Setting Lookup in a Flow CDS Connector: Classic vs. Current Environment connector | Power Automate Quick Tip

Both the CDS and CDS Current Environment connector are similar yet different in the way how they accept Lookup values set in their Update a record steps.

Here’s a quick tip!!

Scenario

Taking a simple example of setting Primary Contact Lookup on Account.

We’ll do the same thing using both the connectors mentioned below.

Common Data Service connector

Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector

Common Data Service Connector

Let’s start with using the classic Connector first –

  1. As mentioned in the Scenario above, let’s first try to use a class Common Data Service connector. Here’s how you identify the same.

  2. Now, whenever you have to set the Lookup value in the classic connector’s Update a record action, you can simply tag the Primary Key as is on the field in the connector step as shown below.


    And lookup can be tagged very easily.

Common Data Service (Current Environment) Connector

  1. Let’s do it with the new Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector. This is a much simpler way to tag a Lookup. Now, the new CDS Current Environment connector can be identified as below.

  2. In order to set Lookup, you’ll need to patch is in the below way
    pluralNameOfTheEntity([PrimaryKey])

  3. Here’s how my friend Linn Zaw Winn’s post explains in details of why we have to choose the plural name and exactly where you can get it from – http://linnzawwin.blogspot.com/2019/11/power-automate-how-to-set-lookup-field.html

Hope this was useful. Here are some more Power Automate / CDS posts which you might want to check out –

  1. Using outputs() function and JSON Parse to read data from missing dynamic value in a Flow | Power Automate
  2. Adaptive Cards for Outlook Actionable Messages using Power Automate | Power Platform
  3. Make On-Demand Flow to show up in Dynamics 365 | Power Automate
  4. Task Completion reminder using Flow Bot in Microsoft Teams | Power Automate
  5. Run As context in CDS (Current Environment) Flow Trigger | Power Automate
  6. BPF Flow Step as a Trigger in CDS (Current Environment) connector | Power Automate
  7. Accept HTTP Requests in a Flow and send Response back | Power Automate
  8. Call HTTP Request from a Canvas Power App using Flow and get back Response | Power Automate
  9. Setting Retry Policy for an HTTP request in a Flow | Power Automate
  10. Adaptive Cards for Outlook Actionable Messages using Power Automate | Power Platform

Thank you!!

Make On-Demand Flow to show up in Dynamics 365 | Power Automate

Here’s a Flow trigger that you can make to appear on-demand in Dynamics 365 views. What makes a Flow appear on a certain entity?

Like this –

Common Data Service connector (Not Current Environment version)

If you’re familiar by now with Common Data Service Connectors, there are 2 of them. 1. Common Data Service, 2. Common Data Service (Current Environment).

  1. Here, you’ll have to use the 1st one i.e. Common Data Service connector. If you type Common Data Service in triggers, both will appear but you have to hover on these and make sure you don’t select the one with Current Environment written on it.

  2. Once you select this, you can select this trigger in order to make it on demand in Dynamics 365.

  3. Now, it appears like any other Flow trigger. Optionally, you can add some inputs in case you want to.
    In my example, I’m taking in a field value called as “Common Comments” and will just update the Description field of the selected Accounts for simplicity of this example.

    Because I want it on Accounts entity views, I’ll select entity Account.


  4. Now, my Flow looks like this. That’s it.


  5. To keep things simple, I’ll just update the record with whatever I put in the Common Comments Input variable in my Flow trigger.

    Now let’s see it work.

On-Demand Flow

Now, in Dynamics 365, I’ll navigate to Accounts entity and select a few records.

  1. Once I select a few records and check the Flows dropdown from the ribbon menu –



  2. If I run this flow, I’ll get option to put my Input parameters as I have declared above.

  3. Since I had selected 2 records, there’ll be two separate instances (Flow Runs) triggered for this Flow

  4. And I can see the values updated in the records. (Checking using Advanced Find)

    That’s it!!

Hope this was useful.

