How Do You Get a Power Page Attachment That’s Stored in Blob Storage

My Power App Portal (Power Pages) environments are configured to use Azure blob storage for form attachments. One of the primary reasons for doing this is to avoid filling up expensive dataverse storage with endless attachments submitted by enduers.

This article outlines how to set up Azure storage: link

What I’m going to demo is how to get ONE attachment that’s uploaded to a form. If your form allows multiple attachments, you’d simply loop through them.

In the example, I’m using the soon-to-be-obsolete dataverse connector, but the same basic flow design applies to the normal connector.

When a row is added to my table, the flow is triggered.
The flow then queries the Note (annotation) table using the ID from the source table.
filter query: (_objetid_value eq souce_table_id)

The list rows notes query will result in an array being returned, but I’m only dealing with one attachment, so there’s no need to loop through it. To avoid an unnecessary loop, a function can be used to target a single object from the array: first(body(‘List_rows_Notes’)?[‘value’])?[‘annotationid’]

From the Get row note action, annotationid and filename will be needed to help form the path to the blob. Using the concat function I’m combing the container name, annotationid, and filename. Also, note the transformation on annotationid, the hyphens need to be removed, and the string needs to be lowercase. The last part of the transformation is to remove .azure.txt from the filename.

concat('/blobcontainer/',toLower(replace(outputs('Get_row_Note')?['body/annotationid'], '-', '')),'/', split(outputs('Get_row_Note')?['body/filename'], '.azure.txt')[0])

The end result of the transformation will be:
/blobcontainer/annotationid/filename /blobcontainer/cf03e4cf7f72ad118561002248881923/example.pdf

With the path to the blob formed, the get blob content action can retrieve the file.

It’s that simple.

A couple of notes:
It would be wise to leverage a virus-scanning tool like Cloudmersive.
If you haven’t already noticed, when a user uploads a file that contains special characters in the name…it’s saved to the Note table without the special characters, but when it’s moved to blob storage, the characters will be in the name. Yes, that’s a bug Microsoft has yet to fix. You can avoid this by adding Javascript to the upload page to block files that fall into this category. OR. Write another flow to clean file names before the form is processed.
Example:
Uploaded filename: my report 1:2:3.pdf
Note table: my report 123.pdf
Blob: my report 1:2:3.pdf

How do run a Databricks Notebook using Power Automate

Part of a project I was working on required mashing up some data from SharePoint with data stored in datalake. We settled on creating a Databricks notebook to read an input file, query data lake using the input file, and then export an enriched file.

Here’s a high-level overview of what’s going to be created:

Call the notebook, parse the JSON response, loop until the notebook has finished, then respond to the notebook’s output.

In my case, triggering the notebook will require knowing its URL, bearer token, job id, and input parameters.


Parse the response from the HTTP call:


The notebook will take a little time to spin up, then process the input file. The best way to handle this is to leverage a basic do-until loop to check the status of the notebook job. I opted to use a one-minute delay, call the API to get the job status, parse the response, then evaluate if it’s finished.


One thing to note about the do until action, you don’t want it to run for eternity, and to avoid adding complexity to it, you don’t want to add extra evaluations like: if looped X times, stop
If you expand the Change limits option, you can set how many times it loops or change the duration. Here I’ve set the action to stop looping after 20 tries. For more info on this, please check SPGuides for a detailed overview.

The last step in the flow is to process the response from the notebook. If the job is success(full), get the file from blob storage and load it to SharePoint; otherwise, create a Slack alert.

That’s it; using the example above, you can trigger a Databricks notebook using a Flow.

Use Power Automate to Create Jira Tasks

I’m working on a Power Pages project that requires a Jira service desk task to be created for each portal submission. Out of the box, Jira provides a simple connector to create tasks and requests, but the connect falls short of handling field types other than simple text. This means choice, checkbox, and dropdown fields are not available. This only leaves a couple of options, and I opted to use a simple HTTP action to create the tasks.

Basic overview of what I’ll be creating:
Flow that’s triggered by a dataverse row creation
Create a Jira task and populate metadata
Attach a file to the Jira task

Jira fields and types:
Issue Type – Choice
Request Type – Choice
Tortilla – Choice
Meat – Choice
Veggies – Checkbox multi-select
Number of Tacos – Number
Pickup Date Time – Date and Time
Summary – Text
Attachment – Attachment

Interfacing with the Jira API requires knowing a little about the fields you’ll be updating and the project and issue type you want to use. If you haven’t created one already, you need a Jira API token to work with the API.


Request type:
Go to Project Settings, then look at the URL and copy the value after pid=
https://taco.atlassian.net/secure/project/EditProject!default.jspa?pid=10001

With the ID, you can query the service desk request-types endpoint
https://taco.atlassian.net/rest/servicedesk/1/servicedesk/request/10001/request-types
In the returned payload, note the portal key and key values; combine the two, and you have the request type value tr/9f7c4029-6d23-4cb1-bb8a-02d0050d944b

Project key:
The project key is available on the project settings page, it’s listed under the name field.
Example: TACOS

Issue type:
For simplicity, I’m only dealing with one issue type, and I captured the issueType value using the request-types endpoint noted above.
Example: “issueType”: 10015

For the remaining field values, you can get them in one of two ways.
Create a new issue in the browser, then use the browser developer tools (F12) to inspect each field’s HTML value.

