UI Flow in Power Automate (former Microsoft Flow)

By | November 4, 2019

 

If you have not heard about UI Flows, give them a try! As in right now… that’s just some cool stuff from Microsoft which is now in preview.

Login to your powerapps portal (https://make.powerapps.com), select Flows, and choose UI Flows:

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The coolest part about it is that, right from the start, you can probably appreciate where it’s all going:

image There are no connectors, there is no API, there is nothing BUT recording and re-running of the user actions.

You want to automatically open an application, fill in some fields, click save button, etc? There you go. You want to open a web site, populate some fields, click “next”, etc? That’s another scenario. Basically, we should be able to automate various usage scenarios – I am not sure if this also means we’ll be able to use this for automated testing, and I am also not sure to what extent this will work with various web applications where controls are created/loaded/updated on the fly… But, if it all works out, this is going to be really interesting.

And I am wondering about the licensing, since, technically, it seems there will be no API calls or connectors involved, so might not be a lot of load on the Microsoft servers when running such flows. Does it mean “not that expensive” licensing? We’ll see, I guess.

Anyway, let’s just try something.

Let say I wanted to create a desktop UI flow:

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Apparently, need to download a browser extension. Presumably, that’s to actually perform actions on my computer (heh… how about security… anyway, that’s for later):

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Here is a funny hiccup – the installer asked me to close all Edge/Chrome windows. Lost the Flow, had to re-open and re-create again.

Continuing from there and still getting the same error.

Some back and forth, tried installing new Edge (Chromium), still the same… Eventually, I tried updating that same Flow using a different portal:

https://flow.microsoft.com

It finally worked that way, and it also started to work through make.powerapps.com after that.

And I have just recorded a UI Flow which is going to put some text into a notepad window!

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Here, have a look (it takes a few second to start the test):

desktopuiflow

Might seem like not too much  for now, but keep in mind this was just a simple test. At the moment, I am not even sure of the practical applications and/or limitations yet, but that’s for later.

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