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Anonymous
Not applicable

Flow Math

Hello Community,

 

I am finally kicking the tires around this product but have a concern/question around part of its offering.  It would seem that according to the Pricing page, that a single flow can be run every 5 minutes with the Office 365 package.  That sounds rather reasonable until you perform the math on that.  Every 5 minutes would be 12 per hour, which is 288 per day, which is 8,640 per 30 days.

 

Looking at the max number of runs per month per user for this plan, it is only 2,000.  So if I am understanding this correctly, a single flow (nevermind additional ones) running at the allowed 5 minute interval would only actually be run for nearly a week and then stop functioning under this plan.  That is, my business critical workflow would only be available for one of four weeks of the month as it would cease to stop operating due to the max cap of all total flow executions offered under the plan, even though it can execute at a rate that results in a number of executions that is greater than the established maximum cap.

 

Is my understanding correct here?  If so, why allow an interval that results in a number of executions that exceeds the maximum number allowed within a plan?  The other confusing part is that this is for a single flow, nevermind additional ones.  Very confused here. 🙂

 

Thank you for any assistance in helping me understand the model here,

Michael

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Anonymous
Not applicable

Awesome, thank you @TravisB for taking the time to step through all of this with us.  I super appreciate it.

 

To start, upon further reflection, there is also a counter for "trial runs" in my quota so it is captured in another metric.  Currently I have 2 users in the domain I am testing out, so those 2 x 2000 = 4000.  WHEW. 🙂

 

Now, as for the main event, everything you state makes sense.  However, please keep in mind that we are talking about 5 minute intervals here for the Office 365 accounts, and not the 1 minute of the trial/p2 plan.  5 minutes is 12 times per hour which is pretty sensible IMO.  In any case, the big remaining question mark here is that these plans are offered with a max number of runs which are significantly lower (by about 4x in this case with Office 365) than the max frequency allows for them as stated under the plan's details.  And, again, that is considering a single flow utilized within this plan and not in regards to any others.  It would seem that if you offered a max frequency, that at the very least the plan would cover that max frequency for the entire month for one Flow so that you do not have to worry about any other expenses incurred.

 

As it stands now, it seems that I am essentially provided with 1 week's worth of recurrent Flow capability with the plan, and that just doesn't make sense (or cents :)) to me just yet.

 

After doing some thinking around this, it would appear that if you do have a recurrence trigger that needs to fire off at the maximum frequency under your plan (and thereby utilizing your entire quota in 1 week of your 30 day period), it is better to perhaps use Azure Functions and its timer/scheduling functionality to see if you can somehow utilize that instead, and keep the Flow executions open on Flow for other use cases/workflows/scenarios.

 

OK... mystery (or mysteries!) solved. 🙂  Thanks again for all your insight, Travis!

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16 REPLIES 16
v-xida-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @Anonymous,

 

Thanks for your feedback, I think you have a misunderstanding in these license plans for Microsoft Flow. 

 

If you use Flow for Office 365 plan, the Maximum flow frequency is 5 minutes. It doesn't mean that your flow always be triggered once per 5 minutes, the flow has its own trigger interval. In addition, the trigger would have its own limits within Microsoft Flow, the trigger would take effect on the trigger interval of the flow.

 

The Maximum number of runs per month (per user) is 2000, it means that per user per month could only run flow for 2000 times at most.  If your company exceeds more than the included runs per month per user, you can buy an additional quota of runs per month. More details about buying an additional quota of runs per month, please check the following article:

https://preview.flow.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/#plan-feature-table

 

So the Maximum flow frequency feature is based on a single flow run, but the Maximum number of runs per month (per user) feature is based on different license plans of Microsoft Flow. The two features are in different Hierarchies, we could not compare the two features using the way that you mentioned.

 

 

Best regards,

Kris

Community Support Team _ Kris Dai
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.
Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi @v-xida-msft thank you for your reply.

 

If you use Flow for Office 365 plan, the Maximum flow frequency is 5 minutes. It doesn't mean that your flow always be triggered once per 5 minutes, the flow has its own trigger interval. In addition, the trigger would have its own limits within Microsoft Flow, the trigger would take effect on the trigger interval of the flow.

