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markslosberg
Resolver II
Resolver II

Can more than one argument be passed to a Flow from PowerApps?  If so, of course, how?

So I am plowing along, pretty successfully using what I learned in in this post  (https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/return-an-array-from-flow-to-powerapps-response-method/) to call an SQL stored procedure from a Flow and then call that Flow in turn from a PowerApp but I have encountered a roadblock and am not coming up with the right strategy to solve it.  Here is a step-by-step of where I am and I would be extremely appreciative of any direction someone could point me in.   I have been browsing those sites to answer the question ("Can I pass more than one argument from a PowerApp to a Flow that needs four).  While I have seen some similar posts (https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Building-Power-Apps/PowerApp-Button-pass-2-seperate-parameters-t...), nothing that directly addresses this problem, which I suspect others are encountering from the variety of different posted questions.

 

I have created a SQL Server stored procedure that takes 4 string arguments that works successfully.

ALTER PROCEDURE [dbo].[FlexQueryProductInventory]
       @Salesperson varchar(50) = '',
       @Crop varchar(50) = '',
       @Variety varchar(50) = '',
       @WarehouseName varchar(50) = ''
AS
BEGIN
      SET NOCOUNT ON;
      SELECT [Company Number]
      ,[Company Name]
      ,[Bus Unit]
      ,[Bus Unit Desc]
      ,[LOCATION]
      ,[Item Nbr Short]
      ,[Item Number]
      ,[Item Desc01]
      ,[Item Desc02]
      ,[Unit of Measure]
     ,[Qty On Hand]
      ,[Qty In Transit]
      ,[Qty On PO]
      ,[Qty Commit]
      ,[Qty On Backorder]
      ,[Qty Available]
  FROM [BI_Mart].[dbo].[RT_Product_Inventory]
  WHERE
       [LOCATION] LIKE '%' + @Salesperson + '%' AND
       [Item Desc02] LIKE '%' + @Crop + '%' AND
       [Item Desc01] LIKE '%' + @Variety + '%' AND
       [Bus Unit Desc] LIKE '%' + @WarehouseName + '%'
  ORDER BY [LOCATION], [Item Desc02], [Item Desc01], [Bus Unit]
END

I have created a Flow to execute this.  I have not gotten this to execute completely correctly yet in test mode since it is only prompting me for a single variable instead of four.  If I enter a string during a test, it placed that into each variable and while it ran successfully, it didn’t return any rows (because of course the search criteria didn’t result in any matches).  I then created a simpler stored procedure with a single WHERE test that did test out successfully (which is where I got the JSON payload to feed to the Response step to generate the schema).  So I have not successfully executed this Flow with proper strings being fed to each of the four variables  which was perhaps a foreshadowing of the problem I am encountering.  I have fiddled around a little with the configuration of the Initialize Variable step but to no avail so far.

Flow with multiple parameter variablesFlow with multiple parameter variables

 

I then went into my PowerApps and started to configure the Button to call the Flow and there is where I have encountered the block. Notice the Invalid number of arguments: received 4, expected 1 error message.  This seemed eerily similar to my inability to test my Flow with more than one string entry (one for each variable).

 

(the screen shots are showing up in line so I have attached them as files to the bottom)

PowerApps calling Flow Error Message.png

 

Now we get to my question.  Can more than one argument be passed to a Flow from PowerApps?  If so, of course, how?  I am beginning to believe based on reading the posts that I might have to pass a concatenated CSV string to the Flow in one argument. Then I will have to make the Flow parse the single input string and populate each of the four variables, perhaps with the Split function which I don’t know how to do yet so I need to better understand that process too (as I suspect that will also be useful in the future).  But I am wondering if perhaps there is a different way to write the Flow from scratch to accept more than the one argument.  This seems like it should be straightforward but as we know very little is straightforward in PowerApps and Flow😉.

 

For just a little more context, here is the whole PowerApps app where I will populate the Data Table in the middle with the results of this stored procedure based on the search parameters passed and the lower Gallery with the results of the second stored procedure which fortunately only requires one variable to be passed after an item is selected from the Data Table.

OverallPowerAppsScreen.jpg

 
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
markslosberg
Resolver II
Resolver II

I finally solved this little mystery and the short answer is "Yes, you can pass more than one argument to a Flow from PowerApps but it doesn't seem to be documented anywhere".  Here is the short description:

 

I was on the right track in that you just put in an Initialize Variable step for each argument (variable) you want to pass and make certain that you select "Ask in PowerApps" from the Dynamics Content for each Value when prompted.  This is where it gets a little squirrely because while the "Ask in PowerApps" comes up initially in the Dynamic Content box on the first variable, it "disappears" for some reason in subsequent Initialize Variable steps.  It is there but hidden for some reason and you need to either query for it with an "Ask" or just hit the show more button.  When you do that, all is good and things work more or less as one might expect.