The other option is to click the gear icon (top right), select Issues, click on Custom Fields, search for a field, click on it, click edit detail, then grab the id value from the URL. Once the id is captured, join it with customfield_, resulting in customfield_10073, this is the fields internal value.

In this example, the summary issue type fields are the only ones that does not have a customfield_X naming convention. It might be possible that some system-generated fields have a diffident naming convention, but I’ll dig into that another day.

Column Display NameColumn Internal NameColumn Type
Issue Typeissuetypesystem
Request Typecustomfield_10010system
Tortillacustomfield_10073Select List (single)
Meatcustomfield_10074Select List (single)
Veggiescustomfield_10075Checkboxes
Number of Tacoscustomfield_10076Number Field
Pickup Date Timecustomfield_10077Date Time Picker
Summarysummarysystem

Endpoint URL:
https://taco.atlassian.net/rest/api/3/issue/
Headers: {“Content-Type”: “application/json”}
Authentication: Raw
Key: Basic aWhddsfadfafa..NOT…A…REAL…KEY..dafdfdafd=
Example payload:

{
  "fields": {
    "project": {
      "key": "TACOS"
    },
    "customfield_10010": "tr/9f7c4029-6d23-4cb1-bb8a-02d0050d944b",
    "summary": "Taco order summary",
    "issuetype": {
      "id": "10015"
    },
    "customfield_10073": {"value": "Flour"},
    "customfield_10074": {"value": "Chicken"},
    "customfield_10075": [{"value": "Pico"},{"value": "Grilled Veggies"}],
    "customfield_10076": 2,
    "customfield_10077":"2022-11-05T11:05:00.000+0000"
  }
}

View of the task in Jira

How do you attach a file to a Jira task using Power Automate?
Attaching a file to a Jira task requires one more API call and it’s simple!

Endpoint URL:
https://taco.atlassian.net/rest/api/3/issue/Key/attachments
Headers: {“X-Atlassian-Token”: “no-check”}
Authentication: Raw
Key: Basic aWhddsfadfafa..NOT…A…REAL…KEY..dafdfdafd=

Example payload:

{
  "$content-type": "multipart/form-data",
  "$multipart": [
    {
      "headers": {
        "Content-Disposition": "form-data; name=\"file\"; filename=@{outputs('Get_file_properties')?['body/{FilenameWithExtension}']}"
      },
      "body": @{body('Get_file_content')}
    }
  ]
}

For the attachment, I’m getting a file from SharePoint and passing its contents to the API call. The same thing works with Azure blob storage or grabbing file from dataverse. If you want to attachment more than one file, create additional HTTP attachment calls.

Here’s a simple overview of the Flow:

Parse JSON schema:

{
    "type": "object",
    "properties": {
        "id": {
            "type": "string"
        },
        "key": {
            "type": "string"
        },
        "self": {
            "type": "string"
        }
    }
}

The Jira documentation is great and their forums are active and helpful.

Power App Unable to add flow

I was in the process of porting a production Power App to a dev environment, and I ran into this error.

Unable to add flow
There was a problem adding your service. Please try again later.

The problem was that I tried to add an existing Flow to my Power App, but it was turned off.



Navigate to make.powerapps.com, locate the Flow you are trying to add to the Power App, turn it on, then try adding to the app.

Create Approvals That NEVER Expire

If you are reading this, you likely ran into an issue where you created an approval flow, but it expired before the recipient had time to approve or reject it. The timeout for an approval or any flow is thirty days; then, it stops running. Yes, there are some clever workaround to alert if the flow times out, but who wants to mess with that?

The approach I took to solve this was to leverage some of the existing tooling, then add to them. When you create an approval, a row is created in the dataverse Approval table. As we all know, a flow is trigger-based, so why not create one that simply monitors the Approval table, then handles things from there?

At a high level, here is the basic approach.

Start by creating a simple flow that initiates an approval, then run it. In my example, note the value in the Item Link field; this will come into play later.

Next, navigate to make.powerapps.com, expand the Dataverse section, and click on Tables. After the page loads, click the All link under Tables, then search for approval. If you search for approval and do not get a result, make sure you click the All link.



Open the Approval table; in it, you will see your approval, possibly more depending on how old your environment is or if many people in your company are using approvals. When looking at the data, the takeaway is what is stored in the table and what can be used in the flow that handles the outcome of the approval. In my case, using the Item Link field is key to handling the approval response. With it, I can filter the value and know if I need to take action on the item or not.

When creating the flow that responds to the approval, you can filter it at the design level or in the trigger settings. I went with the trigger setting due to the number of approvals that could be firing across my organization in our default tenant. Why do you need to filter it? Just assume other approvals might be writing to the same dataverse table.

Trigger Conditions

@contains(triggerBody()?['msdyn_flow_approval_itemlink'],'https://www.sharepointed.com/stuff/')

@not(equals(triggerBody()?['msdyn_flow_approval_result'], null))

The above conditions filter the value I passed in the create approval flow (Item Link) and if the item has been approved or rejected.

