PL-200 Microsoft Power Platform Functional Consultant Topic: Power Automate
December 19, 2022

1. Welcome

Congratulations on completing the Powernap’s section of the course! Now you have completed database security and Power Apps. And now we’ll move on to the power automation section. Thank you.

2. Flows & BPF (Business Process Flow)

This lecture is an introduction to Power Automate Flows and includes some information about Business Process Flow, which is a type of flow. So let’s go back to the screen here. If you click on “Flows,” this will take you to Power Automate or Flows. And here, you can create different types of flows. So you can create a flow from a template; you can create an automatic cloud flow, an instant cloud flow, a scheduled cloud flow, a desktop flow, and a business process flow. You have these options here: cloud flows, desktop flows, business processes, or let’s look at them one by one. So first, there are automatic cloud flows.

Automatic cloud flows are triggered automatically. So, for example, when a new response is submitted on Microsoft forms, the instant cloud flow can be manually triggered. Scheduled cloud flows are scheduled; they can be triggered every five minutes or every day, or like that desktop flow you created using the desktop Power Automate app, then you have Business Process Flows. So business process flows are generally linked to a database table or entity. But you can create a business process flow without an entity called an immersive business process. Let’s go over the two types of flows we’ve seen so far: business process flows and power automated flows.

Now, business automation flows are linked to entities and have stages. So here the stages are like customer information, automobile information, whether the model is 1971 or older, and then collecting payment. Each stage now has data points associated with it. So for example, this stage has data points called “smoke pump intact,” “PVC value intact,” and like that. So business process flow is a visual guide because you can see it visually. These four stages are meant to help users complete a business process by using a set of predefined stages. While the Power Automate flow is nonvisual, you cannot see it visually. So it does not have any visual components like business process flow, and they can be configured to work with many different data sources; it can also connect to many different data sources; it can be configured to time out if it is not completed within a certain time; and you move between the steps based on data user interaction. Now. Flow supports complex logic and looping, and one power automate flow can call another as needed. So let’s look at one flow.

So you go to flows and business process flows. I have already created this flow, which is my first Power Automate flow, and what it will do is, if you go to tables, it creates a table automatically, and in the table, what I have done is added a column for entry date. Then, if you go to Flows as Business Process Flows, you can either run it or edit it. So let’s run it first. And here, by running it, I can add a row to this table. So we have this sample stage here. And I’ll name it, say, first run. And then at this stage, I have linked it to the entry date. The column that we just saw on the table, we’ll put a value on. Finish by clicking here. So this is done. Now we’ll activate it. Now this is activated, and we’ll do a save and close. So once we save and close, we’ll go to Data and see that our role is created here. If we click on Edit, it will take us to the Edit screen here. This is the stage. We can see the sample stage here, and after we’ve edited it, we can add data. step and we’ve added a data step and linked it to the entry date, then you can go to solutions and go to the default solution, and once inside the default solution, you can search for so it creates a solution for my first power automate PPF. We have seen this now; there are different ways in which you create a business process flow or a power automation flow.

So you use a business process. Flow: If you want to create an automatic business process with Dynamics 365 solutions, create a visual guide to help users complete a process. Use out-of-the-box business process flows, and you have Dynamics 365 lessons along with data wars. And the data for the business process flow is stored within the data warehouses that we just saw; it is stored within the table. And you use PowerShell to automate flows, like if you want to schedule a workflow to start. based on a predefined time, such as after eight minutes, hours, or days. want to trigger flow based on data outside of data warehouses. So BPF is data within a database, and this is not related to data wars. do not want to store. Data that is captured in flow is recorded in the data verse. Want to push notifications outside of Outlook and want to use and create workflows with only an Office 365 subscription? So you want to use regular Power automates, which you want. to store data from outside sources. So let us look at all the screenshots here. This is an automated cloud flow, an instant cloud flow, a scheduled cloud flow, a desktop flow, and a business process flow.

