Empowering Your Team with Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Flow makes it easy to create automated workflows between your apps and services without needed to know how to program! You can connect your Dynamics 365 data with your favorite apps, automate business processes, and build out solutions to help your team's work "flow" better.

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In today's blog, we share some resources to help you get a better understanding of the benefits and capabilities of Microsoft Flow.

D365 In Focus: Become a Citizen Developer with Microsoft Flow

PowerObjects training consultant, Avni, shares the five best things about Microsoft Flow in this video.

What’s New in Power Apps and Flow?

Learn about the latest enhancements and updates to Flow in this on demand webinar. You'll get to dive into how these tools are modernizing business processes across Dynamics 365 applications while offering up low and no code solutions to help transform how people work. Watch the webinar here.

PowerApps, Flow, and CDS for Dynamics 365 Training

Want to learn how to leverage Flow for your business? PowerObjects offers a 3-day educational training! This course is designed to support those who will be managing the deployment of customizations in Dynamics 365 including administrators, system customizers, and developers. Learn more, download a detailed agenda, and register for an upcoming course here.

More Microsoft Flow Blogs

We hope you're just as excited about Microsoft Flow as we are! The power of Flow is exceptional and it's possibilities will continue to grow as new connectors are developed and templates are created.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

5 Resources to Get Ready for Microsoft’s Business Apps Summit

Our team is headed to Microsoft's Business Applications Summit next week, the "place for Dynamics 365, Power BI, Excel, PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow users to connect, collaborate, and pack in as much learning as possible." To get ready for the event, we're sharing five of our favorite Business Applications blogs and videos that we've published over the past few months.

1. Spring 2018 Update Webinar: What's New in Power Apps and Flow

The Spring 2018 release brought about some big changes to the Business Applications Platform including PowerApps, Flow, and the Common Data Service. This session focuses specifically on changes to Power Apps for Applications and Flow. Our speakers will dive into how these tools are modernizing business processes across Dynamics 365 applications while offering up low and no code solutions to help transform how people work. [WATCH WEBINAR]

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2. Displaying Dynamics 365 Data in your Power Apps Application

In this blog post, we will assume that you are building a Power Apps app based on the Opportunity entity in Dynamics 365. The use case is that you want a sales person to be able to view "today's" appointments and view only their own opportunities ("My Opportunities"). [READ BLOG]

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3. How to Integrate Power BI with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations

The integration between Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and Power BI give users the capability to personalize workspaces with tiles from PowerBI.com and they can add links to the reports hosted in PowerBI.com. This helps users to access the Power BI reports directly from Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. [READ BLOG]

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4. The 5 Best Things About Microsoft Flow Video

Our Dynamics 365 University education programs have something for everyone whether you're new to Dynamics 365 or are a power user, admin, or developer! Hear from one of our Training Consultants, Avni Pandya, as she talks about our Citizen Developer course which will teach you about low code and no code tools that can help you create Dynamics 365 solutions without needing to be a developer. One of those great tools is Microsoft Flow. [WATCH VIDEO]

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5. Row-Level Security in Power BI with Dynamics 365

Power BI offers a suite of security features to help restrict data. One way to do this is with Row-level security. Row-level security (RLS) with the Power BI Desktop can be used to restrict data access for specific users, filtering data at the row level, and defining filters within roles. In this blog, learn how to set-up this feature in Power BI and an example of how you can use it in Dynamics 365. [READ BLOG]

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Now you can see why we are so excited for Microsoft's Business Applications Summit. These applications are powerful and just keep getting better! We'll make sure to keep you posted on all things Biz Apps via this blog so be sure to SUBSCRIBE to get our daily post sent straight to your inbox!

Happy D365'ing!

Learn, Use, and Manage Microsoft Flows with these 2018 Updates

The Microsoft Flow team has been hard at work making important improvements this year. Flows are easier to learn, use, and manage than ever before. In this blog we share a few of our favorite updates to Microsoft Team Integration, Approvals, Sharing Flows, and the Flow Documentation site!

Microsoft Teams Integration

This goes beyond the Teams connector, which already allowed you to create Flows that could take actions in Teams, for example by posting a message. This gives you the ability to interact with Flow from inside Teams. The first step is to install the Flow app from the Team store.

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Go to the More Apps menu in Microsoft Teams to access the Flow app. The Flows tab shows your flows and team flows. The Approval tab shows sent and received approvals and the Conversation tab allows you to interact with Flow Bot.

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Flow Bot can tell you what it can do, provide you with a list of flows it can run, run a scheduled flow on demand, run a manually triggered flow that does not have inputs, and show the description for a flow.

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Approvals

Modern approvals in Flow allow you to quickly set up an automated approval workflow for your data in many systems. Proposed content in SharePoint, Twitter, Visual Studio, and more, can be set up such that actions are automatically taken once the proposed content is approved. Approvers receive emails notifying them of the approval request and users can interact with approvals in a unified Approvals Center in Microsoft Flow.

