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Advocate II
Advocate II

Compose steps output getting corrupted

Today I had an issue I have not seen before. 


A cloud Flow that generates email using a couple of compose steps from data in a SharePoint list to create the TO: and CC: lines. 

The compose steps had been through a number of tests. I had not used them live int he flow until this morning when I set the final email recipients to the To and CC compose steps. 


The flow uses a lot of these and I had verified the concatenate expressions making sure everything was a string and separated by a semi colon. I did this on 3 individual steps this morning. 2 out of three have no issues. 


The error I got back was 


Unable to process template language expressions in action 'Send_an_email_from_a_shared_mailbox_(V2)_22' inputs at line '1' and column '98775': 'The template language expression 'outputs('Compose_-_To_3a.1')?['$']' cannot be evaluated because property '$' cannot be selected. Property selection is not supported on values of type 'String'. Please see for usage details.'.


When I looked at the flow the outputs of the compose items had all changed to $. 



Removing and readding didn't work. Tried several times. Tried adding a new send email action. That didn't work

I had to create new compose steps before it would work again. 


The Output kept being replaced with $. 

That $ was equal to



when it should have been 



I am wondering it my Compose name had anything to do with it as it contain a .1 in the name. 


Anyone seen this before? 

Super User
Super User

Can you show a screenshot of the expressions used in the Compose_-_CC_3a.1 along with some sample data the reproduces the problem?



A bit difficult to do that without exposing email addresses. 

It is a concat statement with a bunch of compose, variable and hardcoded email addresses in it. I have been using it a lot without issue. 

Regular Visitor

I have had this issue for a while now. This output should be:

  • outputs('ACTION_DESCRIPTION_4.0')

But it keeps changing to this:

  • outputs('ACTION_DESCRIPTION_4.0')?['$']

The workaround up until now has been:

  1. Delete the reference to the Compose (Outputs) field in each of the Send an email actions
  2. Delete the Compose action - usually doesn't let me delete it unless I save the Flow, close and re-open
  3. Recreate the Compose action
  4. Renter the Compose (Outputs) field into each of the Send an email actions

BUT this particular one is giving me grief. I have tried five times now with the same result. If I leave this as it is the email will fail to send in any of the CATCH scenarios.



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