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JonL
Power Participant
Power Participant

How do you use Microsoft Power Automate in your work?

Hey Power Automate Community!

We are wondering, Do you use Power Automate at work? In production? 

If so, tell us a bit about it! Tell us how you use the flows, what they help achieve, and if they help make life easier!

 

Thanks!

 

- Jon

122 REPLIES 122

We're using Flow to automate our new project creation. I work for a company that does work for clients and our existing new project setup is very manual and takes a lot of time. We're using Flow so that when it's complete our development team doesn't need to maintain it. The idea is that we can hand it off to an analyst to maintain it. 

 

As a C# developer, I hate Flow. The UI is clunky, slow, and buggy. It's an example of how to do a SPA poorly. Pages often sit for 30 seconds as content loads. If you look at the browser console, it's full of CORS errors because the developers apparently aren't calling their APIs correctly behind the scenes. Clicking the back button while editing a flow often sends me back to the home page instead of the root page of the flow. The copy/paste functionality only works part of the time, so I can rarely trust it. Actions randomly fail at times. Presumably a new update gets pushed to the server that breaks an action because a couple days later it will start working again even though no change has been made on our side. There are terrible UI decisions like not allowing you to insert a new action at the top within a loop or conditional. Instead, you have to delete and recreate the top action so that a new action can be at the top. The lack of scoped variables doesn't help and make a flow clunkier to read than C# would be. 

 

Everything that Flow does I could do with C# microservices in Azure Function. The only value that Flow has is that you don't need to be a programmer to use it, but it has all of the problems and more that past visual programming environments have had. 

 

 

kdavis91
Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

Hey, Jon,

 

I am relatively new to Power Automate (about three weeks in at the time of this post), but I've jumped in with both feet and (with massive amounts of help from this community- direct and indirect) have created several Flows:

 

  • One to create a task list in a new bucket (via Planner) for our monthly closing process that pulls assignments, due dates, and the emails of those who need to be notified when the task is complete from an Excel Spreadsheet (saved in the Teams channel and updated monthly).
  • As I and my fellow accountants mark tasks as complete, another flow creates and sends an email (from my account [would like to do this from a bot or some other central source if possible]) notifying the appropriate individuals that the task is complete
  • Another Flow runs daily and checks for any tasks that are both not started and past due and sends a notification email to both the individual(s) responsible and our boss
  • Within the "Create New Task List" and "When Task is Marked Complete" Flows, I included a process that clears (of prior month data) and then populates a table in another Excel spreadsheet that has all of the tasks listed and updates with the date completed and who marked it complete.

 

My reading on this message board is leading me to believe that I would be better served using SP Lists rather than tables in spreadsheets. However, I have very little exposure to SharePoint, so I will have to investigate this before implementing it.

 

I really like how Power Automate allows laymen like myself (with some, but very limited programming background) to create much more complex processes than I would otherwise be able to.

Sharepoint lists are well worth using. They do have some limitations with capacity but the benefits outweigh the limitations.

 

With respect to the emails coming from your own account, I've created a new exchange account (with the help of the local IT department) with 'bot' as the surname, then configure the flows to send it from the 'bots' email address. Alternatively, you could use a 'real' name and pretend you've got a new member in the team 😉

Welcome aboard,

E

kdavis91
Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

Thank you @Eddierthomas! I will look into using the SP Lists as these tables have less than 50 rows; and I can't imagine it growing to be anything larger than 100 rows. I don't know how much time I'll spend on it, though, as what I have set up now works... If it is an easy migration I might do it, but I will absolutely use them in future automation.

 

I hadn't considered having IT set up a dedicated email address. I will have to look into that too!

 

Thank you for your reply!

They're not as intimidating as they sound, if you understand spreadsheets you'll quickly understand the fundamentals of SharePoint lists.

 

If you're using tables (in excel) there is an export to SharePoint list function that will certainly help get you started and makes the import function a doddle.

 

Also, if you're working with a couple of hundred rows you'll be fine.

Good luck 🙂

Rocco, 

 

I read your response and am seeking your assistance. I am looking to use FLOW,a first time flow user, to generate internal notifications for intake forms, and client process. can you share how you built your flow, please? I am reachable at gwolff@jewishdallas.org.

 

Thanks!

leyburn19
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

I use to:

 

  1. Manage complex tasks between powerapps and SharePoint
  2. Manage complex tasks between third party and SharePoint
  3. Do checks for dates that are due to expire and warn people to do something about it
  4. Validate user input
  5. Automatically create PO and send to suppliers based data input
  6. Approval for leave
  7. Inform of birthdays of employees
  8. manage qualification checks
  9. Send SMS
  10. Import bulk orders

The list goes on and on.  Flow is a miracle worker that allows you to set and forget as it will do the work.  Just have to think about the word flow in any task and it can be automated

DarrenPlant
Helper I
Helper I

Simplistic but very useful flows for now:

 

1. Response from forms, pushing that content to either excel sheet or SharePoint list, and then send out an adaptive card which gives the user the direct access to the excel or list for action (much cleaner than an email).  May need to adjust this to push to a channel to avoid single point of failure (user on holiday or left company).

 

2. Similar to above but added email group also where the email group is the 'customer' of the data and the adaptive card recipient is an 'FYI' notice.

 

3. Event registration form (external users) response to SharePoint list + adaptive card (to myself).  What I want, which is missing, is to send TEAMS meeting invite to user who just registered from the list.  New record -> send meeting invite.  It seems that connectivity is not there yet, please get this working.

