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 one of these posts:

  1. Get Approval from inside your Business Process Flow
  2. Add Model App record link to an Approval Item Link
  3. Capture the Power Automate Approval result into Dataverse
  4. Automagically update the BPF Stage based on the Approval outcome
Continue Reading “Make a Flow required in your BPF Stage”

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. 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
  6. Capture the Power Automate Approval result into Dataverse
Continue Reading “Automagically update the BPF Stage based on the Approval outcome”

Capture the Power Automate Approval result into Dataverse

If you send out an Approval from within a model-driven App, you probably want to see the Approval Result in Dataverse. In this post we continue where we left off in our Approval from inside a Business Process Flow. Let me give you some background on the various Approval Flows and how they work. Including a tip on how to keep your Cloud Flows clean.

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
  6. Capture the Power Automate Approval result into Dataverse
Continue Reading “Capture the Power Automate Approval result into Dataverse”

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
  6. Capture the Power Automate Approval result into Dataverse
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
  6. Capture the Power Automate Approval result into Dataverse
Continue Reading “Get Approval from inside your 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
Continue Reading “My 7 Power Platform Picks for the wave 1 release plan”

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
Continue Reading “Extend Power Virtual Agent with vertical buttons and make this reusable”

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
Continue Reading “Desktop UI Flows – automate your legacy applications!”

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”

Synchronous and On-demand Flow inside Model Apps!

Let me first start of with wishing you all a happy new year. I hope you all had a lovely holiday season. I enjoyed a few days off and spent it with my family. On to the subject at hand, synchronous and On-demand Flow in Model Apps. As most of you know Microsoft prefers us using Power Automate Flow instead of Classic Workflow. However there are still some gaps in functionality between the two.

When developing solutions I follow Microsoft guidelines as much as possible. This ensures that the solution is durable and I create the least technical debt. With that in mind, I now keep away from Classic Workflow and use Flow whenever I can. Last few weeks I tried to fulfill business requirements within these restrictions.

Continue Reading “Synchronous and On-demand Flow inside Model Apps!”