Assignment 1

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Microsoft Power Automate

Introduction

Power Automate is a service provided by Microsoft that can help one create automated workflows between Microsoft apps and services ,such as Outlook, Forms or Teams, to synchronize files, get notifications, collect data, and more.

Its use can thus result in a considerable gain of time and money when it comes to repetitive tasks, allowing for example simplified information processing procedures, which would take a considerable amount of time if one person had to do it.

How it works?

Power automate is not complicated to use once you understand a little bit how it works. The first thing to do is to find out about the purpose. What do you want to do? How can we achieve something effective? (Forms, Excel, E-mail, Teams, ...) Once you know the path your information is going to take, it is easier to create the flow efficiently.

At each step, you can add an action or a parallel branch, that's how your flow is created, in these actions you can then choose conditions, actions, triggers and a lot of different tools. When you fill in documents next to them, you can make your flow select the information (in the form of conditions for example) and this allows you to automate a whole system.

Then, you have to know that, visually, it looks like a tree diagram, in fact, unfortunately, each step on the same line is organised by the system at the same time (and yes, it thinks like a computer...).

For example: If some steps require conditions, you have to stay within the condition for the rest of the process. In fact, if we set a condition (for example, if it is positive, we send an email to Peter, if it is negative to Paul and then, only if it is positive, we share it on teams (so only if Peter has received an email, you see?), then the link to teams must be in the condition to be carried out as we want. If it's not, whatever happens to the condition, a message will be published on teams...

Once this example is understood, you can already do a lot with flows. For more specific details, you also need to do some research, for example on Youtube there are a lot of explanatory videos on power automate.

The major advantage of power automate is that it is very accessible and that it makes work easier at any level and for any type of task.

Tips & Tricks

  • You can copy-paste in Power automate. First you go to the action you want to copy and click on "Copy to my my clipboard". Next, you go to where you want the action pasted and click on "Add action". You will see "My clipboard". When you click on this you will see all your copied actions and you can select the one you want to paste.

  • Don't use "response" for a condition but use "outcome".
  • Retrieving an attachment from a form.

You can retrieve an attachment from a Microsoft Form using power automate. To do so, you have to parse the attachment using the following function:

{
   "type": "array",
   "items": {
       "type": "object",
       "properties": {
           "name": {
               "type": "string"
           },
           "link": {
               "type": "string"
           },
           "id": {
               "type": "string"
           },
           "type": {},
           "size": {
               "type": "integer"
           },
           "referenceId": {
               "type": "string"
           },
           "driveId": {
               "type": "string"
           },
           "status": {
               "type": "integer"
           },
           "uploadSessionUrl": {}
       },
       "required": [
           "name",
           "link",
           "id",
           "type",
           "size",
           "referenceId",
           "driveId",
           "status",
           "uploadSessionUrl"
       ]
   }
}

Where to go?

Main page Exercises - Next Session Assignment 2 tips