Configure Run After and a B-B-Bonus tip!

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:

  1. If your action is absolutely critical, consider the “Configure Run After” approach as long as it makes sense logically
  2. 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
  3. 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!


Automating the User creation process in Azure

Sooooooooo, yeah. I’ll have to write a few posts to make up for the lack over the weekend…and I’d go into why I didn’t write but, honestly? You’re not my father (unless my dad’s reading this, in which case ‘Hey pops!’), so stop yelling at me already jeezy creezy…

…phew. Ok. Let’s never fight again.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get to the learnin’.

A requirement came across my desk to figure out a less painful way to add guest accounts to Azure for vendors/visitors/guests who may need to access an app that we are going to build. As any admins out there know, adding guest accounts as one-offs can get annoying real quick if the amount of users you need to create totals more than *grabs abacus and furiously does long hand calculus*…1. So I went hunting and came back with these:

These 2 templates essentially automate the process entirely, whether or not you’re generating the users with a list in SharePoint or even setting up a button or form submission on your apps to set the process in motion via HTTP request.

This may not be the sexiest piece of functionality out there *waves coquettishly to Kanban grid views* but damn if you’ve ever had to sit there and do this manually, this is the type of automation that will make your day a little bit brighter.

What else have you seen out there in the templates that has caught your eye? Whether it’s something that you’ve implemented yourself or if you simply noted it in passing as something you’d like to try?

We’d love to hear about it! And anything else that you want us to dig into.

I’m sorry I yelled earlier. Like I said, let’s never fight again.