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Microsoft announces Power Automate Desktop October 2020 Update: how to download and set up

Power Automate

Microsoft has announced Power Automate Desktop October 2020 update.

This update focusses to enhance the productivity of Power Automate Desktop application.

Here is everything you need to know.

  • Error notifications are available in the console

If your flow runs and throws an error, you are now notified via a popup dialog in the console.

  • Invalid path characters are allowed in flow names

Power Automate Desktop now allows the creation of flows, whose names contain invalid path characters, aligning with the respective functionality in the portal.

  • Caching is now available for stored flows

Power Automate Desktop now supports flow caching, to save time and avoid downloading the flow repeatedly, in case it has remained unchanged from the last time it was downloaded.

  • Power Automate run history logsnow provide specific subflow information

After running a Power Automate Desktop flow via the portal, including it in an API flow, detailed information about the actions that ran in sequence is available in Run History, now including the subflow that each action belongs to.

To inspect this, navigate to My flows, choose the API flow that ran and select Run history, then select the specific execution you want to review, and finally expand the Power Automate Desktop connector and select See run details.
Alternatively, navigate to UI flows, choose the Power Automate Desktop flow to review and select Details, then under Run history select the execution of your choice.

Updates that are associated with development enhancements in Power Automate Desktop are also available.

  • Action parameters are now grouped to improve efficiency during configuration

In several actions, input parameters that are relevant to each other have been grouped together in expandable sub-menus, so that you are able to configure these actions in an easier and more efficient way. In addition, the order of some parameters has been amended to make more sense during the configuration of the respective actions, where applicable.

  • The ‘Send keys’ action is fixed in the desktop recorder

Using the desktop recorder, you are now able to send physical keys like Enter or Escape, as those are correctly captured during the recording.

  • SAP recording

Power Automate Desktop is now supporting the use of the desktop recorder on the SAP application, letting you record human activity on the app and smartly converting it to the respective actions within the flow designer.

  • Subflow tab options are now functional during flow execution

In the flow designer, right clicking on a subflow tab brings up a few options, which let you close some or all the subflow tabs that are currently active. These options are now functional even during flow execution, should you need to clear the designer workspace from subflows you are not interested in keeping open.

  • New icons used in Power Automate Desktop

A new family of icons is now used in Power Automate Desktop, including new action icons and a new icon for variables, offering accessibility compliance.

  • Mail message variable properties ‘From’ and ‘To’ can now be retrieved

The properties ‘From’ and ‘To’, which are available for mail variable data types, can now be selected and used, thus allowing you to retrieve the sender and recipient(s) of an email.

Furthermore, there have been action-related updates and adjustments.

  • Enhancements in UI automation, Active Directory, OCR and Terminal emulation modules

Various applications like 7zip, Microsoft Teams or the Windows Desktop itself are now better supported in terms of UI automation, so that individual UI elements in these apps can be accessed more efficiently and used within UI automation actions.

In addition, more detailed error messages have been added for Active Directory actions to provide more clarity. Issues causing false positive errors when using the Tesseract OCR engine have been resolved, minor adjustments regarding the Terminal emulation actions have been applied as well.

How to set up and download

Set up UI flows and Power Automate Desktop (preview) on your device

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