Where Are My Flows When Building Power Virtual Agents In Teams

You added a Flow in Power Virtual Agents in Teams, you now want to edit that Flow. Where is it? Come check out the answer!

Overview

Building Power Virtual Agents (PVA) in Microsoft Teams is fast, easy, fun, and powerful, especially when we add Power Automate to the mix. A couple questions come up:

1. After the bot is build, how do we edit the Flows? Do we have to go into the PVA bot inside of Microsoft Teams?

2. Where are the Flows stored?

The Answer

The answer to the above questions, can be simplified into one response.

All Flows built inside the Teams environment for PVA chatbots are stored in the Teams environment under the Default Solution.
Now.. How do we get there?

Navigate to the Power Automate Web Portal
Power Automate | Microsoft Power Platform

Sign in, and select the environments menu in the top right and choose the Environment that correlates to your Teams name where you built the Bot.
My Microsoft Team name is ‘POC – Teams

Next navigate to the Solutions tab on the left, and select ‘Default Solution


Once inside the ‘Default Solution‘ we can see many different types of artifacts. To narrow this list down:
On the top right of the page there is a dropdown with different types. Select ‘Flow

That’s it. Now we can see all the Flows inside this Teams Environment.

Want to learn how to get user info from Office365 to use in Power Virtual Agents? Check out my blog on the flow you see above
Get User Info

Limitations

There are some limitations:
– There is no way to import a Flow into this Environment

– When using the Save As feature, the Flow is saved outside of the Solution, thus cannot be used for your PVA Bot in Teams

– When modifying the Flows Inputs and Outputs you will have to remove the Flow action inside of PVA to properly refresh.

Conclusion

If you need help with anything Power Platform related, check out the community sites:

Power Virtual Agents Community – Power Platform Community (microsoft.com)

Power Automate community (microsoft.com)

Power Apps community (microsoft.com)

Home – Microsoft Power BI Community

Using Environment Variables as Parameters for Power Automate Deployments (ALM)

Deploying Power Automate Flows can be a headache if you have to manually change values inside the Flow for each environment. You also run the risk of missing a value.

Summary

Deploying Power Automate Flows can be a headache if you have to manually change values inside the Flow for each environment. You also run the risk of missing a value.

This post will go in depth on using Environment variables inside solutions to allow certain values to be used in different environments.
I will be using Two(2) environments for this demo:
Dev, and Test

This demo will utilize the data type ‘JSON’, this will save loads of time.

Terms / Glossary

Here are some familiar terms that will help in this post:
Default Value = The value that you’re expecting after you deploy the Flow.
This will be our Test environment values

Current Value = The value that overrides the Default Value.
This will be our Dev environment values

Parameters = These are just values. For example 2 + 2. Each 2 is a parameter of the addition expression (+)

ALM = Application Lifecycle Management
Documentation on ALM

Contents

Prerequisites
The Scenario
Getting Parameter Values
Creating Environment Variables
Creating The Flow
Using The Parameters
Export And Import Deployment
Conclusion

Prerequisites

  • Access to Common Data Service
  • Access to create, export, and import Solutions

** Note: I Have created this guide to be as simple as possible, If you name everything as I do, you will be able to copy and paste all my expressions directly into your Flow **

The Scenario

My Flow posts a message into Microsoft Teams group. When deploying the Flow into different environments, I want to change the Teams content like:

  • Team Name
  • Channel ID
  • Subject

Usually after deploying, we can go in to the Flow and manually change the values. This can cause errors, especially if we forget to change some values after deploying (I may have done this a few times).

Getting Parameter Values

It is important to note that not all Action values can be parameterized. Follow the steps below to see if the values can be parameterized:

Teams Example:
My Teams action, I want to parameterize the Team Name, Channel ID, and Subject. For this I add the Action, and select the values as needed.

Now with the information filled in, click the 3 dots ‘. . .’ on the action, and click ‘Peek Code’.

Dev Parameters

In the ‘Peek code’ view, we can see the different parameters and the values that this action uses in the background. Copy these values into notepad or code editor for use later. I have created a simple JSON to be placed in my Environment Variable later on.

I will be using the Env value for my Subject in the teams message

For example:
Team = 1861402b-5d49-4850-a54b-5eda568e7e8b
Channel = 19:be3759762df64d94a509938aa9962b29@thread.tacv2
Subject = Message From Dev Environment

To test that we can use custom values as parameters, we want to grab these values from above and insert them into the ‘Teams Post a message’ action as custom value, than run the Flow

Mine looks like this now:

Now run the Flow to make sure everything works as expected using the Custom values

Now that we know Custom values work for the inputs/parameters for the action. We now want to get the values for the other environment. Remove the custom values from the inputs and choose the correct value that we want to point to when this Flow is deployed to another environment. For example:

Again we do a ‘Peek code’ to get the parameter IDs that this action uses

Test Parameters

Copy these values into notepad or a code editor for use later. Now we have two sets of values, one for Dev, and one for Test. I have created a simple JSON to be placed in my Environment Variable later on.