Here is an overview of the flow that handles the outcome of the approval. I mixed dataverse connector types due to an issue with the trigger condition not working with the green dataverse connector. In the Expand Query field, I used the Fetch XML builder to query over to the Approval Response table to get the comment field; not used in the example, but nonetheless, it’s there. From the Get a row by ID action, the response of the approval is available to use to handle the outcome (Result) of the approval.

To my knowledge, there is no reason why you can’t create an approval that is active for months, if not years.

Notes:
1) You can access and review the approval records using PowerBI, Flow, Access, ___
2) You can bulks update the records using PowerShell, Flow, Access (be real careful), __
3) You can pass items in the Details field, then parse them out when handling the approval. Here is one simple example where I’m passing a SharePoint item ID from the approval and parsing it in the response flow:



Response flow compose statement that parses the Details field.

Expression: last(split(triggerBody()?['msdyn_flow_approval_details'],'**SPItemID:** '))




YES, this is a lot, but the general idea is simple; create an approval and handle the response.

Create Dynamic Hyperlinks And Send An Email Action

Over the years, some updates to Flow have been better than others, and others, not so much. If memory serves, the send an email action would use dynamic hyperlinks without much work, but something went sideways with one of the updates causing dynamic hyperlinks not to work as you’d want.

Here is a basic example of including a hyperlink in an outgoing email; further down the page, I’ll provide a more realistitc example.


In this example, I setup the Flow to trigger when an item is added to a SharePoint library. The key thing to note in this example is the value of the varHyerplink variable; note the double quotes around the link to item.

Add Company Holidays to Your Outlook Calendar Using Power Automate

Below are all the steps required to add your company holidays to your Outlook calendar. This is a simple approach that can easily be updated to pull the holidays and dates from other data sources like Exel, SharePoint, Dataverse…

Overview of the flow that will be created:

All of the holidays (events) will be stored in an array using a compose action.

[
{"Event":"Holiday - New Years","Date":"01/01/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - MLK Day","Date":"01/17/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Presidents Day","Date":"02/21/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Memorial Day","Date":"05/30/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Juneteenth Day","Date":"06/20/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Independence Day","Date":"07/04/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Labor Day","Date":"09/05/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Thanksgiving Day","Date":"11/24/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Day After Thanksgiving","Date":"11/25/2022"},
{"Event":"Holiday - Christmas Day","Date":"12/26/2022"}
]

After that, a parse JSON event will be used to make the events available in the apply to each action. Note: after the parse JSON action is added to the flow, click the generate from sample button and paste in the holidays JSON from the step above.

Next, add an apply to each action to the flow. In the action, the output box will hold the body of the parse JSON action.



The convert time zone action is used to standardize the date format. For the base time use the Date field from the parse JSON action.

The last item that needs to be added is the outlook create event action. Note: for the End time property a formula is used: addDays(body(‘Convert_time_zone’),1)






Save the flow and run it.

Edit/Update –
For the End time value, you can input this expression: addHours(body(‘Convert_time_zone’),23) . If you set Is all day event to Yes, you’ll need a timespan that covers most if not all of the day.
Also, if you want to set Is reminder on, it must be input as minutes, so 17 hours would be 1020 minutes.


Flow Error Unable to process template language expressions for action

Unable to process template language expressions for action 'Apply_to_each_sftp_file' at line '1' and column '30517': 'The template language expression 'body('List_files_in_folder')?['body']' cannot be evaluated because property 'body' cannot be selected. Array elements can only be selected using an integer index. Please see https://aka.ms/logicexpressions for usage details.'.

From one day to the next one of my flows stopped working with the error above. The flow is super simple:
Get files from an SFTP folder
Loop through the files
Copy file to another location
Delete file

Looking at the apply to each step I noticed body element was referenced. This might have been related to how I set up the loop or the autogenerated action.

Action the flow was unhappy with:

Updated the flow and it started working:

Note how the ?[‘body’] element is missing from the second picture.

Fix?
Created a new Apply to each loop by first setting a variable to the name of the file I’m looping on, then added my other actions. There might be a better way to fix this, but for now, this is what works.



Get and Set SharePoint Yes No Field Using Flow

Simple question: Using a Flow condition, how do you check the value of a SharePoint Yes No field?

My first attempt was to set a variable equal to the SharePoint list value, then check the condition like this:



And, for good reason, this did not work.
My next attempt was to try replacing the condition value with true or false.



And, again, this did not work!
Sooo, what if I convert the true or false to a string?


It worked!



How do you set or update a SharePoint Yes No field using a Flow variable?


Create a string variable, then set the value to true or false.
SharePoint display values:
Yes = true
No = false


Power Automate Bad Gateway Error

I was trying to use a SQL Insert Row action to insert a new row in a SQL Server table and received a Bad Gateway error. First, I thought it was a permissions issue, then I thought my Flow stopped working…

Turned out to be an issue with the amount of data being inserted into a field. One SQL column was set to varchar(X) and the Flow was trying to insert more characters than X.