Updated in Power Automate: A big day for Teams and Azure

Updated in Power Automate: A big day for Teams and Azure

We’ve seen this before, but now we know enough to say for certain. Friday is a big day for Power Automate updates. Today we see the release of 2 new connectors and more importantly a fresh batch of new and updated actions for Microsoft Teams and Azure Container Instance. With this StaffHub and Power Automate are effectively done.

StaffHub is fully deprecated
Microsoft StaffHub connector is now fully deprecated

Although previously announced, the work required to move the StaffHub capabilities into Microsoft Teams looks to be complete. If you are using this connector in your flows, you should expect the StaffHub connection to go away at some point potentially without any further warning.

Deprecated means that Microsoft considers an action, trigger, or connector to be beyond its useful life. Any new projects should avoid the use of deprecated items because it means they could disappear without further notice. If any of your flows use a deprecated item, you should update them right away

What are your options now that StaffHub is effectively dead?

The marking of the last of StaffHub’s actions as deprecated has been accompanied by the following new actions within Microsoft Teams:

  • Microsoft Teams: Get a team – Somehow there was no way to get Team details into your Flow/Logic App before today. This gap is now closed and you can get team details if you have its ID.
  • Microsoft Teams: Shifts: Approve/Deny * – Various actions have been added allowing you to approve or deny Swap Shifts, Time Off, Shift Offers, Open Shifts.
  • Microsoft Teams: Shifts: Get open shift – Previously you could get a shift by ID, but the new action added today allows you to refine your query so that if your shift is not open, your query will return no results.
  • Microsoft Teams: Shifts: Get scheduling group – Now you can get a scheduling group, which you couldn’t do before today
  • Microsoft Teams: Shifts: List Time Off requests/Swap Shift Requests/Shifts/Scheduling Groups/Open Shifts/Open Shift requests/Offer Shift requests – All of these new actions allow you to get more information about your shifts that previously wasn’t even available in StaffHub. These new actions will allow for far more granularity in your Flows.

🔌 What can you do with the new actions?

A number of the actions above offer net-new functionality which means your flows can be far more powerful. Prior to today, building a scheduling app in Power Apps (or through Power Automate) was a far more difficult task. Here are a few Power App ideas we can think of that use today’s new functionality:

  • Allow managers to approve or deny shift requests from a mobile device. You can do this in about 20 minutes if you’re managing shifts in Teams.
  • Allow employees to view and manage their own shifts from a mobile device. It’s now simple to build a Power App that puts shift management (to the desired degree) in the hands of the employees. Power Apps makes this possible WITH NO CODE!

We hope you’re as excited about the new potential as we are. We’re a few weeks late, but for some of you this is certainly a Good Friday!

Azure Container Instance connector
Azure Container Instance connector gets more useful

We recently did an internal review of the Azure Container Instance connector and found it wasn’t very useful. Today, all of that changes. The following new actions bring exciting possibilities for managing your Azure containers.

  • Create or Update a container group – We love the “Create or update” style of connector because you no longer have to worry about the creation state of the object. Use this in your Flow to update attributes of a container group without worrying about duplication. (How it matches an existing container group sadly is not documented.)
  • Get Cached Images – Use this list to specify a valid container image you want to use when updating or creating a new container. Useful to ensure you always have a valid value for image.
  • Get Capabilities – This will give you a list of CPU/Memory/GPU capabilities in a region. Also useful for constructing a valid container.
  • Get current usage – Finally! Now you can get details about your subscription usage in a flow. With this you can automate some cost control measures and connect it to resource usage outside of Azure. This may be today’s most important update.
  • Start/Stop containers in a container group – Starting or stopping the containers will impact compute resource usage which ties directly into cost control. We like the possibilities granted with this and the potential to save resource spend.
  • Update a container group location or tags – This provides some functionality that was somehow missing before. Yay. Now you can update tags and location.

🔌 What can you do with the new actions?

Call us geeks, but we love the business capabilities exposed here. While you already have some built-in cost control measures in Azure, today’s update expands this to Power Automate which means you can start to tie your cost control work to resources outside of the Azure ecosystem.

Here are a few ideas of how you can utilize the exciting features above in Power Automate or Power Apps:

  • Stop container usage when an external event happens. Use any trigger as a basis for shutting down a set of containers. The potential here is frankly exciting.
  • Conditionally build new containers based on current usage combined with external information. Make your external data (for example, the number of orders placed required upcoming fulfillment) help you scale out additional resources ahead of time but only if current usage is below some pre-set limit.

While much more nuanced than the container above, if you have a large spend with Azure, this one has the potential to be far more exciting. Power Automate is a great place for this to live because by its very nature it allows a wider set of staff to manage which can be important when it comes to cost control measures.

Are you as excited about today’s updates as we are?

We are falling more in love with the Power Platform and are happy to be the first to provide you with new and updated information on everything that’s changing.

Do you feel like you could make better use of the Power Platform? Want a hand, or just want to talk over some ideas about how to use the platform? Hit the button below to get in touch with me or another one of our friendly Power Platform specialists.

We know you can do even more when you use the tools available to their fullest possible potential.

Nick Hance
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I'm a software project rescue specialist who has been rescuing failed software systems since 1999. President of Reenhanced.
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