Power Automate

Microsoft has announced March 2021 feature update for the Power Automate desktop application for Windows 10.

In case you missed it, Microsoft recently made the Power Automate app free to download for anyone willing to automate the tasks by installing the application on his/her own Windows 10 PC. Learn more about it here. (Download Power Automate Desktop)

This is supported by two types of accounts:

  • Microsoft account users are able to download and sign in to Power Automate Desktop. In this scenario, the desktop flows are automatically stored on their personal OneDrive.
  • Work or school account users are also able to download and sign in to Power Automate Desktop, even without a license. In this case, the desktop flows are stored in the Dataverse database of their organization’s default environment.

What’s New

Shared desktop flows are now distinct in the console for organization premium accounts

Organization premium account users with a trial or paid license can now view, edit and/or run (based on the Co-owner or User permission respectively) desktop flows that have been shared with them, all from within the dedicated ‘Shared with me’ tab of the Power Automate Desktop console.

Shared flows

Some general settings have been added in the console

A few settings about Power Automate Desktop have been added in the console, controlling the background run of the application, Windows notifications, a hotkey to stop running flows, as well as the use of telemetry.

PAD settings

Dataverse database can be provisioned for work or school account users from within Power Automate Desktop

The latest release supports the provision of a Dataverse database for – both free and premium – work or school account users, right from within Power Automate Desktop, in case these users do not already have one in their environment.

MS Dataverse database

Some enhancements have been implemented in the flow designer

The following additions and improvements have taken place:

  • All popup dialogs and modals in the designer now come with a black overlay in the background, which basically overlaps with the disabled UI.
Black overlay
  • The above overlay applies to saving as well, disabling the UI at the same time, to avoid user actions which might lead to errors during saving.
  • Users are now notified with a message when modules do not load properly in the flow designer.
  • The ‘Find usages’ functionality has been extended to UI elements and images in the flow designer, so that the user can easily find all the actions that are associated to the UI element or image in discussion.
Find usages

Two new actions are available to use in the flow designer

The following actions have been added in the actions pane:

  • The action ‘Get last error’ stores the details of the last occurred error in a variable, so that the user can inspect that error, even if it was handled internally by a preceding error handling mechanism in the desktop flow.
Get last error
  • The action ‘Get password from CyberArk’ provides direct integration with CyberArk, letting the user retrieve any password they may have stored in their vault.
Get password from CyberArk

Various actions have been improved to be configured more intuitively

The following action configuration improvements have taken place:

  • The ‘Move mouse’ and ‘Send mouse click’ actions now include a tool to easily capture the current cursor position coordinates.
Capture mouse coordinates
  • The ‘Stop flow’ action now lets you select whether the flow will stop successfully or with an error message.
Stop flow
  • Windows processes and services can now be retrieved automatically in the actions ‘If process’ and ‘If service’ respectively.
If process
  • Windows environment variables can also be retrieved automatically in the ‘Get Windows environment variable’ action.
Windows envrionment variables

Variables can be used during web/desktop recording

The use of variables is now available in the web and desktop recorders, for the ‘Populate text’ and ‘Get details of element’ actions of both Web and UI automation modules.

Variables in recorders