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The 5 worst things about Power Automate
Part five of a six-part series of blogs
To try to show what developing Power Automate flows is like, we've created two blogs: one listing out its 5 best features, and one listing its 5 worst ones. This is the pessimistic one!
My experience of learning Power Automate was that nothing was ever quite as intuitive as you might reasonably expect it to be.
In fairness, this is partly because Power Automate allows you to programmatically interact with so many applications: to monitor channels in Teams you will need different skills than you will to add items to a SharePoint list, for example.
Here's just one example, which I think perfectly illustrates my point. Suppose that you want to run a search through emails in your Inbox. To do this, the first thing to do is to get them:
So far, so good - this is exactly the sort of thing I'd expect to do (although why lots of the actions come with version numbers baffles me a bit).
The problem is that - as so often in Power Automate - this doesn't bring back the full objects, but just pointers to where they are stored:
This is the information you get back for each email. The most important thing - as so often in Power Automate - is its unique id.
What you then have to do is to loop over the emails, getting the details for each:
Once you've got the email itself, rather than just a summary of it, you have access to all of its properties.
What doesn't help when doing things like this is that the order of items in dynamic content seems ... strange:
A typical example of strange ordering: I still can't work out the system used.
In its defence, I should say that Power Automate is pretty consistent: you often have to get at something in two stages, as above. This doesn't make this any more acceptable, though!
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