We have seen this. And these are the screenshots of what we just saw: this is creating a BPF, then we created it, gave it a name, and used it because we are not linking it to any entities, and it was created here, which we can edit, and we added a data step. These are the data fields. We can select the data here. We are adding a data step. Then we’ll update it and save it. And this is the classic view. So you can also go to the classic view of power automation. So let us say that if you go here, you can also look at the details. Then on the tables. You can also see it in the tables. And you can add a column here. So we added a column for entry date, which we just saw, and we ran our flight, looked at the data, which is what created it, and also went to the default solution and looked at our BPF, and inside the BPF we’ll see entry date. So if you go to solutions, and if we go inside our solution, we should be able to see and treat it. So while it loads up, it will show us the entry date. Here it takes us to the edit flow, but you can go to the table and look at the entry rate. So we looked at flows and an example of a BPF. Thank you.

3. Flows & BPF (Business Process Flow) Part 2

So I wanted to show you this under solutions. If you go to the default solution and look for the first power automate BPF, you will see only one type of process and table. And if you go to table type, then you will see a column for entry date, which we have created. So there are columns here, as well as a column for the entry date. Thank you. Bye.

4. Flows BPF – Dataverse Table

So, in this section, we’ll discuss business process flows and where the data and configuration for these processes are stored. So if I come here, what happens when you create a business process flow? It creates a table with the same name and different columns to save various information about the BPF. And each time you run it, the data is stored as a new row here. When you create a BPF, a table is created with the same name. It’s a custom table, and you have all these columns in that table to store various attributes of the BPF or runs of the BPF. And if you go to the “Data” section, you will see all the data for different runs stored in the data. So that’s all. Thank you.

5. Create Flow & Branching

In this lecture, we will write a PowerShell script that will send an email whenever a new record is added to a database. and we’ll talk about branching. First, we’ll create an instant flow, which will send out an email whenever a record is created in the table. So this is our power app. So, if you go to flows and create an instant flow, we will examine the entire process. There is a lot of new flow and instant cloud flow. Here, we’ll skip this part.

And the first step is to see if we have created a new recording. Microsoft data was tabled. So a row is added, modified, or deleted. So we’ll say “create.” Here, we have to choose a table. So we’ll look at my flow. My first power automate, BF, and SCOK will be placed. So in this case, we’ll send out an email. So in email, we’ll say, “Create a new email, send out an email here, and we can fill in all the information like “This is my email ID,” and then a subject card is created.” And we can include the entity’s name in the email body. We can also include the entry date. Remember we created an entry date column for my first PPF? So that is showing up here. So once we run this, we will be able to see an email. so we can save it. And after saving, when we test it, it will run this flow. So we have to test it, and it runs automatically, actually. So what we’ll do is go to our data, go to our table, and add a row here. So this is my lecture run. I’ll save it, enter a date of May 26 as the entry date, and call it a day. Now I’ll activate it. So once I activate it or it is created, So I go back to my power apps and refresh the data. See the status being created.

Now if I go back to my flows, this is the flow I created. So let me look at the run history. It ran. So I can also click on those details. And I can look at both steps. So both steps are running successfully. Aurora was created, and then an email was sent. So, as you can see in the body, my lecture on name has arrived. email will look similar to this. It will come from Microsoft. PowerApps. Power. Automate. And this is the body. And then you have an unsubscribe option. So we created an instant power flow. And this is a sample letter that we received. Now let’s talk about branching. What we did earlier in branching was create a BPF. But it was straightforward. But we can add a condition. And we can have different BPF flows depending on the condition. So let’s look at it. Look at me. So this is the BPF. Let me change it to add a branch to it. So in branching, we’ll put a condition, and based on the condition, we’ll have a different BPF flow. So this is my existing BPF. Let me put a condition here and name it my condition. Now, if it is true, this is my true case, and if it is false, this is my false case.