 

Now here are all of the "gotchas" that made this difficult to solve and generated an enormous amount of frustration.

This argument passing issue was really, really annoying because it pointed up

  1. the continued lack of documentation and inability to find a quick answer to what design pattern and syntax to use for something so straightforward that many people likely will need somewhere along the line.  All of the references come from people trying to solve their specific problem (like passing and parsing multiple email addresses) rather than the more general question of passing multiple arguments. There is a great white paper out there on standards and guidelines that has helped me a lot but it really needs to be expanded to include lots of really standard design patterns out there like this one (as well as clear documentation on how to use certain functions like split()).
  2. real deficiencies in the Power Automate and PowerApp  Studios and again a lack of a basic documentation including known issues. 
    1. In Power Automate, initialized variables are not taking on the names of steps in the Dynamics Content window that are renamed (or the variables that are being set) so it is completely impossible, after doing the renaming to real steps, to tell which step the data is being requested for during Test runs of the Flow
    2. Even worse, when I deleted Flow steps because I had bolluxed up the syntax so badly I wanted to start fresh on them, the “deleted” Initialized value remained somewhere in the Power Automate cache and I couldn’t find any documentation on how to clear them (I tried everything I could think of).  In addition, they continued to accumulate as you add and delete steps so the test went from prompting me for just one variable (out of the 4 I was looking for) to prompting me for 5 and then 9 and then 10, 11, 12 as I deleted steps to try to get back to a good starting point before re-adding them.  In addition, as I said earlier in this post, the “Ask from PowerApp” Dynamic Content showed up nicely for the first Initialize Variable step but then for unknown reasons went invisible on subsequent Initialize Variable steps.  It was there and I just had to hit “show more” or query for it but I only found it because I stumbled on it out of sheer frustration rather than having it clearly documented somewhere. 
      1. BTW, it turns out that happened to be my initial mistake.  Because I couldn’t find that option in the Dynamics Content window, I had tried something else when I initialized variables 2-4 the first time around and since I hadn’t used “Ask in PowerApps” on them then, guess what, it wasn’t asking for them😉.
    3. Finally, out of sheer desperation because I couldn’t clear out the old detritus variables, I had to completely start over with a fresh Flow from scratch determined not to make any mistakes now that I knew about this little variable caching issue.  Now, as a musician, I know that it was good for me to get the practice doing it over and over but as a person who actually wants a product to work in a reasonable manner and get to bed on time, that was definitely not what happened last night😉
  3. Then, just to top it all off, late in the evening, after I solved the Flow issue and just wanted to connect it up to my PowerApp to test, I discovered a major problem in the PowerApps Studio trying to invoke the Flow.  When I used the Action>Power Automate button, it repeatedly, completely erased and then garbled what I had entered into the function line initially (the ClearCollect function template).  Then when I redid I added the ClearCollect function back in, it deleted the Power Automate call.  I had to piece the function line text together with a series of “cuts and pastes” from Notepad (I mean like 5, I was ready to put my fist through the screen before I got it all assembled).  While I had gotten a little used to this type of strange Studio behavior 3 years ago, I was really not expecting this kind of thing to still be in the product now.  I really thought I was going crazy there for a few minutes until I stepped through it very, very slowly watching every single keystroke to see when it broke.

So as Willie the Shake would say "all's well that ends well".  And, had I needed to, I now know how I could have used the other strategy to solve the problem by passing a string with multiple values concatenated together as a CSV and then parse them out and assign them to Flow variables using the split() function which I couldn’t do before (and yet again, the documentation on how to do that was fragmented and found all over the place in different blog posts and messages).

 

I will try to come back into the post and add a few screenshots later if I have some time.

 

 

View solution in original post

8 REPLIES 8
mdevaney
Super User
Super User

@markslosberg 

Did you try removing the Flow from PowerApps and then re-adding it?

 

---
Please click "Accept as Solution" if my post answered your question so that others may find it more quickly. If you found this post helpful consider giving it a "Thumbs Up."

