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Stop turning off infrequently used Flows

As per my post here, I have some Flows that are important parts of business processes but rarely used. I need a way to "opt out" of having these automatically disabled. Re-enabling them only turns them back on for a bit until they get disabled again (it seems like about a week), unless they are used. This is a production environment - I can't just add and remove dummy data to trigger these so that they stop getting disabled.

Status: New
Comments
teqs
Kudo Collector

This was one of the worst decisions in the life of Flow / Power Automate. Manually restart canceled flows sucks so much that if I didn't like a lot of other MS tools, I would switch directly to another Office solution. I really can't believe it every time my flows just stop working because they haven't been called in weeks. We all have many situations, like mail checks or things that only get done on special events, but should always be running even if they trigger seldom.

teqs
Kudo Collector

@hilary_stoupa : Thanks for our links and screen above. There's written "... no expiration limit for all others".

 

Have you figured out how to be one of "all others"? What is the cheapest MS product or license to be one of "all others", that can enjoy that flows do not expire anymore?
I googled for it briefly, but can't figure it out.

hilary_stoupa
Kudo Kingpin

@teqs I would guess if you have one of these paid plans: https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/

What I did was create a scheduled "keep alive" Flow that runs monthly and adds test rows to my lists, waits 10 minutes, and then deletes the test rows. Then in my list flows, at the very beginning of the flow, I add a condition to check for my test title and terminate the flow if the list item is a test item. These run in the middle of the night, so that they aren't likely to disrupt anyone's actual work by having junk items show up in a list. It is very imperfect, but has worked for my scenarios.

teqs
Kudo Collector

Yes, I also thought about such a workaround. 
Man, I really hate this "60 days inactivity stop flow" mess. 

Interesting link:
https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/
15$ is the cheapest one. That's at least not a big investment. But I am not totally sure if flows are not disabled anymore when subscribe to this. Would be cool, if a official MS Supporter who read here can confirm that the cheapest plan of the list also disable that flows with 60 days inactivity are disabled.
Thanks a lot!

ONYXJas
Advocate IV

I have the same problem - we run a quarterly audit on our subscriber master list in SharePoint vs the O365 groups that support Manage Access for folder content in the document library, and custom automated alerts for subscribers when new content is uploaded that they are following.  The audit flows kept turning off.  Same with new group registrations. My business users CANNOT be expected to cope with a situation where they go to do an audit and the audit script is not available, or a new O365 DL group cannot be registered for a new subscription as and when required.

I solved it by finding a handy tip for a flow manager that is scheduled daily to check for flows that have been suspended and turning them on again.

https://sharepains.com/2020/12/02/re-enable-flows-power-automate/

 

Egyptkm
New Member

I agree that there needs to be an opt out for inactivity checks.  Some of my flows are conditional, such as it runs only when a user makes a data entry error.  Error checking flows won't run unless users made a mistake.  I'm glad when users aren't making data entry mistakes within a 90-day period.

misterpower
Advocate I

Agree with the OP. Since resources are valuable in cloud environments I would suggest the following solution:

  • The default setting of all cloud flows is that they are automatically disabled within X days, if not used. This should apply to all Flow types/scenario's.
  • As a (citizen) developer, we want to be able to specify for each flow if the flow will be automatically disabled or not. Flows that trigger every day will not be disabled because of the default MSFT policy.
ONYXJas
Advocate IV

The option to override the default "turn off after 30 days" setting per flow is a very good solution and would be a god-send!

 

I have flows that are used to mediate the user subscribe/unsubscribe and alert preference opt-in/opt-out processes on a SharePoint document archive, and there's no way of predicting whether I'll see a blizzard of activity with new subscribers all day, every day - or nothing at all for months on end, it's entirely driven by the user audience.  So I want my flows to be right there, ready in working order whenever a user request kicks in. The last thing I want is for the processes to break because the supporting flow has been turned off by default.

 

The thing about process automation is that it should WORK, regardless, not "oh, sorry, we didn't think you were using this so we turned it off for you!"

 

SSchrader
Regular Visitor

At least make it optional. If you set up an infrequent flow, it would be nice to have a toggle that would keep it from deactivating inside the set time window. 

renet123
New Member

Can we at least have the ability to say - "yes, we want it to stay active - ask me again in 90 days",  instead of having to actually run it to keep it active? 

My flow sends a SMS text from Teams.  We use this as an all-company alert for weather and building issues.   We don't get hurricanes and power outages every 90days.. for emergency use only.