 

Can you please provide more context around this or explain this a little differently as I believe this is where my confusion lies.  When I hear "flow frequency" to me that means the maximum frequency at which a flow can execute, which is once every 5 minutes.  Please keep in mind here that I am a total newb and am not 100% familiar with your product just yet. 🙂  Thank you!

I think he means maximum, as in the highest rate a flow could run under the scheduled recurrence trigger. Other triggers, i.e. "When an email is received", happen as the action of the trigger happens, and not under any limit or constraint as far as I have found

Anonymous
Not applicable

Right, OK.  I think I am with you... but you can schedule a Flow to execute every x minutes on a schedule/timer, correct?  Here is a trigger that I have configured every 1 minute:

 

https://dragonspark.tinytake.com/sf/MjQ3NjYwMF83NDYyOTQw

 

So if this is scheduled for every 1 minute, and my plan only allows for every 5 minutes, that means that this Flow will only run once every 5 minutes even though it is scheduled for every 1 minutes, correct? 

 

Perhaps we are not talking about the same thing?  Help me out here. 🙂

It will not let you even save the flow with <5 minute timer unless your flow plan allows it, iirc. I have a premium plan currently so I cannot confirm it for you right now but I believe that is how it works.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Yeah you and I are both in a cloud of confusion here @ChrisC, LOL!  I just now tried saving a simple flow that executes every 1minute, and it did indeed do exactly that on my current Office 365 account twice in as many minutes.

 

FWIW, I just now did see another thread talking about this very topic, but it doesn't really answer the question, either:

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/General-Flow-Discussion/Maximum-flow-frequency/m-p/38692#M7551

 

So, it would seem we are not alone in the confusion here. 🙂

I'd love this to be cleared up too, @Anonymous lol.

 

I understandthat the total amount of flow runs are an aggregate as a company, for every user under your domain. Perhaps that is the same functionality in flow frequency field?

 

i.e. I have one license in the org, I can run 1 flow every 5 minutes. If I have 20 users with a flow license in the company, the org is allowed 20 flows per 5 minutes.

 

That is my best guess as to how that is working 😛 

Anonymous
Not applicable

OK so @TravisB was awesome enough to check out my account and see exactly what is going on.  Even though I have a quota of only 4000 runs for the month, it appears that I have a P2 Trial, which should be 15,000 but for some reason it is 4,000.  In any case, I do have a P2 Trial and this is the reason why I am able to run at once per minute at the present moment.

 

The important part is that we have established that 5 minute "Maximum Flow Frequency" means exactly what we've been discussing and have understood it to mean, which is that one flow can only execute every 5 minutes under the Office 365 plan.  That means a single flow can execute approximately 8,640 times per month on this schedule, which is more than four times the limit that is provided in this package (again with only one Flow).

 

Travis, this seems like an oversight, or that I am still misunderstanding something.  If I have two flows, they would execute 17,280 times on the allowed schedule for this plan.  That would mean my allotted number of runs at 2000 (assuming a single user) would be used up in approximately 3.5 days, or about 7 days if I only have 1 Flow running at the provided schedule.

 

I hope I am confused about something still because this really seems seriously miscalculated somewhere.  I hope you can help out here and clear up the air, Traivs. 🙂  Thank you again for your assistance!

Ahh that makes more sense. And I believe the maximum flow frequency only applies to the recurrence flow event.

TravisB
Power Automate
Power Automate

Hi @Anonymous,

 

Can you clarify where you're seeing the 4000 number? As you said, if you have a p2 trial it should be contributing 15000 runs toward your tenant cap. If you're seeing 4000 somewhere, then we might have something to look into.

 

On the topic of flow recurrence and contribution to flow run caps, I admit it's a pretty confusing topic so I hope I can help clear things up!

 

First, there's a difference between a flow check and a flow run. The 5 minutes / 1 minute values we advertise are for flow checks. So for an o365 user, every 5 minutes we would perform the trigger check operation and if necessary kick off flow runs. So for a trigger like "On a new email" we would be checking every 5 minutes for a new email. If you don't get any new emails over the period of an hour, even though we check every 5 minutes, we won't kick off a flow run so no runs will be counted toward your cap.