Here are some more Power Automate / Flow posts you might want to look at-

  1. Run As context in CDS (Current Environment) Flow Trigger | Power Automate
  2. Secure Input/Output in Power Automate Run History
  3. Task Completion reminder using Flow Bot in Microsoft Teams | Power Automate
  4. Using triggerBody() / triggerOutput() to read CDS trigger metadata attributes in a Flow | Power Automate
  5. Call HTTP Request from a Canvas Power App using Flow and get back Response | Power Automate
  6. Send a Power App Push Notification using Flow to open a record in Canvas App | Power Automate
  7. Accept HTTP Requests in a Flow and send Response back | Power Automate
  8. Terminate a Flow with Failed/Cancelled status | Power Automate
  9. Pause a Flow using Delay and Delay Until | Power Automate
  10. Generate Dynamics 365 record link in a Flow using CDS connector | Power Automate

Thank you!!

Run As context in CDS (Current Environment) Flow Trigger | Power Automate

In a CDS (Current Environment), you have to option to Run the Flow under a context of a certain user. And there are a few options from which you can select from – Process Owner, Record Owner & Triggering User

Here’s my Flow in which the trigger is the CDS (Current Environment) connector. Show advanced options and you’ll see that there’s a field call as Run As


Which has the following 3 Options as I mentioned above –

Let’s look at each one of these.

Scenario

To demonstrate Run As, my Flow is triggering on the Update of the Account record, an attribute in the CDS (Current Environment) connector called as RunAsSystemUserId provides the GUID of the System User used in the connector’s Run As field.

You can use triggerOutputs() function to get this GUID from the Trigger Outputs and use it to fetch the System User record. To see how triggerOutputs/triggerBody() works, check this post – Using triggerBody() / triggerOutput() to read CDS trigger metadata attributes in a Flow | Power Automate

Process Owner

As suggested, Flow Owner meaning the one who Owns the Flow

  1. If I select as Process Owner, no matter who triggers the Flow or who is the Owner of the record, the Run As user will be the one who Owns the Flow.


    The record could belong to one owner and the other owner might modify it as shown below –



    But the Flow will Run As the Owner of the Flow as suggested.




    Multiple Owners?
    In my test, I believe the one who created the Flow becomes the first Owner and hence, is what it appears in Run As

Record Owner

  1. Easily, the record Owner in Dynamics 365 is the Owner of the record, so no matter who triggered the Flow or who the Flow owner is, the Record Owner will be the Run As user.

  2. In this example, Priyesh Wagh is modifying the record Owner by Kuldeep Gupta, the Flow Run As will show as Kuldeep Gupta

Triggering User [Also Default]

  1. If the Run As is set to Triggering User, whoever caused the Flow to Run is the Run As context user.


    Let’s say Kuldeep Gupta is a user is modifying a record Owned by SYSTEM, the Run As user is Kuldeep Gupta.




  2. Now, if there’s no Run As selected or even if there are multiple Owners to the same Flow, the one who causes the Flow to run, is the context user of the Flow.


    Let’s say Priyesh Wagh modified this record owned by SYSTEM, the Flow will Run As Priyesh Wagh


Hope this helps!!

Here are some more Power Automate related posts you might want to look at –

  1. Task Completion reminder using Flow Bot in Microsoft Teams | Power Automate
  2. Call HTTP Request from a Canvas Power App using Flow and get back Response | Power Automate
  3. Send a Power App Push Notification using Flow to open a record in Canvas App | Power Automate
  4. Accept HTTP Requests in a Flow and send Response back | Power Automate
  5. Terminate a Flow with Failed/Cancelled status | Power Automate
  6. ChildFlowUnsupportedForInvokerConnections error while using Child Flows [SOLVED] | Power Automate
  7. BPF Flow Step as a Trigger in CDS (Current Environment) connector | Power Automate
  8. Pause a Flow using Delay and Delay Until | Power Automate
  9. Generate Dynamics 365 record link in a Flow using CDS connector | Power Automate
  10. Setting Retry Policy for an HTTP request in a Flow | Power Automate
  11. Text Functions in a Flow | Power Automate
  12. Using Parse JSON to read individual List Records in Flow|Power Automate

Thank you!!

