Naming your PowerApps Parameters in Microsoft Flow

The seamless “dev” experience between PowerApps and Flow is remarkable. I love how easy it is to create a Flow from PowerApps, and it just works. However, there’s one issue I see that I wanted to share to help others prevent headaches down the road.

When you’re in PowerApps and create a Flow, or in Flow and select PowerApps as your trigger, you get an empty trigger in Flow. There are no fields or parameters specified.

empty powerapps trigger in microsoft flow

As you begin to build out your flow, you’ll notice that you can begin asking for parameters from PowerApps.

ask in powerapps

When you select that option, Flow will insert your variable and name it based on the action and the field you’re inserting it into. Pretty neat.

new powerapps variable in flow.png

As you can see here, my variable is called Sendaneamail(V2)_To. Blargh, not the best name. As you add more and more actions, and some of them have funky meaningless names, this gets funky in PowerApps as the name carries through to the editor.

poorly named actions in powerapps

It’s not the end of the world, but it’s not that great. What if I wanted to use this parameter elsewhere in the Flow? This name might be misleading. Unfortunately, I can’t rename it or remove it! This parameter appears to be stuck in my Flow forever (someone tell me I’m wrong, please).

squints forever.jpg

What do we do?

Make sure you name your action before you add the parameter.

As we have discussed in the past, it’s important to name your actions, early and often. That carries through here as well. Unfortunately, in this case, I would have to delete the Flow and start over. Not a bad thing this early in creating the Flow, but later on, several actions later that could be REALLY bad.

If you name your actions meaningfully, and simply, the PowerApps parameters will follow.

Cheat, and name them what you want.

Another technique (or hack) I recommend is to use a temporary action to name your parameter, then remove the action. This might seem like overkill, and it may be for certain tasks, but larger PowerApps and Flows, with a team supporting it, it will make things much easier.

In this example, I added an Initialize Variable action, renamed the action to what I wanted my parameter to be, then added the PowerApps option.

name your powerapps flow parameter

Now my parameter makes sense, it’s clear and understood what it’s for. I can now delete this action and use emailAddress_Value anywhere I’d like, just like a normal variable in a flow. Yay me!

The real fix…

Will need to be provided by Microsoft, within Flow. For now, be purposeful about your parameters and try to plan it all out before you get too far.

There are some user voice posts about this issue I suggest up voting to help get more awareness on this issue!

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/PowerApps-Ideas/Change-Parameter-Names-in-Microsoft-Flows/idi-p/53055

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Flow-Ideas/PowerApps-integration-Remove-Rename-parameters/idi-p/137500#M8599%C2%A0

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