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Avoid These Mistakes in Power Automate - Tips
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Power Automate
Nov 24, 2023 12:00 AM

Avoid These Mistakes in Power Automate - Tips

by HubSite 365 about David Wyatt [MVP]

Senior Staff Engineer - Intelligent Automation Developer

Citizen DeveloperPower AutomateLearning Selection

Avoid common pitfalls: Top Power Automate missteps to dodge for better workflows and efficiency!

What not to do in workflow automation is just as important as knowing the correct steps. David Wyatt, an expert in the field, shared his thoughts on the common missteps when using Power Automate. Wyatt categorizes these errors into three tiers: – Basic, Advanced, and Master – with each category revealing more nuanced issues.

Starting with the basics, he highlights a common error where developers set a variable with a condition action instead of utilizing a simple if() expression. The use of a condition action should be extremely rare, suggesting that its necessity might reflect underlying issues in the data format itself. Additionally, Wyatt challenges whether variables should be used at all in certain scenarios.



Filtering after getting items is another basic, yet significant pitfall. Wyatt asserts that the filter query option within the 'Get Items' action should be preferred, as it is more efficient unless dealing with non-delegatable queries. Failing to use the proper filter can lead to a waste of API calls and the risk of inaccurate data with improper pagination setup.

A similar clear-cut mistake is allowing the flow to run just to terminate it immediately afterward. Wyatt advises using the flow trigger condition to prevent unnecessary runs. This not only conserves API calls but also maintains clean and concise flow logs, facilitating easier reading and interpretation.

When it comes to the advanced level of mistakes, Wyatt mentions the overuse of loops when processing single items. An alternative is the 'first()' expression or using array indexing, which he suggests is a more efficient solution. Furthermore, he points out the misuse of creating multiple variables when a single object variable would suffice, enhancing readability and structure.

Not utilizing the 'coalesce' function is another area where developers inadvertently complicate their workflows. It allows for a more streamlined and straightforward flow by returning the first non-null value from the given arguments, thus simplifying the management of different branching results.

The final points include avoiding unnecessary conditions within loops and the mismanagement of conditional branching. It’s more efficient to sort items upfront then process them separately, avoiding redundancy and making the flow easier to debug. Conditions, according to Wyatt, should always converge back into a single branch to aid in the ease of maintenance and reduce action duplication.

Wyatt's insights are not only about avoiding inefficiencies in flow design; they also embrace a larger philosophy of clean and readable code. He encourages developers to share their thoughts or disagreements, aiming to foster a healthy discourse on best practices within the community.


Additional Insights on Workflow Automation

Workflow automation offers tremendous benefits for streamlining business processes, reducing manual tasks, and improving overall efficiency. Platforms like Power Automate provide tools that, when used appropriately, can enhance productivity and ensure accurate execution of complex workflows. Understanding common pitfalls is crucial in maximizing the potential of these automation tools. Keeping things straightforward, maintaining clean code, and always looking for the most resource-conservative way to accomplish a task will lead to more sustainable and manageable workflows. Consistent naming conventions and judicious use of variables and conditions are hallmarks of a well-designed automated process that stands the test of time.

Read the full article What Not to do in Power Automate

Power Automate - Avoid These Mistakes in Power Automate - Tips


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