Adding Vertical Buttons to Power Virtual Agents – Revisited

Wait? Didn’t I already have a blogpost about vertical buttons for Power Virtual Agents? Yes, I do, but it is time to revisit! I will show you how to add Vertical Buttons to a Power Virtual Agents question. I will use the new advanced authoring canvas to do so. As you may know, previously we had to use the Bot Framework Composer for this and export the dialog back to Power Virtual Agents. In fact, I describe this solution in my most popular blogpost of the last year.

The new authoring canvas now is in preview. The authoring experience is rebuilt from the ground up. Now we can use a lot of great new features in the authoring canvas directly such as: posting Adaptive Cards, adding rich media like images and videos and even use Power FX throughout! I am excited about this direction. And in my humble opinion, it stays easy to use despite all these new functionalities! Keep in mind all functionality is still in preview and should not be part of your production Bots yet.

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Complete a Dataverse Task by an Adaptive Card in Teams

In my previous blogpost we created tasks in Dataverse which we can interact with using the Model-Driven App. However, sometimes the user we assign a task to does not log in to our application as often as we would like. So, we need to bring them to attention a task is waiting for them. An excellent way to do this is by automatically sending them a chat message and posting an Adaptive Card! In this post I will go through the steps to set this up.

This will not be a crash course on all the ins and outs of every detail of Adaptive Cards. But more of an inspiration style post to get you started with your Adaptive Cards. I will however, show you how to set up the Cloud Flow to post this card to Teams. Including the ability to process a response from that Card.

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Set up Tasks for your Model-Driven Power App

In this blogpost I will start with the basics of “Task based work”. A task system that consists of a framework to add and coordinate tasks from a Model-Driven Power App. It is not very complex to begin with, but I will add more complex functionality to it as we go. This functionality heavily depends on the integration scenario we want to implement. In this post I have summed up a few possibilities.

Scenario

A quick reminder of what we are working on. The big theme of my blog currently is the “Case of the broken screen”. A lot of my blogpost are about this business problem. A loyal customer has dropped their new and expensive phone and his screen is cracked. It is up to us to resolve this incident to satisfactory of the customer. It’s time to send out a replacement screen!

The caveat though, is a different department handles shipping. Sending a handwritten note or an e-mail to that department might get the job done, but it will not create tangible data to work with. So now we want to set out tasks to the logistic department who are not using our application. We also want to be able to track those tasks, make sure they get done and keep our customer informed of the status. Eventually you would want automation in place to be notified at the right time.

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Utilizing the AAD User table in an Approval Flow

You might have seen the new AAD User table appear in your environment. This table is available to us for a couple of months now. And you might wonder what it is and how you can use it. In this blog I will explain you what it is and how you can use this table to your benefit.

The AAD User table lists all users in your Azure Active Directory. It does not show AAD Groups. Did you know that the data of this table does not reside in your dataverse storage? It is actually a Virtual Table! Virtual Tables are tables that do not reside inside Dataverse, but instead reference a table from a different storage mechanism. It is incredibly powerful as it does not require you to copy data from another system. You can find if a table is virtual by looking at the type column of the table overview. So why is this interesting and what can you do with it?

Shows the Power Apps solution explorer where the table overview is highlighted. In it we highlight the AAD User as this is of the type Virtual.
AAD User Virtual Table
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Set out Tasks in a Microsoft 365 and Power Platform World

This is the start of our next chapter in our Business Process Flow and asynchronous work journey. How can our team keep track of tasks we need a different department to execute? In this post I want to explore different architectural choices you can make and what considerations there are. This of course depends on a lot of variables and I will try to give you some points what to think about. In other words I try to explain my thoughts whenever I say “It depends” as an answer!

Shows a meme of a person tapping the side of his head. The text above sais: "It depends". The text below reads: "Yeah.. Now I Don't have to explain anything"

This blogpost is part of a series where I explore how to support Asynchronous Work with Business Process Flows. The Business Process Flow is an old tool in our toolbelt. But coupled with all modern Power Platform and Microsoft 365 Collaboration capabilities it helps keep track of processes. Now we are on the topic of setting out tasks and keeping track of them.

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Download Approval Flow Example Solution

On this page you can download an example of the Approval Flow inside a Business Process Flow. This advanced concept can help get those extra set of eyes to your record. For a write-up of what the solution does please refer to this post. I also go in-depth of the various steps to create this advanced concept in different blogposts.

In this post I also have written down what components are in the solution with a short description. You can download the solution and follow the installation steps below.

Approval Flow Example

Disclaimer: This solution is provided as is. It is not a production ready solution. It is only meant as inspiration how you can utilize Approval Flow inside a Business Process Flow. Only install this solution in develop or sandbox environments.

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Download Task Group Example Solution

On this page you can download an example of the Task Group concept. For a write-up of what Task Groups are please refer to this post. I also go in-depth of the various steps to create this concept in different blogposts.

To install this solution the Checkmark Control needs to be available in your environment. You can download the solution containing from my GitHub here.

Disclaimer: This solution is provided as is. It is not a production ready solution. It is only meant as inspiration how the concept “Task Group” can be used. Only install this solution in develop or sandbox environments.

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Top 8 picks for the Power Platform Release Wave 2

It is that time of the year again, the release wave is announced. Here we get a glimpse on what is on the backlog of the product teams. Of course everything on this list is subject to change and Microsoft reserves their major announcements for their big events. However it is still fun going through these items in bulk. So in this post I will give you my top 8 picks and interpretation for this release wave.

Shows the Modern Advanced Find
Modern Advanced Find

Now let me first start that my interpretation is not always the best! For release wave 1 I was skeptical how fast the Modern advanced find would reach the same features as the old advanced find. Boy was I wrong! Not only is it already a great modern update to the interface, it also has all the features you would want. Including the ability to download the FetchXML! It is time to tell your end-users about this as this will be turned on by default in October.

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Make a Flow required in your BPF Stage

It is good practice to make steps required in your Business Process Flow Stage. This will help guide the user what needs to be completed in the process before moving to the next stage. To add a requirement to a Power Automate Cloud Flow step however, is not as easy as it would seem! In this post I show you how you can make a Cloud Flow step required in a BPF stage.

Last time I promised this was the last blog in a series of posts about Approval Flows. However this is a hidden gem and after my research I want you all to know about this! If you want to know more about Approval Flows inside a BPF, you can check this overview. Subjects like writing result data back to Dataverse, adding a hyperlink to the Approval Flow for easy reference and automatically change the stage of the BPF based on the outcome.It also includes a sample solution with these examples for you to download and play around with!

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Automagically update the BPF Stage based on the Approval outcome

Wouldn’t it be cool if we can automatically change the Stage of the Business Process Flow once we get our Approval? It will be especially great if we can do so based on the Approval outcome! In this blogpost I will finish up my posts about Approvals by automatically changing the Business Process Flow to the next stage based on the outcome of the Approval.

This blog is part of a series about guiding users and teams through their work. This post is about Approval Flows inside Business Process Flows. Click here for an overview of all related post regarding Approvals inside your Business Process Flow. I also added a sample solution you can import in your own development environment so you can see the entire concept in action!

Keeping people in their flow of work by utilizing Asynchronous work or asynchronous processes is one of the key benefits for Business Process Flows. I have written down my thoughts on this subject here. Find out what asynchronous work is, how Business Process Flow can help and more advanced scenario’s.

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