What did I say last post? Did I say I was gonna get back to the tips and tricks? Yes. Yes I did. And I even brought a little something extra since this literally just happened to me and I thought I’d share!
First things first? The “Configure Run After” option within each action within a Flow!
Something that takes a bit of getting used to by most new users of Automate is the concept of parallel branches and how they are considered in the Flow’s…well…flow.
For example, if my Flow has me getting records and then conditionally manipulating that data based on user input, I may not realize that unless every step of my vertical flow executes exactly as it should (i.e. the user didn’t enter a value that the flow was expecting and that particular action fails), the latter steps that may be most critical will also not execute.
In other, more simplistic terms: if one thing fails, it all fails.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way! In fact, we can maintain vertical flows without parallel branching if needed by using the “Configure Run After” options within an action! Check it out:
As you can see, we are able to configure specific actions to fire whether or not the previous action was successful or not which is great for us noobs who maybe haven’t considered this option until…well…just now 🙂
So, as a general rule, here are some things to consider when creating your Flows from scratch or if you’re about to add a parellel branch to an existing one:
- If your action is absolutely critical, consider the “Configure Run After” approach as long as it makes sense logically
- Consider using parallel branches by default to keep things as clean as possible, especially when there are conditionals, switch statements or other actions that can complicate your Flows
- Don’t be afraid to experiment! You may end up realizing there was a more efficient way to complete your logic than originally designed
Let me know if you’ve used this before and how in the comments!
And for the B-B-BONUS tip:
Occasionally, whether because a service principle in Azure’s password expires or, occasionally, because there’s a ghost in the machine, your connections will need to be reset and/or deleted entirely. Be aware that if you need to reset a password for a service principle and/or reset a connection entirely, a large amount of the times you do, you’ll have to test the Flow, delete the action that was using the connection that needed to be reset and then create it over again.
It’s a pain and hopefully will be addressed in subsequent releases but at least you don’t have to wonder why your Flow is broken and can take measureable steps to fix things!
Happy Automating, y’all!