Add Model App record link to an Approval Item Link

When you are deciding if you want to approve an action, you probably want more information then a description. Luckily we can add a link to our Approval request! This is a follow up on my previous post where I showed how to trigger an Approval inside a Business Process Flow. In this blogpost I will show you how to generate a link to the record we are working on.

This blog is part of a series about guiding users and teams through their work. I have previously blogged about replacing Process Dialogs with embedded canvas apps. We are now 2,5 years further so I would like to present my learnings. There are a ton of new features added to the platform which I would also like to explore. As I write more post on this subject I will add them to the list below.

  1. Task Groups help you guide work in Business Process Flow
  2. Set form fields required based on Business Process Flow Stage
  3. Prettify your Business Process Flow by adding a Code Component
  4. Get Approval from inside your Business Process Flow
  5. Add Model App record link to an Approval Item Link

Continue Reading “Add Model App record link to an Approval Item Link”

Get Approval from inside your Business Process Flow

For some time now we can call Power Automate Flows inside a Business Process Flow Stage. This is perfect for a lot of scenario’s. With this you can automate certain actions. For example we can connect to another system and update inventory. Or we can send e-mail follow-ups to other departments. Or, my favorite, we can start an Approval Flow! In this blog post I’ll share a few of my tricks.

This blog is part of a series about guiding users and teams through their work. I have previously blogged about replacing Process Dialogs with embedded canvas apps. We are now 2,5 years further so I would like to present my learnings. There are a ton of new features added to the platform which I would also like to explore. As I write more post on this subject I will add them to the list below.

  1. Task Groups help you guide work in Business Process Flow
  2. Set form fields required based on Business Process Flow Stage
  3. Prettify your Business Process Flow by adding a Code Component
  4. Get Approval from inside your Business Process Flow
  5. Add Model App record link to an Approval Item Link

Continue Reading “Get Approval from inside your Business Process Flow”

Prettify your BPF by adding a Code Component

The final part about “Task groups”, I promise! In this post I want to show you how to add Power Apps Component Framework (PCF) to a Business Process Flow field. This feature will finish my “Task Group” concept. The final step to guide our user to enter the correct task. Instead of showing a disabled “Yes / No” field inside we want to show a Checkmark Control. Adding a Code Component in BPF field is a feature that kind of flew under my radar and now it’s relatively easy to do so!

This blog is part of a series about guiding users and teams through their work. I have previously blogged about replacing Process Dialogs with embedded canvas apps. We are now 2,5 years further so I would like to present my learnings. There are a ton of new features added to the platform which I would also like to explore. As I write more post on this subject I will add them to the list below.

  1. Task Groups help you guide work in Business Process Flow
  2. Set form fields required based on Business Process Flow Stage
  3. Prettify your Business Process Flow by adding a Code Component
  4. Get Approval from inside your Business Process Flow
  5. Add Model App record link to an Approval Item Link

Continue Reading “Prettify your BPF by adding a Code Component”

Set form fields required based on Business Process Flow Stage

It is imperative to guide the user through each stage of a Business Process Flow. We can set a lot of fields to required in a business process flow stage. However this does not give the best User Experience. In my previous blog I showed how we could use “Task Groups” to keep the stage clean. But now we need to guide the user what fields are required exactly on the form for this stage. This is also possible using Business Rules. Let me show you how!

This blog is part of a series about guiding users and teams through their work. I have previously blogged about replacing Process Dialogs with embedded canvas apps. We are now 2,5 years further so I would like to present my learnings. There are a ton of new features added to the platform which I would also like to explore. As I write more post on this subject I will add them to the list below.

  1. Task Groups help you guide work in Business Process Flow
  2. Set form fields required based on Business Process Flow Stage
  3. Prettify your Business Process Flow by adding a Code Component
  4. Get Approval from inside your Business Process Flow
  5. Add Model App record link to an Approval Item Link

Continue Reading “Set form fields required based on Business Process Flow Stage”

Task Groups help you guide work in Business Process Flow

Supporting business users in their work is why I get up in the morning. And in my experience it’s absolutely vital for the adoption of your apps to guide your user. One of the most important tools inside our toolbox of the Power Platform to do so, is a Business Process Flow. On top of that I like to use a concept I called “Task Groups”

This blog is part of a series about guiding users and teams through their work. I have previously blogged about replacing Process Dialogs with embedded canvas apps. We are now 2,5 years further so I would like to present my learnings. There are a ton of new features added to the platform which I would also like to explore. As I write more post on this subject I will add them to the list below.