Implement real-time search in Gallery of CDS records in a Canvas Power App | Power Platform

One of the most common asks is to be able to search CDS records in a Gallery control in real-time using a Text-box.

Search Box & Gallery connected to CDS

Let’s design a simple gallery that is populated with CDS records from Account entity.

  1. Take a Text Input control (Textbox) and make it look like a Search Box.

    In order to have the Search watermark, write the text to appear as water-mark, enter it in Hint text property of the Text input


  2. Take a Gallery control and select Data Source as Accounts from CDS.


    The way the above shown Gallery control is populated is by selecting a CDS Data Source which is as below –

Filter records

Finally, there’s a 1-line formula that will do the trick for you

  1. In the Items property of the CDS Gallery, I have to filter the records based on the Text of the Text Input on my form.


    Marked by green arrow Filter() function is the one which handles filtering of the data set based on the parameters demanded by the method. Here’s Microsoft Docs on the same – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/canvas-apps/functions/function-filter-lookup

    Underlined by red Accounts is the CDS data source which I want to filter on.

    StartsWith() is a method which is used to compare the start of the string in question. In this case, the text I enter in the SearchField textbox.

    1. ‘Account Name’ is the field in the Accounts dataset to be considered on which the search parameter is dependent.
    2. Underlined by purple SearchField.Text in which SearchField is the textbox which is used to query the Name of the Account and .Text is Text value of the string which will be considered.

    So at all times, whenever there’s a change in the Textbox value, the Items of the Gallery control are supposed to be updated with the filtered records.

Working

Now, when you use the App, here’s what it will behave like. As you type, the records will filter with a certain delay (depending on how large your dataset is)

Hope this was useful!!

Here are some more Canvas Power Apps posts you might want to check –

  1. https://d365demystified.com/2020/08/31/log-canvas-power-app-telemetry-data-in-azure-application-insights-power-apps/
  2. https://d365demystified.com/2020/08/25/call-http-request-from-a-canvas-power-app-using-flow-and-get-back-response-power-automate/
  3. https://d365demystified.com/2020/08/16/send-a-power-app-push-notification-using-flow-to-open-a-record-in-canvas-app-power-automate/
  4. https://d365demystified.com/2020/08/07/recover-deleted-d365-powerapp-environment-using-powershell/
  5. https://d365demystified.com/2020/08/07/recover-deleted-d365-powerapp-environment-using-powershell/

Thanks!

Count of total CDS records returned in a Canvas Power App connection [Quick Tip]

Like in Dynamics 365, you see a total number of records under a view. And you want similar in a Canvas PowerApp too.
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Here’s a simple tip to do so –

CountRows() method

It’s pretty simple. Using CountRows(source) method, you can get the count of records in the Source. In this case, it’s the CDS entity Accounts.
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To flourish how I display the count, I use the Concatenate() method and then use CountRows() inside it first show the text and then the actual count.

Please note that this goes without filtering out any criteria and straight count of how many records the connection has. Your gallery could use more filtering to display lesser records if specified that way.

Handle Delegation

However, you need to handle a few things if you’re aware that your dataset is large.

Using this formula will give a warning:
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And the general help offered is this –
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Refer this article to understand more: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/powerapps-data-row-limit-for-non-delegable-queries/

Hope this quick tip helps!

Here are some more Canvas PowerApp / Power Automate posts you might want to look at –

  1. Dependent OptionSets in a Canvas Power App for 1:N related CDS entities | Power Platform
  2. Restore older version of a Canvas Power App | Power Platform
  3. Implement character length validation in a Canvas Power App | Power Platform
  4. Logged In User details in a Canvas Power App
  5. Implementing Exit app, Logout and Confirm Exit features in a Canvas Power App
  6. Variables in Canvas Power Apps | Global and Context
  7. Get N:N records in a Canvas Power App using Common Data Service connector | Power Platform
  8. Get Count of records retrieved in CDS connector in a Flow | Power Automate

Thank you!

