In yesterday’s post (as part of my #24DaysPowerPlatform) I introduced the Power Platform (Power BI, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow) Mobile Apps.
On thing I chose as todays topic is a functionality that allows users to start a Flow by pressing a button within the Microsoft Flow app. This functionality is called “Button Flows”. Just imagine sitting in a bar, pressing a button and the next drink is prepared and brought to your seat! 😉
Let’s start with some examples:
The trigger for such a workflow is the Button trigger and if you have a look at the templates gallery, you’ll get some ideas what ca be started with a button Flow.
It’s now only about the trigger that starts this kind of workflows it’s also about the fact you can add parameters to your button Flow (like requesting some additional information from the user).
During my work as a consultant I often have to travel around with my own car to visit our customers. For that I have to record the travel distances and additional information about my travel. In the past, I took a photo of my mileage indicator and sent the photo to my company mail-account. Afterwards I used that information to fill in my travel details in our time tracking software.
Since some weeks I implemented a Button Flow that helps me with this manual task. I will guide you through the process how I implemented my MileageTracker Button Flow.
To start a Microsoft Flow, we need to select a trigger which for this example will be a Button trigger:
The generated trigger does not contain any configuration possibilities – What I want to add are some input parameter to specify the customers name, the starting mileage.
The following input types are available:
For my example I add…
- .. one text input for the customer name
- .. one number input for the starting mileage number
- .. one Yes/No indicator for saving if I had co-drivers (optional)
- .. one text input for the names of the co-drivers (optional)
Next, an action is required. To keep examples simple, I add a “Send Email” action here. This email collects the information and sends it to my company email account. Before the email action I add a “current time” action to add the current timestamp to the workflow.
As you can see in the screenshot, there are some additional pieces of information that are exposed by a Button Flow – like City, Country/Region …. I will use that information in the email body to log the address where the Flow Button was triggered.
Test the Button
You can invoke a Flow Button either within the Flow mobile app or in the flow.microsoft.com web portal. Flow Buttons are available in the “Buttons” (in the screenshot the german word Schalftfläche). And it’s very easy to start one of those.. just press the button.. 😊
Fill out the input parameter fields.. and invoke the Flow!
If the flow takes longer, the Flow app indicates the progress within the Button icon.
After a few seconds, the generated mail appears in my email inbox.
The current implementation works fine, but for the future I plan to add some more enhancements like storing the information directly into our time-tracking software. This requires some more input controls to capture the required information to create entries there. And last but not least I have to implement some sort of API calls to invoke the “Save” command there.
I hope you enjoyed todays Flow example!