Course Introduction and Overview
Components of Power Automate
Building and Managing Flows
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.
- 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
- 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)
Let’s look at modifying your flow. You've now built your own flow and you find that something could be added, or something could be taken away, or maybe you just want to make things run a little smoother. In order to add extra actions to a flow you always look for the place that says “add an action”. That can be found between actions and within an action.
When we click on add an action, and put in SharePoint, notice that there are actions and triggers. Things like controls only have actions and do not have triggers. You might find yourself adding a lot to your flow if you started with a template. Sometimes 3/4 of the template works just great but you need to change 1/4 of it. So, lengthening it with more steps can be part of that change.
Another way we can modify our flow is by changing actions that already exist. There are a lot of things that can be changed on an action and, depending on the action itself, there are multiple advanced options or different settings for that action. Many times, when we are using connections to SharePoint, there is one important piece in the advanced options that really helps out.
When we turn on advanced options, you'll notice a new field comes into play called “limit columns by view”. Some of our SharePoint lists are very long and to be able to grab all the data from a SharePoint list is either cumbersome or it just fails. This advanced option helps us to gather just what we need by using a view that you've already created in your list to bring in only the things you want to change. For instance, if I'm only changing the status value, the manufacturer, and model, then I would create a view that only includes those things. That will make your flow much faster and more efficient. Other fields may come in because they are required but it does cut down a lot of our data management.
Another good way to change your actions is to rename them. In this course we mostly looked at flows that were not very long. I have some flows that have over 100 different actions in them. If I don't rename each action to mean something to me, I can easily lose my place in what things are doing and why they are where they are. By clicking on the ellipse menu, we can choose to rename the action.
One other item that we can use to change, or update our flows is very helpful and you may have seen me do it earlier. When you click on the ellipse menu for an action you can choose to “copy to my clipboard”. That allows you to bring this back into another action or another step with all the information already pre-configured for you. That only stays in your clipboard while active in this session. You can copy an action from one flow to another, but it has to be done in the same online session.
By now you should be noticing the flexibility in our power automate environment. Changes can be made at any point in our flow. Then by testing we can find other areas that might need more efficiency or corrections as we go forward.
Next up, the conclusion to our course.
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.