New Experimental Features in Power Automate


Power Automate has introduced some exciting new features that have been long-awaited. These are small changes, but will make creating flows much easier.

Turning on the experimental features

First, you need to make sure you turn on these features. This is done by logging into Then click the gear icon in the upper-right corner and select “View all Power Automate settings”.

Power Automate Experimental Features navigation

Once you select this option you will see a small Settings window pop up. From here, you need to toggle on the “Experimental Features” and then click “Save”.

Power Automate Experimental Features settings

Note: These are experimental features. As noted in the screen shot above, these features could change, break, or disappear. So, there are no guarantees.

What are the new features?

Once you have the experimental features enabled, you will notice a couple of awesome new features.

First, you will notice the labels and field inputs have a different layout. The label is now above the field. This provides more room for the inputs.

Power Automate Experimental Features label and input field layout

However, this layout is not shown in all the action steps. For example, if the Common Data Service action of “List Records” is chosen, you will notice the “Environment” and “Entity Name” are still shown in the “classic” way, but the remaining fields are shown in the new way.

Power Automate Experimental Features label and input field layout exceptions

The second exciting feature is the input “drawer”. If you need to input dynamic content, click on the lightening bolt icon to display the drawer.

Power Automate action step input drawer

The feature is great compared to the “classic” layout where these options popped out to the right side. This caused some folks to have to scroll sideways to see this pop-out. Ugh!

Power Automate action steps classic popout

The third cool feature is the extra space for inputting the expressions! When you click on the “fx” in the corner, the Expressions drawer will appear. And, noticed all the space!

Power Automate action step expressions drawer

This is a huge improvement over the classic layout.

Power Automate classic action step expressions input field

If you had a long expression, it was very difficult to see the entire expression and possibly make any updates. For example, here is a long expression and it goes off to the left for an unknown length because you can’t see it all.

Power Automate classic expression field with long expression

By comparison, if a long expression is input in the new layout, it would show much more.

Power Automate new expression field with long expression

With this new expression field, you can hit your enter key and break down the expression across multiple lines.

Final thoughts…

These small updates a great step forward in making the Power Automate experience more efficient. I’m sure there are more updates coming, and I hoping they will include additional features in the Expressions field.

One ideas I hope that is included is an auto-formatter. This is like the many code formatting sites found online. They will take a pasted code and format it with an easier-to-read layout.

Hope you try out these new features. Let me know what you think of them.

Using Expand Query in Power Automate with CDS

Power Automate plus Common Data Service

Before We Dive In

If you use Power Automate (Flow) and model-driven Power Apps, then (hopefully) you are aware of the “Common Data Service (current environment)” (CDS-ce) connector. Within this connector, there is an “Expand Query” option. This blog post will help explain how to use this.

Note: Check out Sara Lagerquist’s excellent blog called “CDS vs CDS: What Connector should I use in Power Automate?“. This will help you understand the difference between the Common Data Service connectors.

Let’s Dive In

Power Apps Solution

To get started, I have already created a solution within the Power Apps maker site called “PA Flows” (for “Power Automate Flows”). The next step would be to create a new flow within the solution.

Continue reading “Using Expand Query in Power Automate with CDS”

Generating Dynamic Documents for Dynamics 365 using Power Automate

Setting the Stage

So, you may asking, “Why don’t you just use the Word Templates already in Dynamics 365?” That’s a great question. But, here is the scenario:

I needed a way to generate a dynamic Word document using a template, but I wanted the generated document converted to PDF, stored in SharePoint and accessible within Dynamics 365.

Note: The out-of-the-box Word Templates in Dynamics 365 don’t store the generated document anywhere. When you use the Word Template, it just pulls in the dynamic data from Dynamics 365, generates the Word document, and opens Microsoft Word.

Got all that? Ok. Good.

Continue reading “Generating Dynamic Documents for Dynamics 365 using Power Automate”

User Group Summit Recap

First of all, I need to apologize for the long delay between posts. I have been recovering from surgery and prior to that was the User Group Summit.

The 2019 North America User Group Summit is now behind us, and it’s impact is still being felt throughout the community. Many folks left empowered with information and hands-on learning. Others made valuable connections that will foster growth personally and professionally.

For me, there were a couple of things that stood out during the conference.

Continue reading “User Group Summit Recap”

Join me at User Group Summit 2019

User Group Summit 2019 is almost here! Each year Summit brings together people from all walks of life, backgrounds, experiences, industries, and countries.

Summit is THE opportunity to learn, network, step out and speak/present, share and have fun! All of this is centered around #MicrosoftDynamics and the #PowerPlatform.

What makes Summit event even more valuable is that the majority of the sessions are from peers – people who are in your role, or industry, or background. They know about the pros and cons, failures and successes, multiple versions, projects galore…and made out it the other side!

This year marks my 7th Summit. Not quite the milestone of other Summit veterans, but something that I’m proud of. The reason? Being able to contribute to a wonderful community, and, in turn, learn from other awesome contributors.

So, I’m excited to be presenting again for Summit 2019 for 2 sessions. If haven’t marked these on your Summit 2019 session agenda, now is your chance!

  • The Triple Threat – Microsoft Flow, Dynamics 365, and You
    • This session will answer the “What” and “How” of Microsoft Flow. > What is Microsoft Flow? > How do I get and use Microsoft Flow? We will help you understand what the different Microsoft Flow options and connectors are, how to connect to Dynamics 365 CE/CRM and the Common Data Service (CDS), and run through different live demonstrations. You will leave the session with a better understanding of Microsoft Flow and the abundant capabilities available. With this knowledge, you will the be “The Triple Threat” in your organization. Your next update or project will be a knock-out!
  • Controlling the Controls
    • Are you aware of the controls options within Dynamics 365? The Unified Interface for Dynamics 365 has provided new field options in the form of controls. Controls are a great way to enhance the user interaction with the forms and records in Dynamics 365. This session will provide an overview and demonstration of the various controls available, and when and where to use them. You will leave with a better understanding of controls so that you can “control the controls”.

I look forward to meeting you at Summit 2019!