BPF Flow Step as a Trigger in CDS (Current Environment) connector | Power Automate

Here’s an update to the Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector in Power Automate

Remember, this is available only in Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector i.e. you’ll need to create you Flow inside a Solution in Power Automate
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Flow Step

Now, you can call your Flow from a Business Process Flow, which existed for some time. But now, it’s available as a trigger in the Common Data Service (Current Environment)
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Flow & BPF Setup

  1. Now, my Flow is kept simple to illustrate what has been triggered. The first step simple is run When a flow step is executed.
    It starts with a simple Instant Flow like template if you want to have an additional input
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    And then you can use these in the context further. But I’ll keep it simple assuming you are familiar with trigger inputs.
  2. Then, you get the details that you can use from the trigger.
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  3. And I’m simply passing on the values over to an email so that I can read it. You application could be anything. Typically, it could be a complex business process in a Flow to trigger when a Flow Step is triggered.
    undefined
  4. Now, in my Business Process Flow Step, I’ve added a Flow Step (Preview), mind that this is still in Preview as of writing this post.
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  5. And select the Flow I’ve intended for this.
    undefined

Running the Flow

Now, here’s how it goes –

  1. I’ve called the Flow from the Flow Step
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  2. It’ll ask for confirmation of the Flow in a window
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  3. Once all the permissions are set, depending on what’s needed in the Flow, you’ll be asked for a confirmation
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  4. Once completed, you can check in Flow Runs about what happened to the execution of the Flow
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Results

So here are some results I composed from the data of the BPF itself-
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And that’s it!

Here are some more Power Automate / Flow posts you might want to look at:

  1. Pause a Flow using Delay and Delay Until | Power Automate
  2. Generate Dynamics 365 record link in a Flow using CDS connector | Power Automate
  3. Text Functions in a Flow | Power Automate
  4. Loop through array of objects in a Flow & Create records in CDS | Power Automate
  5. Get Count of records retrieved in CDS connector in a Flow | Power Automate
  6. Number Formatting in a Flow | Power Automate
  7. Call a Dynamics 365 Action from Flow [Bound and Unbound Actions] | Power Automate
  8. Switch-Case in a Flow | Power Automate
  9. Setting Retry Policy for an HTTP request in a Flow | Power Automate
  10. Make HTTP request from Flow in Power Automate

Hope this helps!!

Generate Dynamics 365 record link in a Flow using CDS connector | Power Automate

There are several ways to formulate a Dynamics 365 record URL and make it clickable in a Flow in Power Automate.

Here’s one of the ways I follow for most scenarios – Let’s say I want to open a PSA Time Entry record from my Flow, here’s how I do it

Get record action to retrieve URL

Since this post is focused on CDS connector, I can get the D365 record link in body of Get record action for Common Data Service connector.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see this if the trigger was a CDS action, so I made a separate Get record call.
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But, we’ll retrieve the same without having to select/parse body object. So let’s see –

Generating Link

First, I’ve initialized a variable that’ll hold the String format of the end URL
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Now, first – I’ve appended https://. This won’t come directly using the uriHost() method

Then, the uriHost() holds the formula ‘uriHost(body(‘Get_record’)?[‘@odata.id’])

Meaning, get the uriHost name i.e. Environment name itself.
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Then, I’ve appended options for the window to open which are mentioned below in this post.

Finally, I’ve appended the Primary Key of the record itself at the end
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Options

Now, let’s talk about the options –

  1. cmdBar = [true | false]
    It’ll show the ribbon on the record. If false is chosen, it’ll be hidden
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  2. navBar = [off | on]
    It’ll show the Navigation Bar on top if on. If off, it’ll be hidden
    undefined
  3. newWindow=[true | false]
    This didn’t affect in my case. It anyway opened in a new tab. This could be different is the link is not opened from Email but is used elsewhere
    undefined
  4. pagetype=entityrecord
    Since we are targeting a Dynamics 365 entity record, the above is used.
    undefined
  5. etn= [name of the entity]
    Name of the entity
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  6. id
    GUID of the record itself.
    undefined

Here’s an Email that I composed to show how the URL will end up looking –
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Which will result in Email like this