I did but not in a very controlled setting.  I really would like to know that I am on the correct structural track to solve this and then go back and execute the changes in carefully scripted setting to ensure that I am not flopping around (a technical term) and wasting a lot of time trying things willy-nilly.

markslosberg
Resolver II
Resolver II

I finally solved this little mystery and the short answer is "Yes, you can pass more than one argument to a Flow from PowerApps but it doesn't seem to be documented anywhere".  Here is the short description:

 

I was on the right track in that you just put in an Initialize Variable step for each argument (variable) you want to pass and make certain that you select "Ask in PowerApps" from the Dynamics Content for each Value when prompted.  This is where it gets a little squirrely because while the "Ask in PowerApps" comes up initially in the Dynamic Content box on the first variable, it "disappears" for some reason in subsequent Initialize Variable steps.  It is there but hidden for some reason and you need to either query for it with an "Ask" or just hit the show more button.  When you do that, all is good and things work more or less as one might expect.

 

Now here are all of the "gotchas" that made this difficult to solve and generated an enormous amount of frustration.

This argument passing issue was really, really annoying because it pointed up

  1. the continued lack of documentation and inability to find a quick answer to what design pattern and syntax to use for something so straightforward that many people likely will need somewhere along the line.  All of the references come from people trying to solve their specific problem (like passing and parsing multiple email addresses) rather than the more general question of passing multiple arguments. There is a great white paper out there on standards and guidelines that has helped me a lot but it really needs to be expanded to include lots of really standard design patterns out there like this one (as well as clear documentation on how to use certain functions like split()).
  2. real deficiencies in the Power Automate and PowerApp  Studios and again a lack of a basic documentation including known issues. 
    1. In Power Automate, initialized variables are not taking on the names of steps in the Dynamics Content window that are renamed (or the variables that are being set) so it is completely impossible, after doing the renaming to real steps, to tell which step the data is being requested for during Test runs of the Flow
    2. Even worse, when I deleted Flow steps because I had bolluxed up the syntax so badly I wanted to start fresh on them, the “deleted” Initialized value remained somewhere in the Power Automate cache and I couldn’t find any documentation on how to clear them (I tried everything I could think of).  In addition, they continued to accumulate as you add and delete steps so the test went from prompting me for just one variable (out of the 4 I was looking for) to prompting me for 5 and then 9 and then 10, 11, 12 as I deleted steps to try to get back to a good starting point before re-adding them.  In addition, as I said earlier in this post, the “Ask from PowerApp” Dynamic Content showed up nicely for the first Initialize Variable step but then for unknown reasons went invisible on subsequent Initialize Variable steps.  It was there and I just had to hit “show more” or query for it but I only found it because I stumbled on it out of sheer frustration rather than having it clearly documented somewhere. 
      1. BTW, it turns out that happened to be my initial mistake.  Because I couldn’t find that option in the Dynamics Content window, I had tried something else when I initialized variables 2-4 the first time around and since I hadn’t used “Ask in PowerApps” on them then, guess what, it wasn’t asking for them😉.
    3. Finally, out of sheer desperation because I couldn’t clear out the old detritus variables, I had to completely start over with a fresh Flow from scratch determined not to make any mistakes now that I knew about this little variable caching issue.  Now, as a musician, I know that it was good for me to get the practice doing it over and over but as a person who actually wants a product to work in a reasonable manner and get to bed on time, that was definitely not what happened last night😉
  3. Then, just to top it all off, late in the evening, after I solved the Flow issue and just wanted to connect it up to my PowerApp to test, I discovered a major problem in the PowerApps Studio trying to invoke the Flow.  When I used the Action>Power Automate button, it repeatedly, completely erased and then garbled what I had entered into the function line initially (the ClearCollect function template).  Then when I redid I added the ClearCollect function back in, it deleted the Power Automate call.  I had to piece the function line text together with a series of “cuts and pastes” from Notepad (I mean like 5, I was ready to put my fist through the screen before I got it all assembled).  While I had gotten a little used to this type of strange Studio behavior 3 years ago, I was really not expecting this kind of thing to still be in the product now.  I really thought I was going crazy there for a few minutes until I stepped through it very, very slowly watching every single keystroke to see when it broke.

So as Willie the Shake would say "all's well that ends well".  And, had I needed to, I now know how I could have used the other strategy to solve the problem by passing a string with multiple values concatenated together as a CSV and then parse them out and assign them to Flow variables using the split() function which I couldn’t do before (and yet again, the documentation on how to do that was fragmented and found all over the place in different blog posts and messages).

 

I will try to come back into the post and add a few screenshots later if I have some time.