  1. Task Groups help you guide work in Business Process Flow
  2. Set form fields required based on Business Process Flow Stage
  3. Prettify your Business Process Flow by adding a Code Component
  4. Get Approval from inside your Business Process Flow
  5. Add Model App record link to an Approval Item Link

Continue Reading “Task Groups help you guide work in Business Process Flow”

My 7 Power Platform Picks for the wave 1 release plan

Twice a year the Power Platform team gives us insight on where they will focus on for the next 6 months. They do so in a so called release plan. This is not the same as release notes as on any given time these plans might change, post-pone or even scrapped altogether. So please always look at the actual release plan when you want to look at what’s coming!

In this post I give my 2 cents on features that caught my eye. These are not necessarily the most anticipated / shiny new feature. It might be the ones I have personally experienced as a pain point or have some more thoughts about.

a person holding a notebook
Photo by Mikael Blomkvist on Pexels.com
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Extend Power Virtual Agent with vertical buttons and make this reusable

Sometimes you just want something different then what is possible out of the box. We have a requirement where a client wanted the choices in Power Virtual Agent presented vertically instead of horizontally. Luckily we are working on a platform which helps us achieve such requests. We use the Bot Framework Composer to create a dialog. And with some engineering we can even make such a dialog reusable for the entire bot!

Shows the test window in Power Virtual Agent and how vertical buttons create a nicer user experience inside a chatbot dialog.
Vertical buttons make for a better user experience
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Power Platform at Microsoft Build 2020

The developer conference Microsoft Build was last week. This online only conference was a great success! The Power Platform even got a bigger stage then last year. And the story is similar as the one carried out by Scott Durow and Sara Lagerquist, #ProCodeNoCodeUnite

As I try to digest the news coming from Microsoft Build I will write down my thoughts. And let us start with the Rapid application development blogpost by Charles Lamanna. A write-up of all tools available in the Power Platform which lets you quickly build enterprise apps and automation. Not a lot of news per see, but it shows the focus the team has going into Build.

Rapid application development with the Power Platform
Rapid application development with the Power Platform

Describing the Power Platform as a rapid application development is something I’m used to since the XRM days. I have built a lot of solutions on Dynamics CRM which are not systems of engagement. But by using the tools available you could quickly build and add value.

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Desktop UI Flows – automate your legacy applications!

Following up on my previous blog about automating web apps with UI Flows, it’s time for legacy applications. I will show you how desktop UI Flows for windows applications can automate manual entries in legacy systems.

Imagine you are a call center agent and a new customer is calling to place an order. You enter their contact information and order details in your modern CRM system. However your organization still has a legacy order delivery system. Therefore you need to enter all information regarding their order again inside that application.

This can now be automated using Power Automate UI Flows! I record a UI Flow to enter contact information into this legacy system. A regular Flow inside a model-app starts the UI Flow. After the desktop UI Flow creates the contact in the legacy system a unique identifier is created. We grab the unique identifier of the just created contact. And as a result we can add this to our contact record in the Common Data Service. Let’s check out more details.

Scenaro description of the attended UI Flow automating legacy desktop application
Attended UI Flow scenario
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Automate web apps with UI Flows

So UI Flows for Power Automate is now general available! UI Flows is the new Robotic Processing Automation capability for Power Automate. For my talk on UI Flow during Dynamics Saturday Amsterdam I played around with the public preview. In this blog I will write about my experience automating a web app with UI Flows.

Let’s begin with a short explanation what Robotic Process Automation (or RPA) is and how it compares to Power Automate. The concept of RPA is around for some time now. RPA wants to automate user tasks just as Power Automate. However RPA does so by exactly mimicking the input done by the user. You record the mouse clicks and keyboard inputs and the robot replays those. While Power Automate is a Digital Process Automation tool who utilizes API’s wrapped in connectors to automate the tasks.

Power Automate bridges modern systems with legacy systems
Power Automate bridges modern systems with legacy systems

Microsoft bridges the gap between RPA and Power Automate with UI Flows. UI Flows are great for automating tasks on applications where there are no API’s available. So in my company we have one such application, we use it for our time registration. As a consultant I am scheduled to work for different customers. After my working week I register the time I worked for this customer. This is a mundane and simple task which I really want to automate.

Continue Reading “Automate web apps with UI Flows”