Improved application lifecycle management for flows using Common Data Service

Note

These release notes describe functionality that may not have been released yet. To see when this functionality is planned to release, please review What's new and planned for Microsoft Flow. Delivery timelines and projected functionality may change or may not ship (see Microsoft policy).

In November, we released support for automated, scheduled, and instant flows in Common Data Service solutions. Solutions allow you to author, package, and maintain groups of components, such as flows and Common Data Service entities. You can distribute solutions allowing you or others to install and uninstall the business functionality defined by the solution across environments.

We are now releasing new functionality to improve the way that solutions work. In particular, certain flows using Common Data Service can now be automatically activated on solution import to a new environment.

To build flows that can automatically be turned on, the flow must be built by first going to Solutions in the left navigation, choosing a solution, and then adding the flow. When you build the flow, use the new Common Data Service (Current Environment) connector:

Search for connector

This connector is special in that it will always use the environment that the flow is deployed in, and can automatically pick up the user context of the owner of the flow. This means you don’t have to select which environment to connect to:

Complete trigger

In this example, we can create a flow that will automatically add a Note to all related accounts when a parent account is changed:

Complete flow

Once you save the flow, you can export it as either a managed or unmanaged solution. Managed solutions, which are now fully supported by flow, are useful when you want to move a flow to a production environment – you can read more here about the difference between these solution types.

Export solution

After exporting the solution, you can go to the destination environment and import the solution.

Import solution

The flow in this solution will immediately begin listening to accounts being updated and creating notes. No additional configuration or activation is required.

Flow results

Note that this functionality will only work for flows that do not have connectivity to services besides the Common Data Service (Current Environment). This is because other services must be explicitly authorized by the connection owner after import. However, built-in actions that manipulate data or use the HTTP connector will work immediately upon import.

Known issues

The new Common Data Service (Current Environment) capability is available for preview today and is rolling out globally in the coming week. There are a few known issues for flows that are built inside solutions:

  • There is no way to access solution flows in the Flow mobile app.
  • Buttons inside solutions will not show up in the Buttons tab in the Flow mobile app, and certain fields from buttons cannot be used.
  • Custom connectors cannot currently be included in solutions.
  • If the set of columns or fields changes on a record, this might cause the flow to fail.
  • The Run history currently shows the raw JSON inputs and outputs for actions instead of the simple properties of each action.
  • Flows triggered from PowerApps are not currently supported.

We are currently working on closing out the remaining issues with these flows.