What's new in modern approvals? The detail of the approval request can now have rich text, lists, links and tables using Markdown. In addition, approvals you receive can now be reassigned to a different person.

The new History tab in the Approvals center shows all requests, both sent and received. Filter by title or direction and sort ascending or descending by date. Click on a row to see the details of an approval request including the comments and the exact time of the request.

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The modern approvals connector is now built on the latest version of the Common Data Service for Apps (CDS for Apps). This allows you to build flows that act based on the status of approvals you receive or send. For example, you can build flows to notify you of new approval requests, remind you of pending approval requests, or notify you when a request you sent is approved. Use the template created by the Microsoft Flow team as a starting point. Modify the data operations, variables, and conditional actions to fit your scenario.

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Sharing Flows

We have been able to share flows by adding people as co-owners, or (for manual flows only) adding them as run-only users (which makes the flow button available to them in the mobile app). Now, it is possible to add an Office 365 Group (including a Microsoft Team) as the co-owner or (for manual flows) as a run-only user. If the flow has steps which interact with a SharePoint list, the list can be invited to be a co-owner of the flow or (for manual flows only) as a run-only user, giving access to the flow to all members of the list.

When you add owners to a flow, you will see exactly which connections and permission are being provided to them.

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Since a shared flow always runs with your connections and data, it's important to evaluate whether you trust the author of the flow and whether you agree with the actions in the flow before running it. When running a flow, we can now see details of all the actions and connections in the flow, including details of SharePoint sites accessed by the flow, if applicable.

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Documentation Landing Page

As you can see, Microsoft Flow is growing and improving all the time. To help you find the documentation most relevant to where you are in your Flow journey, the documentation page now has links to different content for different audiences. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate user, expert or admin, there is a path for you. This makes it easier to find information you can use right away so you can get started having fun and being productive with Microsoft Flow!

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Want to learn even more about Microsoft Flow? Join PowerObjects, this year's Platinum Sponsor, at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit on July 22-24 in Seattle. Register with code HCL100dc to receive a $100 discount.

Please note: there are three different Flow plans. Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications and Office 365 plans may include Microsoft Flow Free, Microsoft Flow Plan 1, or Microsoft Flow Plan 2. To learn about pricing and features, please visit the Microsoft Flow Plan site.


Want to learn more about Flow and the Common Data Service?  Check out our PowerApps, Flow, and CDS for Dynamics 365 training.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!

Checking for Consecutive Repeating Characters in PowerApps

Today's blog will walk through how you can check for repeating characters within PowerApps. We at PowerObjects are excited about the functionality of Power Apps and their potential for reducing the time for developing mobile apps. There are many resources to get up and running, including our webinars.

The challenge with checking for repeating characters is that the Power Apps platform does not allow for writing loops within the Power Apps designer. How can you check if char4 = char5 = char6 within a full string? The solution is to leverage regular expressions. JavaScript regular expressions work in PowerApps.

The solution for this use case is to use the IsMatch (Text, Pattern [,Options]) function with the Contains option and combining special characters "." and "\x" and "{n,m}" to get the desired regular expression pattern: (.)\x{n}

Let's walk through an example of how to apply these pieces by creating a simple screen.

Steps overview:

  1. Insert a Text Field.
  2. Insert two icons.
  3. Set one icon to display and the other to not display if there are three consecutive repeating characters.
  4. Test it out.

Step 1 – Insert a Text Field

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Step 2

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Step 3

Set one icon to display and the other to not display if there are three consecutive repeating characters

Input the following expressions in the Visible property of the icons:

Icon 1: If(IsMatch(TextInput1.Text,"(.)\1{2}",Contains),true,false)

Icon 2: If(IsMatch(TextInput1.Text,"(.)\1{2}",Contains),false,true)

Let's break down what each piece means:

IsMatch – checks if the input text matches what you specify in this function

(.) – match any character except a newline character

\1 – remembers 1 preceding character

{2} – matches at least 2 occurrences of the preceding character (exclude the "m" in {n,m} because we are not limiting the number of characters in the string)

Contains – the string specified is within the input text

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Step 4 – Test it out

The happy emoji should display only when there are no three consecutive repeating characters, including letters and numbers.

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Congratulations! You just executed a workaround for the known limitation that Power Apps do not support programming loops. This is particularly helpful if you need to validate password inputs. You can learn more about the Dynamics 365 Spring 2018 Update for Power Apps in this blog.

Want to learn more about how Power Apps and Microsoft Business Applications can benefit your organization? Join PowerObjects, this year's Platinum Sponsor, at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit on July 22-24 in Seattle. Register with our code: HCL100dc to receive a $100 discount.

Happy Dynamics 365'ing!