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And open the record like this.
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As per my settings in the URL I created, I don’t have the Nav Bar or Command Bar visible. It’s up to you to decide your preference

Here are some more Power Automate / Flow content you might want to check –

  1. Text Functions in a Flow | Power Automate
  2. Loop through array of objects in a Flow & Create records in CDS | Power Automate
  3. Get Count of records retrieved in CDS connector in a Flow | Power Automate
  4. Number Formatting in a Flow | Power Automate
  5. Call a Dynamics 365 Action from Flow [Bound and Unbound Actions] | Power Automate
  6. Make HTTP request from Flow in Power Automate
  7. Switch-Case in a Flow | Power Automate
  8. Setting Retry Policy for an HTTP request in a Flow | Power Automate

Hope this helps!!

Loop through array of objects in a Flow & Create records in CDS | Power Automate

One of the most common scenarios that are looked out for are ways to loop through an array of objects received (say, from HTTP response) and create CDS records

Sample Data

Let’s say this is the sample data coming in which is an array of objects. This is coming from my HTTP trigger which I created and hosted. It could be anything else in your case
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And the body looks something like this –

[{"Name":"FreshBeans Coffee","City":"Mumbai","Phone":999999999},{"Name":"Timber Mart","City":"Pune","Phone":999999999}]

Generate Schema from Payload

I need to first create the Schema to be able to easily read from the JSON response
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Paste a sample Payload in the dialog box
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And it will generate a Schema
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And when this is generated, you can access the attributes further in your Flow
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What if you just enter a blank object and not generate from Schema or enter Schema explicitly as shown below –
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You won’t get the attributes from the JSON Payload which is needed further
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Loop through array and Create in CDS

Now, you can use Apply To Each and pass the Parsed JSON Body. I’ve simply used Compose to see the entire Object while checking results (No other purpose of using Compose in this example)
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And then the next step is to Create CDS records from the looped Objects. So, since I have the schema generated above, I can use the attributes to directly map it to the CDS Create Record action

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Running the Flow

Finally, once I run the Flow and check the actions performed. I’ll create 2 records since there are 2 objects in my array.

I’ll see the Compose step to see what I got in the object. As I mentioned earlier, this is not required- I just intend to put it there to see what data came in
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And the Create Record in CDS step will create record in my Dynamics 365 environment as I intended it to do –
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I can check the same in Dynamics 365
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You might also want to check other posts related to Power Automate –

  1. Get Count of records retrieved in CDS connector in a Flow | Power Automate
  2. Number Formatting in a Flow | Power Automate
  3. Call a Dynamics 365 Action from Flow [Bound and Unbound Actions] | Power Automate
  4. Switch-Case in a Flow | Power Automate
  5. Setting Retry Policy for an HTTP request in a Flow | Power Automate
  6. Make HTTP request from Flow in Power Automate
  7. Button Flow in Power Automate to replicate a Quick Create Form in D365 CE
  8. Enable Flow button on D365 Ribbon

Hope this was easy!

Call a Dynamics 365 Action from Flow [Bound and Unbound Actions] | Power Automate

Ever wondered how to call an Action from a Flow using the new Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector? There are 2 actions to perform this –

Here’s a quick post to demonstrate that and the difference between Perform a bound action and Perform an unbound action in the CDS (Current Environment) connector.

Note that the connector used here is Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector which is available only if you are creating a Flow inside a Solution, not outside.
currentEnv
Check more on this connector here – Selecting (Current) in Environment in Power Automate CDS connector and why it matters

 

Unbound Action

Bound Action meaning calling an Action in Dynamics 365 that is bound to any one entity i.e. which is not a Global Action
BoundAction