 

All above was very easy to do with a few YouTube videos, thanks to @JonL, please keep up the good work and bring me some more idiot guides 🙂

Long shot here since you posted this original note in 2017, but any chance you can share or elaborate on the flow you use in item #2? 

Item 2 to whose post?

Sorry, to DarrenPlant  post.  I wasn't signed up and now see that post looks more recent.

 

In general, I am looking for any way to get information from a form in to planner as a task - but with the details.  It does not seem to be an easy thing to and guessing I might have to do some work arounds like form to sharepoint then to planner.

 

In the post above the approval by email with HTML would be an nice option to have as well.

Hi @barendt, I sent you a DM.

 

Darren

ndeangelo1
Regular Visitor

well the new answer for me is to "replace all of my 2010 SP Workflows before they go kaput"....I realize I needed to make that move on my own - would have preferred a bit more time.

Josiah
Advocate II
Advocate II

We are using Power Automate as an always online backend for our PowerApps.

The intergration of Approvals into our PowerApp based Expense Claim and Creditors systems have probably saved the most time in our company, Giving employees a direct link to the invoice on a sharepoint list also saves a lot of emails and questions that the Admin team used to get.

 

The Creditors system I have built allows an email to come in with a pdf attachment to be stored on a sharepoint list, The admin team then adds the description, dates and price to the item using powerapps, The manager gets the approval request with the invoice attached.
Once approved the invoice is paid, and no trees are hurt in the process this can all be done while working remotely too!

I never expected to be replacing entire processes with Microsoft 365 when I migrated the company from Exchange on-prem

BenDonahue
Skilled Sharer
Skilled Sharer

I was trained as a software developer in a Boot Camp in in at-home online studies. My first dev job presented me with the opportunity to address far outdated paper-centric business processes by both automating and digitizing them. We are a non-profit, so have the full suite of MS products at our disposal. Learning the Power Platform, at least (barely) enough to create web apps to replace these processes was super quick when compared with learning a new, conventional language. I should note that I am the first, and only, developer in my company.

 

The apps themselves, so far, serve to replace our paper peer audits. Using Forms for the frontend, Flow for logic and Excel as the DB is perfectly sufficient for our current needs (I'll upgrade to Azure soon). 

 

The Audit apps I have built (one in production, one about to be), really streamline the process; everyone loves it. Without this kind of platform, our non-profit would never have the resources to have these kinds of custom applications, and we would be printing a document, filing it out, scanning it, emailing it to the next person who would print it out, fill out their part, scan it and email it to the next person. This happens a total of 7.5 times using 8 pieces of paper, 7 of which need to be shredded.

 

This whole thing is a Godsend in its current form, and will be even better as the various kinks and wrinkles are ironed-out. You allow me to play the solo rock star here; everybody loves me, even the people who don't like me.

 

My next huge project will be to reproduce the functionality of a legacy application from 12 years ago that is not compatible with Windows 10, and do it using Power Platform. I have all the problems this developer wants. (I might not get to it very soon, as we need to replace the way-overly complicated Ivanti (HEAT) ISM with our new CRM, Dynamics 365 CRM, so I have to master that, too, using Flow also).

PIBF
Frequent Visitor

Doing some research now as we need a way to import data from excel. This seems pretty straightforward but getting an error on the insert row (v2) where it tells me there is no value. Whenever I create another flow emailing me the value it works find.

 

Basic flow is: Manually trigger a flow => list rows present in a table => insert row (v2). What strikes me as odd is whenever I click in the column, which is saying 'id', after table i'm prompted to enter a lat/long. Have no clue why that's happening.

 

I've been searching for a video/tutorial of doing something simple like importing from excel into sql server and not finding anything. Any thoughts or should I just scrap PA altogether and just use ssis? Was hoping to use PA for other things as well but needed to start with this.

 

TIA

 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hello,

 

Is there any way where we can connect service now to power automate. I wanted to trigger something like whenever we received any incident in our queue that will automatically will get assign to respective support team member as per there on call roaster withig 15 min.

 

If you know anything about this please tell me it would be really helpful.

 

Thanks !

sasrsc
Resolver II
Resolver II

Hi  Jon

 

Totally new to the Power Platform in the last 3-6 months. So far my team has "in production" probably 10-15 Power Automate routines and 2 Power Apps. These cover the gamut from simple almost template like Power Automate to more complex things. 

 

My favorite is currently a new workflow that touches many things. It starts with data from an external source exported to a SP Lists (we don't have CDS) - through the Graph API, then presented to Users through a Power App where they select one or more rows from a filtered gallery to send to Power Automate which in turn produces independent Adaptive Cards for approval in Teams with an outside vendor. I'm pretty excited about it but I've run into a few issues with the Parse Json piece in Power Automate. Almost there... Happy to share privately the whole thing as it's a pretty long drawn out process. The whole process surrounds getting outside counsel to approve non employees flying on our company's private jets. Neat.


RamiroB
Regular Visitor

Hi

We are planning to migrate SharePoint 2010 WF to PA. 

The main problem we have is we can't find the way to collect data (using form) in Approval process. 

For example imagine you submit a request and some people in the next task need to qualified this request. the task process need to add data.

In SharePoint was an easy task. with collect data or custom Task adding content types.

 But we don't know to resolve this issue and can't continues working with this.

 

Do you have any idea to resolve this?

 

regards

Ramiro

Based on your comments, it sounds like sharepoint lists run into problems when you hit a few hundred rows.  You may need to modify your view a bit after 5,000 but you can store up to 30 million entries.

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