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The 5 worst things about Power Automate
Part four 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!
Although it's fallen at number 3 in my list, this is my biggest gripe about Power Automate, and the single thing which makes it hardest to learn.
Just one example will be enough to show the point. Below I'm running a simple flow to get the rows in an Excel table, and want to show the output from this action:
You can click on this link shown to see the rows produced.
Take a moment before reading on to imagine what you would expect to see when you click on this link.
Here's part of what you get:
Power Automate actions pass information between each other in JSON text format. You can usually ignore the header section, and want to pick out the body part.
If you want to get just the films (the rows in your table), you need to extract this information:
The first few films in the table.
The good news is that there's an easy way to get at data like this using dynamic content fields:
You can click on this dynamic content, for example, to show the rows of data.
Problem solved? More like problem postponed. Here's what this would create:
It all looks nice and easy so far ... !
And here's the rub - this is the expression underlying this:
The sad truth is that very early on in your Power Automate career you will start having to parse JSON text files like this to find the bits you want to extract.
And if you want to know how bad this can get, here's my favourite expression to build a link back to the run of a flow:
I'm not even going to begin to explain what this does!
|Parts of this blog|
Some other pages relevant to the above blogs include:
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