Only when I apply will it come here, and then this is maybe my closing state, and what I will also do is select this stage and connect these two stages. So these two stages are connected now, so this is my branching. So we have created a branch based on the condition. This slide talks about immersive flow. So we talked about immersive flow. What we do in immersive flow is you go to my flows, and I create a BPF. Now in BPF, if I don’t select an entity, it’s an immersive business process. So it’s not like linking to a database table creates a new table on its own. So business process flows are available in two different variations: within a model-driven app and as a stand-alone solution called immersive business process flow. So the key difference between immersive and embedded business process flow is that an embedded business process flow is a component within a large, model-driven app, while immersive business process flow is standalone.

So when we created an immersive business process flow, we saw that it is standalone and does not need anything other thing.Now, here is a lab for you. You have the ability to design your own immersive business process flow. In our previous lecture in the lab, we saw how to create one. So the flow can be called “customer check-in,” and it can have two stages: one for customer information and one for automobile information. Customer information can have fields like entry date, first name, last name, address, city, state, postal code, phone numbers, and comments, while automobile information can have information like automobile make, automobile model, automobile year, automobile mileage, and comments. And then once you create it, you update it and run it, and you will see that a row is created in the table. This talkSPORT branching, which we just saw, So a process can have a maximum of five unique entities or tables. In the example we just saw, we just had one table, but we can have up to five tables in a single BPF. You can have a maximum of 30 stages per process.

So in that, we created around four stages, but you can have a maximum of 30 stages and a maximum of 30 data steps per stage. So we created only one data step for entry, but we can have 30 steps per stage. Each branch can be no more than five levels deep. We created just one level of branches, but you can have branches up to five levels. You can combine multiple conditions in a rule using an or operator, but not both. When defining a process flow, you can frequently choose an entity relationship that must be one to many. So, if you choose up to five entities and a source, these entities can be linked together using a one-to-many relationship. More than one active process can be run concurrently on the same data record. And when branches are merged, either all peer branches must be merged into a single stage, which we did, or each peer branch must end the process. You cannot do both. So that is all in this lecture about creating a flow to send an email and branching. Thank you.

6. Expressions & WorkFlows

In this lecture, we’ll talk about expressions. Expressions are basically formulas; they can be mathematical formulas, string formulas, or any other functions to manipulate data. So we’ll talk about various expressions and create a sample of our automated flow using expressions. So let us give an example first. Now this is the flow that we created earlier. An email is sent whenever a row is added, modified, or deleted from the database. Now let’s create another one. We create instant cloud flow; it says it calculates flow, and we trigger it manually.

So this is our flow. On both types, we’ll have two inputs: one is the lower area, and the other is now that we’ll add formulas. So formulas are used, we have to search for compose, and this is a data operation. In this first step, we’ll multiply the floor area by the cost to get the total cost. So we’ll have an expression, and that expression will be multiplied. So we’ll multiply, switch to dynamic, and multiply cost by floor area. This is our multiply. Then we’ll format it. So, during the operation, we’ll look for composition. And here what we’ll do is go to expressions, and we’ll say format. So the format function is to format a number. Again, we’ll go to dynamic content and use the input/output from the previous function to format it. And this completes our flow. Now we’ll save the flow before running it through flow checker and testing. A flow checker will check overflow, and testing will run tests and run overflow so there are no errors. Let me run it; I will run it manually. The last one was triggered whenever a row was created.

So let me enter 10 and 10 here and run a flow. So while it has run successfully, I can go to the flow runs page and click “done.” So this ran successfully. I can see all of the things I’ve successfully run by clicking on this. This is your input. And then here I multiply the two by ingot100, and then I format it as a currency. So, expressions allow you to do things like convert a date to UTC, divide two numbers, add numbers, and concatenate different strings to create a perfect string. And function names are not quite sensitive, and complex expressions are when you combine more than one function to get your desired result. Now that there are various types of expressions, we’ll talk about them. One is the string function. They can be used to combine strings. And we use this function to format the number. It converts a number to a string and makes a string look like a currency. So $12.5 becomes $12.50.