I will be using the Env value for my Subject in the teams message

Make sure the Two(2) JSONs have the same structure. We will be using the data to populate the Environment Variables in the following steps

Creating Environment Variables

Environment variables can only be created inside a solution, there are multiple ways you or your organization may want this set up.

In this demo I have created a Publisher in CDS called ‘param’, this will better define the parameters that we create inside the solution. (this is optional) The default CDS publisher could also be used.

Create a solution inside Power Automate.
Click Solutions on the left navigation menu,
Than click ‘New Solution’ on the top on menu, and fill the information out

Once the solution is created,
Click ‘New’ > Environment variable

Now fill in the information like the screenshot below.

Note, I will be using the Data Type as JSON. I use this for simplicity, as I have more than one value I want to add. Also we can use the Parse JSON action in Flow to reference each value separately. You can use any Data Type you like

Now we populate the values we want to use per environment, the way we do this is fill in the Default Value, and the Current Value.


Default Value = The values we want for the other environment, in this case Test
Current Value = The values we want to use for this environment, in this case Dev

Once the values are pasted in click ‘Save’

Creating The Flow

I will be creating the Flow inside the solution that the Environment Variable is in from above.
Inside the solution click ‘New’ > Flow

For the demo I will use a Manual trigger, than add Two(2) ‘Initialize Variable’ actions

Initialize variable – Schema Name
Name: schemaName
Type: String
Value: Put the Name of the environment variable in the value (This can be found on the main screen of the solution under Name column)

Initialize variable – Parameters
Name: parameters
Type: String
Value: Leave blank for now, this variable will store either the Default Value or Current Value, based on which environment we are in

Next add a ‘Scope’ action to hold all the actions that will get the parameters

I renamed my ‘Scope’ to Load Parameters.

NOTE: You can copy and paste my filter query as long as you kept the same name as I did. When you see the @ in Power Automate, this allows you to call expressions without having to go into the expression tab. If you want to build the expression yourself, I will include the syntax under each picture of the List Records actions and on

Inside the Scope, add Two(2) ‘Common Data Service Current Environment – List Records’ actions.

1) List records – Parameter Definitions
Entity name: Environment Variable Definitions
Filter Query: schemaname eq ‘@{variables(‘schemaName’)}’

schemaname eq ‘YOUR ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE NAME’

2) List records – Parameter Current Values
Entity name: Environment Variable Values
Filter Query: environmentvariabledefinitionid_value eq ‘@{first(outputs(‘List_records-_Parameter_Definitions’)?[‘body/value’])?[‘environmentvariabledefinitionid’]}’

@{first(outputs('List_records-_Parameter_Definitions')?['body/value'])?['environmentvariabledefinitionid']}
first(outputs(‘List_records-_Parameter_Definitions’)?[‘body/value’])?[‘environmentvariabledefinitionid’]

Now we need to check which value to use, the Default Value, or the Current Value.

Add an ‘If Condition‘ Build the condition like this:

If Current Value is empty
Left Value: @first(outputs(‘List_records_-_Parameter_Current_Values’)?[‘body/value’])?[‘Value’]

@first(outputs('List_records_-_Parameter_Current_Values')?['body/value'])?['Value']

is equal to
Right Value: @null

@null
first(outputs(‘List_records_-_Parameter_Current_Values’)?[‘body/value’])?[‘Value’]

Next in the ‘If yes‘ block add a ‘Set Variable

Set variable – Parameter Default
Name: parameters
Value: @{outputs(‘List_records_-_Parameter_Definitions’)?[‘body/value’][0][‘defaultvalue’]}

@{outputs('List_records_-_Parameter_Definitions')?['body/value'][0]['defaultvalue']}
outputs(‘List_records_-_Parameter_Definitions’)?[‘body/value’][0][‘defaultvalue’]

In the ‘If no‘ block add a ‘Set variable

Set variable – Parameter Current
Name: parameters
Value: @{outputs(‘List_records_-_Parameter_Current_Values’)?[‘body/value’][0][‘Value’]}

@{outputs('List_records_-_Parameter_Current_Values')?['body/value'][0]['Value']}
outputs(‘List_records_-_Parameter_Current_Values’)?[‘body/value’][0][‘Value’]

Under the ‘If condition‘ add a ‘Parse JSON
Name: Parse JSON – Parameters
Content: @{variables(‘parameters’)}
Schema: To generate your schema, Click the ‘Generate from sample’ button, than paste in the JSON that you used for Default Value

We are done with the parameter scope now..

Using The Parameters

I will be adding a Teams Action ‘Post a message‘ I will use the dynamic content from my ‘Parse JSON‘ action.

