As a Microsoft ISV partner providing a Power Automate connector we work with customers all over the world to help deliver Power Platform solutions and to provide general product support.
If you ever contact our support team (firstname.lastname@example.org), one of the first few questions you are likely to be asked… “Please provide the ‘Input’ value provided to the Encodian action”.
Now, our team spends all day every day submersed in the Power Platform and accessing this information is second nature, however, it is commonplace that our customers require guidance understanding what the ‘Input’ value is and how to obtain it, and therefore this article is focused purely on exploring Power Automate run history and explaining ‘Input’ and ‘Output’ values.
Power Automate Run History
Consider the following example flow which has been configured to search the contents of a Microsoft Word Document to find specific data which is then added to the same document metadata.
Further details on this example flow are located: Search Word Documents with Microsoft Power Automate
Now, the flow itself is not important… we simply need an example to explore the run history, which is accessed via these simple steps:
1. Navigate to ‘My Flows‘ within Power Automate, and click the Flow whose run history you would like to review:
2. The ‘28-day run history‘ shows the latest runs for the flow, you can open a specific run instance by simply clicking on the item.
3. Upon opening a specific run you can review how the run executed covering data sent/received and timings for all contained actions. If you need to troubleshoot your flow this is where to start!
Power Automate ‘INPUTS’ and ‘OUTPUTS’
Every single action within your ‘Run History‘ categorizes data either as an ‘INPUT’ or as an ‘OUTPUT’
- INPUT: Data which has been provided to the action
- OUTPUT: Data which has been passed back (Generated) by the action
1. To review INPUT and OUTPUT data you simply need to click on the selected action within the items run history:
2. The interface you are presented with upon opening can differ depending on the size of the data contained within the ‘INPUT’ and ‘OUTPUT’ sections.
2.a. An action handling smaller data sets will open as follows:
2.b. An action handling larger data sets will open as follows:
So, how do you view larger data sets or all data sent to/from an action in the run history? Well, let’s take the small data set as an example first.
3. To access the explicit data set sent to (INPUTS) and generated by (OUTPUTS) a Power Automate action, click ‘Show raw inputs‘
4. You will now be able to see the ‘INPUT’ data in raw JSON format, this is the actual data sent/received by the action.
NOTE: If you are asked by Encodian support personnel for INPUT and/or OUTPUT data, this is the information that is being requested. Please be aware that upon sharing this data you are sharing your data which could include your files.
So, how do you view larger data sets sent to/from an action in the run history?
5. Upon the selected action, click ‘Click to download’
Now, what happens next is dependent on your browser! The link opens the actual JSON payload sent to/from the action and if your browser does not have a native ability or an add-on to parse a JSON file the data would simply be downloaded.
Microsoft Edge simply displays as follows:
Now, this is somewhat difficult to interpret! To aid reviewing we recommend:
Post installing the JSON Formatter for Edge the JSON is data is parsed and formatted:
6. If you wanted to share this data with another person or party (like Encodian support) then you can either copy and paste the contents into a TXT file or simply send the URL, noting the URL is not permanently accessible.
The URL’s can be accessed by anybody with the URL’s, they are not secured by authentication.
We hope you have found this guide useful, and as ever, please share any feedback or comments – all are welcome!