 

 

Thank you!


I needed to create a pdf, save it to sharepoint and also send that pdf as an attachment back to the user. (with one button in powerapps)

So I needed more than one argument from powerapps to Flow.

"It is there but hidden for some reason and you need to either query for it with an "Ask" or just hit the show more button."

 

K.

lakosked
Frequent Visitor

Hi, Im running into a similar issue.  But your post does not show the syntax for the power app button.

PowerAppName.Run(FieldName.Text)

Is as far as I have gotten.  Can you post an example of the syntax for multiple fields?  Thanks.

You are on the right track. This is one of the most poorly documented areas as well as the most tedious and weird. First of all, it appears that you can pass as many variables to Flow as needed but the Flow itself drives this process. When you set up the Flow, just do an Init Variable for each parameter and when prompted, use the “Ask in PowerApps” Dynamic content for it. The real painful part is inserting the Flow run command into the PowerApp. The best thing is to just create a standalone button initially and then use the Action/PowerAutomate command to insert it the first time. Once you do this, then you can just type it into another command that is more complicated like placing the results into a ClearCollect function. You can delete the initial button after that. The syntax is as you have it <Flowname>.Run(var1, var2, var3,...) and the syntax checker will ensure the the number of variables in the parentheses matches the number of variables that the Flow is looking for. 

 

I have not been successful passing anything but strings so far (so no numbers or Booleans or arrays yet - it might be possible but I haven’t gotten it to work yet). I just do the type conversions in the flow or downstream (e.g. the SQL Stored Proc). 

one more thing. G-d forbid you have to change the number of arguments passed, you kind of have to start over so try to plan carefully. There are a lot of other vagaries here that are too much for this post but these are the essentials. 

I will say that if you stay within the mysterious, undocumented railings, I have found this to be very stable in operation but I have wasted a lot of time getting to this point. 

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the bit of Syntax. 

Seeing you have commas between the values did the trick.

I thought I had tried commas as a separator earlier today, then tried semi colons, then something else, etc etc.

It was a circular exercise in frustration.

I'm successfully bringing over 3 parameters from one power app to the other via the flow now.

 

Next is to dig into the weeds further by trying to bring over a fourth.

This fourth one is from a sharepoint list drop down but the weird thing is the name that appears in the flow.

In SharePoint it is ClientID

But in the flow it is listed as ClientID id

I've looked through sharepoint and for the life of cannot figure out why the flow is seeing it as ClientID id

So Im not sure if it isn't working because of the name or because of the dropdown or what.

Either way.  I appreciated your assistance with the commas syntax.   3 fields of the 4 is better than what I had this morning with only one field.

 

This is all I had to do. Had the same issue as OP and I just removed the flow and the re-added it. Works a treat!

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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.   This Week's Topic: How to Become a Community Blog Author We want YOU to be part of the community blog! Sharing your knowledge of Power Platform is an essential part of our community! Here's why:   It helps create a vibrant and dynamic community of makers who can learn from each other’s experiences and insights.It provides a platform for collaboration and innovation, where members can share their ideas and work together to develop new solutions.It helps promote Power Platform by showcasing its capabilities and real-world applications.It helps build trust and credibility in the community because you are providing valuable information and resources your fellow community members can use to improve their skills and knowledge. By sharing your knowledge of Power Platform in the community blog, you help us create a more engaged and informed community, better equipped to tackle complex challenges. To get started with blogging across the Power Platform communities, please visit the following links:   Power Apps: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Power-Apps-Community-Blog/bg-p/PowerAppsBlog Power Automate: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Power-Automate-Community-Blog/bg-p/MPABlog Copilot Studios: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Power-Virtual-Agents-Community/bg-p/PVACommunityBlogPower Pages: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Power-Pages-Community-Blog/bg-p/mpp_blog   When you follow the link, look for a button like the one below on the right rail of your community blog, and let us know you're interested. We can't wait to connect with you and help you get started. Thanks for being part of our incredible community--and thanks for becoming part of the community blog!  