Triggering the Flow, I expect the Dev values to be used (Current Value)

Here is the Teams message:


Next we will export and import into a different Environment which will use different parameters (Default Value)

Export And Import – Deployment

Overview of this sections steps:
1. Remove Current Value from Environment variable
2. Publish Solution
3. Export Solution
4. Import Solution
5. Authorize any Connections
6. Enable Flow
7. Trigger / Test

  1. Remove Current Value from Environment variable

Inside the Solution click on the Environment variable, under Current Value click the 3 dots ( . . . ) Select Remove from this solution

This will only remove the values from this solution. The Current Values will still be in CDS and can also be added back into this solution if needed by clicking Add existing under Current Value
  1. Publish Solution

Inside your solution, click ‘Publish all customization’

  1. Export Solution

Once published click ‘Export’

Export as ‘Managed’ or ‘Unmanaged’ Choose either or based on your needs.

  1. Import Solution

Switch to your other Environment, and click Solutions tab. Click ‘Import’

Choose your Zip file from your Export, and follow instructions by clicking ‘Next’

  1. Authorize any Connections

Once the solution is imported successfully, you may need to authorize any connections inside the Flow. This can be done by clicking on the Flow from inside your solution, and clicking ‘Sign in’ on all actions > Click ‘Save’

  1. Enable Flow

Now enable / turn on the Flow

  1. Trigger / Test

Trigger the Flow to confirm the values are coming over as correct (Default Value).

Test Env – Using Default Value as expected

Now in Teams our message has been posted in a different team chat, different channel, and with the ‘Test’ text in the subject line

Conclusion

After reading this post:
https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/environment-variables-available-in-preview/
I wanted to build a step by step guide, that is practical and also beneficial. Since this feature is in ‘Preview’ this could change without notification.

I hope this guide is able to help you get your ALM for your Power Automate Flows more sustainable.

Flow Template Download and guide:
Loading Environment Variables – Template

Thanks

Adding Security Roles and Field Security Profiles to Users in CDS using Power Automate

The Scenario

We will be adding a Security Role / Field Security Profile to users in CDS. For this demo, our scenario will be grabbing all the users from a Office365 group and assigning them a certain Security Role / Field Security Profile.

The source of the users can be from anywhere:
– MS Form
– SharePoint
– Array inside the Flow
– Excel Table
– AAD Group / Office365 Group

Prerequisites

We will be using the Common Data Service Current Environment connector. This means that our Flow, MUST be created inside a Solution.

You will need appropriate permissions to be able to assign Security Roles and Profiles to

Steps

INFORMATION:
This Flow will work the exact same to add Field Security Profiles instead of Security Roles. The only changes you have to make are in the List records – Get Security Role, and the Relate records – Security Role to User. The changes are listed in the captions of those images.

We use a Variable to store the name of the Security Role we want to add to the users.
Than use a List records action on the Entity Security Roles
In our Filter Query we will use:
name eq ‘ ‘
Since we are using a variable to store the name of the Security Role, we pass this into the Filter Query

Field Security Profile = Change Entity name to Field Security Profile

Next, add a Compose action, to get the Odata URL. This URL is how we will add the Security Role to the User later on.

first(outputs('List_records_-_Get_Security_Role')?['body/value'])?['@odata.id']

To build the above expression follow these steps:

1) Inside the Compose action select Expression tab
2) Use the expression first()
3) Click back to Dynamic content tab

We use first() to get the first value in the CDS List records action. This allows us to bypass the Apply to each loop that Flow creates for us

4) In the ( ) select the Dynamic content value from the List records action

TIP: Make sure you see the fx logo in the text box, this indicates we are using an expression

5) At the end of the expression add:

?['@odata.id']

6) Click OK

7) Confirm the expression saved correctly by hovering your mouse over the expression

Next, use any data source / connector that meets your needs to get the emails of your users that you want to add – In this example I am using Office365 List group members

Add an Apply to each loop – So we can loop through each email and assign the Security Role

Inside the Apply to each loop, add a List records action on the Users entity
Filter Query = internalemailaddress eq ‘ ‘
Add your dynamic content that has the email address for the user to add inside the ‘ ‘

Next, add a Compose action – to store the User ID (Unique ID)
We use the same technique as mentioned above, using first() and the field name
Add this to the end of your expression

?['systemuserid']
systemuserid = the field name in CDS that stores the Unique value for each user. This value is used as a lookup guid. So we can relate the records to this guid

Still inside the Loop:
Add a Relate Records action.. This is one of the actions inside the Common Data Service Current Environment Connector.
Entity Name: Users
Item ID: The Compose – Get User ID Outputs
Relationship: Select ‘Security Role – systemuserroles_association’ from the drop-down
URL: The Compose – Security Role odata URL

Field Security Profile = Change Relationship Dropdown to — Field Security Profile – systemuserprofiles_association

Your action should look like this:

Conclusion

Adding Security roles or Field Security Profiles, can be a long and tedious process. You can add this Flow to a MS form and have users fill out what roles they need.

Thanks for reading!