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MinhDinh
Frequent Visitor

Different between work queue and machine group

Hi there,

I'm new to Power Automate Desktop and am researching the best approach for deploying bot runners. I've created a basic automation that reads new emails and forwards them to a bot machine triggered by a cloud flow.

 

I have two virtual machines configured as bot runners and a machine group to manage their workload. To test, I've manually run the cloud flow several times, successfully queuing the bots in the machine group.

Capture.PNG

 

My question is how do machine groups differ from work queues within Power Automate Desktop?

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Accepted Solutions

Hi @MinhDinh ,

 

Work queues and machine groups are different in many ways but the primary way to differentiate them is work queues are your dataverse tables to queue your transactions for processing.  Machine groups are the virtual hardware that do the work.

 

So one example to describe more in detail - say you have two VMs and you have put them in a machine group and you point your cloud flows to run the RPA actions in your machine group connection.  So when one of your cloud flows launch an RPA action, it will assign one of the machines in your machine group and process your desktop flow.

 

If you have two machines in your group, technically you can run two desktop flows concurrently, one on each machine (by default).  So an example would be you have your cloud flow processing email content to RPA and it fires for each email and in the example, you get two emails 30 seconds apart; in this case you will have two concurrent flows running in your machine group.

 

Your work queue again is where you can store your "transactions".  Think of work queues to something similar to a table in an excel workbook with some data you want to process in RPA.  Instead of using "list rows present in a table", you are using process work queue items, converting from json to a custom object, and then processing your transactions from the work queue (instead of a excel table as an example).

 

I prefer work queues they will keep track of your transaction statuses, such as queued, processing, on hold, generic exceptions, IT exceptions, business process exceptions, etc and one of the many benefits is your RPA can restart (or even run on-demand or on a short scheduled cloud flow) and process all "queued" transactions in your work queue.  So in this sense, it is very easy to know where to start again and keep going.

 

I am using machine groups and work queues and I can almost guarantee you that after you use work queues once, you will convert every single RPA flow you have to use work queues; BTW, machine groups are awesome too and they go hand-in-hand.

 

 

If this was helpful: Please mark as a solution Give me a thumbs up Always glad to help, Tom! Connect on LinkedIn

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3 REPLIES 3

Hi @MinhDinh ,

 

Work queues and machine groups are different in many ways but the primary way to differentiate them is work queues are your dataverse tables to queue your transactions for processing.  Machine groups are the virtual hardware that do the work.

 

So one example to describe more in detail - say you have two VMs and you have put them in a machine group and you point your cloud flows to run the RPA actions in your machine group connection.  So when one of your cloud flows launch an RPA action, it will assign one of the machines in your machine group and process your desktop flow.

 

If you have two machines in your group, technically you can run two desktop flows concurrently, one on each machine (by default).  So an example would be you have your cloud flow processing email content to RPA and it fires for each email and in the example, you get two emails 30 seconds apart; in this case you will have two concurrent flows running in your machine group.

 

Your work queue again is where you can store your "transactions".  Think of work queues to something similar to a table in an excel workbook with some data you want to process in RPA.  Instead of using "list rows present in a table", you are using process work queue items, converting from json to a custom object, and then processing your transactions from the work queue (instead of a excel table as an example).

 

I prefer work queues they will keep track of your transaction statuses, such as queued, processing, on hold, generic exceptions, IT exceptions, business process exceptions, etc and one of the many benefits is your RPA can restart (or even run on-demand or on a short scheduled cloud flow) and process all "queued" transactions in your work queue.  So in this sense, it is very easy to know where to start again and keep going.

 

I am using machine groups and work queues and I can almost guarantee you that after you use work queues once, you will convert every single RPA flow you have to use work queues; BTW, machine groups are awesome too and they go hand-in-hand.

 

 

If this was helpful: Please mark as a solution Give me a thumbs up Always glad to help, Tom! Connect on LinkedIn

Hi @MinhDinh ,

 

I forgot to mention work queue are not limited to desktop flows; you can also use them very easily in your DPA flows too; also highly recommended!

 

 

If this was helpful: Please mark as a solution Give me a thumbs up Always glad to help, Tom! Connect on LinkedIn
Deenuji
Community Champion
Community Champion

@MinhDinh 

 

I think @trice602 pretty much covered well.

 

My point of view on the same:

 

In Power Automate, a "work queue" is like a list of tasks or jobs that need to be done. It could be anything from processing orders to reviewing documents. Each item in the queue represents a specific piece of work that needs attention.

 

On the other hand, a "machine group" refers to a collection of computers or devices that can be used to perform tasks automatically. These machines are grouped together so that tasks from the work queue can be assigned to them for execution.

 

So, in simple terms:
Work Queue: A list of jobs or tasks that need to be completed.
Machine Group: A set of computers or devices that do the actual work assigned from the queue.

 

In Power Automate, these concepts help automate workflows by managing what needs to be done (the work queue) and where and how it gets done (the machine group).

 


Thanks,
Deenuji Loganathan 👩‍💻
Automation Evangelist 🤖
Follow me on LinkedIn 👥

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