June 2024 Community Newsletter

It's time for the June Community Newsletter, where we highlight the latest news, product releases, upcoming events, and the amazing work of our outstanding Community members.   If you're new to the Community, please make sure to follow the latest News & Announcements and check out the Community on LinkedIn as well! It's the best way to stay up-to-date with all the news from across Microsoft Power Platform and beyond.    COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS   Check out the most active community members of the last month! These hardworking members are posting regularly, answering questions, kudos, and providing top solutions in their communities. We are so thankful for each of you--keep up the great work! If you hope to see your name here next month, follow these awesome community members to see what they do!   Power AppsPower AutomateCopilot StudioPower PagesWarrenBelzcreativeopinionExpiscornovus Fubar AmikNived_NambiarPstork1OliverRodriguesmmbr1606ManishSolankifernandosilvaragavanrajanBCBuizerExpiscornovusrenatoromaoLucas001timlAlexEncodianViswavEmadBeshaiDBO_DVDeenujiUmiantaChrist0fGochixVishnuReddy1997citron-trucmandelaVishalJhaverieetuRoboJohanTprathyooanandm08VictorIvanidzenicoxrfm1964shashankbhidepaulbeck1 rpaa   LATEST NEWS Summer of Solutions 2024 The Summer of Solutions challenge kicked off this month - an amazing Microsoft Community initiative to win free tickets to the Power Platform Community Conferencethis September in Las Vegas. The challenge is NOW OPEN to all #PowerPlatform community members and will consist of four weekly entry periods until July 14th, 2024. Click the image below to find out more on how you can win free tickets to #PPCC24 by entering the Summer of Solutions TODAY!   Microsoft Customer Stories We're constantly working with an array of great businesses across the globe to assist them in taking advantage of the latest business applications technology. If you'd like to find out more about their low code journeys, click the image below to view our playlist of Customer Stories to discover how Accenture, Lumen Technologies, Cineplex, and many more, are streamlining their business processes with Microsoft Power Platform.     Microsoft Leap Program Have you heard of Microsoft Leap - a global program designed to recruit, develop, and upskill unconventional talent for careers in the tech space. Microsoft Leap organizes a number of pathways into the industry, including the recent "NFL Legend Cohort - Technical Program Management" run jointly with the NFL Player Care Foundation (PCF) who are dedicated to helping retired players improve their quality of life. Click the image below to find out more about the great day shared at the Redmond campus and be sure to visit the Microsoft Leap website to discover how this amazing initiative is helping re-launch the lives of countless individuals. www.leap.microsoft.com       UPCOMING EVENTS Biz Apps Partner Summit | Seattle | July 24-25 It's not long now until the Biz Apps Partner Summit, which takes place at the Hilton Bellevue in Seattle on July 24-25, 2024. This event is the perfect place to network, connect, and learn how to scale your Microsoft practice, drive profitable revenue, and dazzle your customers! There's a great selection of speakers, including the likes of Tom Patterson, Donald Kossmann Joseph Corigliano, Cecilia Flombaum, Peter Jensen, John Siefert, Becky Lymberis, Daniel Rippey, and many more. Click the image below to find out more and register today!     TechCon365 & Power Platform Conference | D.C. | August 12-16 Things are hotting up for the next TechCon365 & PWRCON Conference in Washington D.C. on August 12-16, 2024. Featuring the likes of Tamara Bredemus, Sunny Eltepu, Lindsay Shelton, Brian Alderman, Daniel Glenn, Julie Turner, Jim Novak, John White, Jason Himmelstein, Luc Labelle, Emily Mancini, MVP, UXMC, Fabian Williams, Emma Wiehe,and many more, this is the perfect event for those that are looking to gain invaluable insights from industry experts. Click the image below to grab your tickets today!     Power Platform Community Conference | Vegas | Sept. 18-20th Are you ready to come and join the fun in Las Vegas this September at PPCC24? This event is the perfect place to connect with fellow business applications enthusiasts and share your knowledge with the worldwide Microsoft Community. Now's your chance to hold all the aces. Just click the image below to find out more and we hope to see you go ALL-IN this September in Las Vegas!     For more events, click the image below to visit the Community Days website.  

Updates to Transitions in the Power Platform Communities

We're embarking on a journey to enhance your experience by transitioning to a new community platform. Our team has been diligently working to create a fresh community site, leveraging the very Dynamics 365 and Power Platform tools our community advocates for.  We started this journey with transitioning Copilot Studio forums and blogs in June. The move marks the beginning of a new chapter, and we're eager for you to be a part of it. The rest of the Power Platform product sites will be moving over this summer.   Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to the launch. We can't wait to welcome you to our new community space, designed with you in mind. Let's connect, learn, and grow together.   Here's to new beginnings and endless possibilities!   If you have any questions, observations or concerns throughout this process please go to https://aka.ms/PPCommSupport.   To stay up to date on the latest details of this migration and other important Community updates subscribe to our News and Announcements forums: Copilot Studio, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Pages

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