Exploring Expressions


Course Introduction and Overview
Identifying Flows
Building and Managing Flows
Course Conclusion

The course is part of this learning path

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Power Automate is part of the Microsoft Power Platform and is a powerful tool to create automation flows for workflow processes. In this course, we cover the capabilities of the Power Automate service. You will learn how to identify common components such as flow types, connectors, conditions, expressions, and approvals.

You'll also learn how to build basic flows that can be started immediately with a button, based on an automated trigger, or on a set schedule. We'll explore how to update your flows and correct any issues that might interfere with your flow running successfully.

Furthermore, this course will help you in preparing for the Microsoft PL-900 certification for the Power Platform.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the different types of flows
  • Identify and choose the proper type of flow trigger
  • Find and use templates to run or modify a flow
  • Use and change data connectors
  • Be able to describe templates, connectors, loops and conditions, expressions, and approvals

Intended Audience

  • IT professionals who are interested in obtaining the Microsoft PL-900 certification
  • Those tasked with automating tasks from Microsoft 365 applications and external application integration


  • Basic knowledge of the Microsoft 365 applications and a license to create Power Automate Flows (a trial of an Enterprise version would work as a temporary testbed)

In this lecture, we will be exploring expressions. What is an Expression? An expression is a small code function that might help us to concatenate text, perform math functions, date functions, or logical functions against our data. When we talked about our conditions, we were looking for something to be equal to something else and we did that with just dropping down boxes and making choices. We can also write the expressions from scratch.

You can find expressions by going to any place in our flow and clicking to bring up the dynamic content. Dynamic content comes from the fields and properties of our data and is packaged for us. Right next to the Dynamic content tab is the Expression tab.

There are endless ways to add expressions in advanced mode or basic mode. Let’s add an expression to our trigger to only trigger if the inventory status is equal to Reorder or Out of Stock. We click on our trigger menu, choose settings, and Add a Trigger Condition. Our condition is going to be an OR expression where either the status can equal Reorder, or Out of Stock. Our flow is going to run every time the SharePoint list is modified but the first step will be to validate this trigger condition. If neither of those statuses are there, the flow stops. 

We could also change this by adding another expression where our Amount in Stock is less than, or equals the number 5.  

Remember that expressions use built-in functions as their base, and we add parts of our data to the expression to make it come alive. You now know what an expression is and where to add them in our flows. One final note, if you use Microsoft Excel, there are a lot of similarities between the functions.

Our next lecture is on Understanding Approval workflows.


About the Author

Ron is an experienced professional with in-depth expertise in SharePoint, Power Automate, Power BI, and Microsoft 365. He enjoys involvement in corporate presentations, training, change management, communications, marketing, and facilitation.

Ron brings this experience together to design SharePoint solutions that meet his client’s business, training, and collaboration needs. His skillset includes: Program Management, Change Management, SharePoint Site Administration and Architecture, Project Management, Graphic Design, and Technology Infrastructure Expertise. Ron is an expert skier and speaks Japanese as a second language.