continue looping until a user Acknowledges. 









Thank you all for the advice and help!!

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