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5 best and 5 worst things about Power Automate Desktop
Part two of a four-part series of blogs
To help understand what software can do, it can be useful to look at its strengths and weaknesses - which is what this blog aims to do for Power Automate Desktop!
Here's my very personal take on the 5 things I live most about working with Power Automate Desktop (PAD).
It's scary what Power Automate can do! To give you a flavour, here's a small selection of the actions a PAD flow can run:
Some actions, to give you an idea of what's possible.
A good summary would be: if Windows can do it, so can Power Automate Desktop! Of course, with power comes responsibility ...
Writing programs couldn't be easier than this, surely? If you want to display a message box, for example, just search for the action:
You can search for any action that you want to perform.
You can then just drag this into your flow:
You can even just double-click on an action to add it.
It's then easy to fill in the parameters for whatever action you've chosen:
For a message box, for example, you just give your dialog box a title and say what the message should contain.
When you save your action, you can see it in your flow:
For each action you can see a description of what it does.
A caveat: when all is said and done you are writing a computer program containing if conditions, loops and error-handling, so you'll still need a logical mind.
Not only is it easy to write programs, it's also easy to read them, as this example shows:
You can read down any flow to get a good idea of what it's doing (this is particularly true if you add comments, as here).
How do you begin to automate everything that Windows dows? In Microsoft's case, they have divided all of the possible actions into categories:
The division of actions has been really well executed.
With each category, the actions are similarly well-thought-out:
The browser automation category of actions is one of the longest. To make the actions more readable they've been divided into sensible categories.
How can you automate the process of filling in a web form? With difficulty - and Microsoft should be commended for even trying to do this:
The UI element for the Google search box on my computer at the time of writing. How can you even begin to remember a selection like this?
It's impressive that Microsoft have been ambitious enough to try automating the process of filling in a web form: whether it's properly achievable is another question.
Those are my 5 favourite things about Power Automate; what are the 5 things I like least?
|Parts of this blog|
Some other pages relevant to the above blogs include:
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