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Allow self reference on action 'SetVariable'

Selfreference is a very common feature when working with variables, i.e.:


myString = concat(myString,'blablabla');

myArray = skip (myArray,1);


However, current Flow "Set variable" action block implementation does not support it, so you are forced to duplicate variables and declare an auxiliar one everytime you need selfreference. The only exception I've found so far is with int variables, as there is already an "Increment variable" action block.


Do any other Flow users also miss this feature?



Status: Under Review

This would be a very useful fix, thank you for your feedback.

Regular Visitor

As a workaround I got it working by creating a "Compose"-action and in that compose-action you reference both the variable and the new info that should be added to the variable. After that I have a "Set Variable" and set the variable to the output of the compose-action. But indeed, I agree the previous post that this is needed!

Regular Visitor

One year being under review without any explanation as to the delay is unacceptable.  can we get an up date on this Stephen.

Advocate I

Is there any update on this 'idea'???


Cannot believe this is not supported by Flow. This is a VERY common statement:

myVariable = add(myVariable,1); 


The way I found to implement this is with two actions (a previous action to initialize the variable): 

Advocate I

Never needed this functionality until today.  I an encrypted stored procedure that i have no access to change that I need to read from, perform a summation operation and then insert in to another table.  

Frequent Visitor

any update on this?

Advocate IV

I cant believe this essential functionality doesnt works on Automate... 


It's basics... autorefer




More than two years to improve that??? What happen with the guys from Microsoft??

Why cant we go to another platform? Bitrix... Google... CA.... 


Advocate I

Also dying for the function... ended up creating twice as many variables in a flow, not efficient at all!  Come on Microsoft! 

Regular Visitor

Things like setProperty() aren't even mutators so I don't quite understand why updating one variable based on its current value wouldn't be allowed. Who does this protect?

Advocate IV

Allowing the Set Variable to be self-referential simplifies the action set considerably, e.g 

Set Variable[ i = i+1 ] is equivalent to Increment Variable [ i, 1], and

Set Variable[i = i - 1] is equivalent to Decrement Variable [i,1]


Similarly with the Append Variable actions:


Initialize Variable [ Name, John]

Set Variable [Name = Name + ', Jane'] is equivalent to Append Variable [Name, ', Jane'] = 'John, Jane'

Helper II

I'll add my vote.  Absolutely ridiculous that I cannot self reference a variable.  Now I'm trying to imagine how I'm going to do the next thing I was going to try in Flow:  looping through records and constantly incrementing a variable.  I need to declare 1000 variables to do so?  


Is Flow even a serious attempt by microsoft?