Now, collection functions work on multiple data items. So for example, length will give you the length of the string passed to it. And the output here will be 22. Then there are logic functions where you can say greater-than, less-than, equal-to, and not-equal-to. So if we use greater than here, we get here. The result will be yes because twelve is greater than ten. So it will select the first value, which is yes; otherwise, it will select the second value. Then conversion functions are functions that convert from one data type to another. For example, date to string number, two strings to string number, and things like that. So first one converts a string to an integer,  next one converts a string to a float, and then we are using greater functions and using conversions. Then mathematical functions will do everything like add, minus, subtract, multiply, and things like that. So you have an example of an add function here. Then we have date and time functions. Now this function will convert the date to a particular format.

So UTC will now pick up the current date. It will convert into an EST format. Then reference functions, referencing outputs from previous steps. In our lab, we used this method. Workflow functions like this one will run a workflow. So run the workflow. Then Uri parsing functions will extract some information from a URL. For example, this one will return the query string, and the query string here is questionmark test, which is equal to yes. And then manipulation functions are typically used in JSON or XML node evaluations. So for example, this function will look for “power automation” or “power apps” in the XML or JSON. So it finds the first nominal value from a specified set of values. This is the example that we saw. We created a flow and then manually triggered it; we gave it two parameters and, in the first step, multiplied them; in the second step, we formed it. So we first multiplied the two inputs from that trigger, which gave us the correct number, and then in the second step we converted it into a currency.

This is the outcome of the run. The first is simply a multiplication, and the second is a formatted value. Now that we have talked about functions, we’ll talk about global workflow. So, we must drag the workflow component to a specific stage if we want the workflow to be triggered when the process enters or exits that stage. So whenever we go to flows and we edit the flow using BPF, we have an option to have workflows there. So we’ll look at our BPF, and I’ll show you that it shows an option for workflows. So we have a global workflow here, and we can create a workflow and associate it with a specific stage as well. Now suppose you associate a workflow with a specific stage. At this point, it is. So drag the workflow component to a specific stage. If the workflow component is to be used when the process enters or exits that stage, it must be placed on the same primary entity as the stage. And then we can drag the workflow component into the global workflow if the workflow should be triggered when the process is activated or archived. So if it is not linked to a specific stage, then it will be triggered when the process is activated or archived. And again, the workflow component must be based on the same primary entity as the process. Now these are the stages. So if we go back, these are the stages. This is the stage.

Now, each stage has these parameters. So one is the stage name, where you can change the name of the stage entity in the table linked to that stage. So you create a workflow for a specific table, and the first stage is linked to that table only. A different table is only possible after the next stage. Then you have stage categories. So suppose you issue something. For each stage, you can select which category it belongs to: qualify, develop, purpose, close, identify, research, and all approval. Now, you can always add,  modify, or delete these categories. But it is recommended not to delete these default categories. As a result, categories allow you to group stages. It is useful for reports, and you can add more options to this global option set and change the labels of existing options. You can also delete, but it is not recommended. Then you can enter a relationship when a preceding stage in the process is based on a different entity. Assume the next stage is linked to a different table. Then you can establish a relationship between the first table and the second table. And attribute maps are often defined for relationships. These attribute maps automatically carry over data between records. Therefore, they help minimise the amount of data entry that is required. So that is all for this lecture. We talked about expressions and workflows here. Thank you.

7. Classic WorkFlows

We’ll talk about classic workflows in the structure. So this is a screen shot of a classic workflow. So what you can do is here you can configure when it is available to run, whether this workflow is run in the background, which is recommended, or it is an on-demand process, or it can be run as a child process. When will this workflow be finished? And it is based on an entity, so it will start when maybe a new row is created, the status changes, the row is assigned, some of the columns or fields change on the row, and a row is deleted. So whenever this workflow starts, it will perform these actions. So it might apply a 10% discount and update a particular column. It might apply a 5% discount and update a particular column. So these are the various properties of a classic workflow: when it is triggered, if it is a background process, or if it is an on-demand process. Thank you.

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