 

On the other hand, if you get 5 emails over that 5 minutes, we'd kick off 5 flow runs (1 for each email). Similarly, if you had a free plan, you would still get 5 runs kicked off for 5 emails, but they would happen later. Effectively with recurrence limits, you're paying for reaction time, not executions.

 

The exception to this rule is the recurrence trigger in which there's no difference between checks and runs. If you set it to run every minute, it will run every minute. I noticed the flow I was looking at was triggered by the recurrence card so I think this is what you're most interested in. There's a couple answers to this:

 

1. It's worth noting that your flow run cap is pooled accross a tenant. Generally the number of flow powerusers is going to be substantially less than the number of users with office plans for example. This allows individual users to make use of far more flow runs than allowed by a single license.

 

2. Unlike polling triggers, where you cannot control the check speed (faster is always better), you can with the recurrence trigger. It's worth looking at your use-case and evaluating whether you get significant value out of running your flow every minute and if not, consider dialing back the recurrence speed.

 

3. If it turns out that you really do need your flow to run every minute and that you don't have headroom with all the runs pooled in your tenant, then we do offer the option to purchase additional runs.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Best,

Travis

Thanks a lot for clearing this up @TravisB!!

Anonymous
Not applicable

Awesome, thank you @TravisB for taking the time to step through all of this with us.  I super appreciate it.

 

To start, upon further reflection, there is also a counter for "trial runs" in my quota so it is captured in another metric.  Currently I have 2 users in the domain I am testing out, so those 2 x 2000 = 4000.  WHEW. 🙂

 

Now, as for the main event, everything you state makes sense.  However, please keep in mind that we are talking about 5 minute intervals here for the Office 365 accounts, and not the 1 minute of the trial/p2 plan.  5 minutes is 12 times per hour which is pretty sensible IMO.  In any case, the big remaining question mark here is that these plans are offered with a max number of runs which are significantly lower (by about 4x in this case with Office 365) than the max frequency allows for them as stated under the plan's details.  And, again, that is considering a single flow utilized within this plan and not in regards to any others.  It would seem that if you offered a max frequency, that at the very least the plan would cover that max frequency for the entire month for one Flow so that you do not have to worry about any other expenses incurred.

 

As it stands now, it seems that I am essentially provided with 1 week's worth of recurrent Flow capability with the plan, and that just doesn't make sense (or cents :)) to me just yet.

 

After doing some thinking around this, it would appear that if you do have a recurrence trigger that needs to fire off at the maximum frequency under your plan (and thereby utilizing your entire quota in 1 week of your 30 day period), it is better to perhaps use Azure Functions and its timer/scheduling functionality to see if you can somehow utilize that instead, and keep the Flow executions open on Flow for other use cases/workflows/scenarios.

 

OK... mystery (or mysteries!) solved. 🙂  Thanks again for all your insight, Travis!

Can you clarify on the scenario I am about to describe?


Say you have the plan that allows for a 5 minuteflow frequency

 

User has a flow that gets triggered 10 times in 5 minutes.  Does that mean it will resolve one time every 5 minutes until all 10 triggers are complete, or will all 10 happen on the next 5 minute interval at one time?

Hi @ChrisM55,

 

In the situation you described, the flow will run 10 times once the next 5 minute check occurs.

 

Best,

Travis

Thank you, I was having a heck of a time finding a clear explanation of how that worked.

 

As a secondary question, if I have an O365 tenant with 10 E3's with the 'Flow for Office 365' plan which is 2,000 runs per user, 20,000 aggregated, and grant a single user the Flow Plan 2 license (15,000 runs, 1 minute frequency), would the user with Flow Plan 2 be able to take advantage of the additional flow runs from the E3's, as in could this user potentially run 35,000 flows (20k from E3's + 15k from the flow plan 2 license) at the 1 minute frequency per month?


I ask because that seems like a way you could leverage 1 minute frequency without buying all of your users the flow plan 2 license, then create a sort of flow service account where you assign the plan 2 license and deploy your production flows from that account.

Hi @ChrisM55,

 

What you describe is possible. Since flow run allotment is aggregated at the tenant level, it is possible for a single p2 user to make use of runs allocated as part of other users' o365 licenses.

 

Best,

Travis

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