  1. In this example. I’m creating a Flow that will call a Bound Action which runs on Account entity.
    insideBoundAction_Body
  2. And the InputName field shown above will simply take a string field and reflect the same as it is in Output
  3. Now, I am using Perform a bound action Action from the Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector as shown below-
    selectBount
  4. Once you select Perform a bound action, you’ll need to select what entity the Action is tied to with the following properties –
    Entity Name: Name of the entity the Action is bound to
    Action Name: Name of the action (not Display Name)
    Item ID: Guid of the record of that entity. Typically this is dynamically retrieved from other operations above this step (I’ve simply hard-coded one)
    Parameters: In my example, I’m passing a parameter called ‘InputName’ and I’m passing a string called “Account Name”
    boundBody
  5. Operation-Now, once my Bound Action is executed, I can see the below results which it will return i.e. OutputName field after composing with InputName inside the Action
    boundOutput
  6. Further, you can use the following Output from the Bound Action i.e. the Response or the Output parameters the Action is sending.
    showBoundResponse

Unbound Action

Unbound Action meaning calling an Action that is not bound to any entity in Dynamics 365 and is set to None (Global)
CreateUnboundAction

 

  1. In my Unbound Action, I am simply passing InputName through to the OutputName field as is.
    insideUnboundAction_Body
  2. Now, I’ll use Perform an unbound action from the Actions in Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector
    selectUnbound
  3. Once you select this action, you simply need to select the name of the Action from Dynamics 365 itself (Again, not Display Name) and pass along any Input parameters for the same, if any.
    unboundBody
  4. Operation – Now, once you execute this, the Action will execute and give you a response as below
    unboundOutput
  5. Further, you can select what you want to use from the response of the action step i.e. either the Response itself or the Output Parameters, if any.
    showUnboundResponse

 

Here are some other Power Automate / Flow posts that might interest you –

  1. Switch-Case in a Flow | Power Automate
  2. Enable Flow button on D365 Ribbon
  3. Secure Input/Output in Power Automate Run History
  4. Setting Retry Policy for an HTTP request in a Flow | Power Automate
  5. Using Parse JSON to read individual List Records in Flow|Power Automate
  6. Make HTTP request from Flow in Power Automate
  7. Retrieve only active Dynamics 365 CE licensed Users in CDS connector in Power Automate
  8. Create a To-Do List Item of Important Outlook Emails using Power Automate
  9. RSS notifications to your phone using Power Automate
  10. Selecting (Current) in Environment in Power Automate CDS connector and why it matters
  11. Button Flow in Power Automate to replicate a Quick Create Form in D365 CE
  12. Approval Process using Power Automate

Hope this simple example helps explain the actions!

Using Parse JSON to read individual List Records in Flow|Power Automate

This is a scenario I came across when I was using Common Data Service connector [not Common Data Service (Current Environment)] connector to read Opportunities tied to an Account.

Example

In this scenario, I wanted to retrieve the Opportunities tied to an Account. So, my filter query was _parentaccountid_value(‘ACCOUNT_IDENTIFIER’)

Here’s my Flow starts. I want to read Opportunities that are tied to my Account in context –

baseQuery

Flow Inside a solution vs. Outside a Solution

Inside a Solution

Now, when I had this Flow inside a solution, the result didn’t have a body and instead just gave me Status Reason value as below –

missingData

Outside a Solution

Whereas, outside the Solution, I was able to get the array of Objects i.e. Opportunity data in the Body in the Output itself.
outsideSolutionResult

So, what can we do about the Flow which is used inside a Solution and you want to actually see what was the output? You may or may not require to see the records (depending on your implementation)

But let’s say you want to see what was returned, let’s just parse these results as is using Parse JSON to see what we got.

Use Parse JSON from Data Operation

Another way to read what you’re retrieving is using Parse JSON Data Operation.

  1. Search Parse JSON and you’ll see the result in Data Operation type of Actions as shown below –useParseJSON
  2. Now, you have to apply this to Current item from the retrieved List records in Apply to each operation. In case you don’t have the schema or not sure what to put it in. Simply use {} in Schema field. This will just pass through as is.
    applyParseJSON

Checking Result

Now, let’s test using the above and see if we can get the results

  1. Now, you can actually see the Inputs and Output of Parse JSON which is basically the same. This is useful if you want to visually see what’s going on through your Flow.
    visibleResult

But, if you don’t want to see what’s being passed through when in Production? You can Secure Input/Output in Power Automate Run History

Hope this helps you!!