In the past I used SharePoint Designer Workflows and I’ve always struggled with the reliability of SharePoint Designer. Now that Flow is the new cool toy to play with I thought I’ll put it to the test.

During this series I’m going through my conclusions as I try to get to developing reliable Flows.

Posts in this series:

Part 1 – Twitter feeds turned into emails

Part 2 – SharePoint lists alerts with Flow

Part 3 – Reliable Flows

Part 4 – Error Handling

 

So I setup a flow that sends an email every time someone sends a tweet with the office 365 hash tag. So if you got to this post via twitter using the #Office365  then please retweet the post.

 

I would have liked to include a link to the tweet but that doesn’t seem to be available yet:

It is however possible to get the link to the tweet included in the email using https://twitter.com/{username}/status/{tweetid} . Thanks  to Josh for his comment below.

Once I saved my tweet the emails started to come in, but quite quickly I noticed the failed flow notification:

Clicking on the details I got to the following error message:

And even though I looked at the notification the red notification alert didn’t disappear.

Then when I looked at the run history, It noticed that I didn’t get much success with my flow:

So, so far my conclusion is that Flow isn’t great in handling high volumes, but I was wrong.  Looking a bit further at the error details:

The email is failing when fields are empty. So I guess some of the tweets don’t have an image attached and therefore including them in the email body is causing problems.

So now I’m updating my Flow a bit and I’m removing the MediaURLs, but this doesn’t make a difference. Ok, so a bit more of a detailed look at the error message

There are 2 clues in the message:

  • Apply_to_each
  • OriginalTweet and MediaUrls

So it is the apply to each that requires these fields to be set. Unless I’m wrong, it looks like the  Apply to each step in  Microsoft Flow needs these fields to be set.

I’m still investigating, but it looks like I’m hitting a bug here.

So I decided to create the same Flow in Azure Logic apps.

Then I waited for some email alert to come through and I got my first alerts coming through quite quickly and also some failures:

Ok, the same error message appears here. I would have been quite surprised if it had worked in Azure Logic apps as Logic apps and Flow are very much the same. But there is one big difference and that is code view.

And this is where I can find the problem:

Time to play around with the json in the code view? No it isn’t I suddenly realised what is happening. I’m running the Flow and Logic app quite frequently and every now and then there simply aren’t any Office 365 tweets. So I’ll run my Flow every 5 or 10 minutes and see if the success factor goes up, but I’m still getting many failures to come through.

Having let this run for a while, I’m still getting many failed flows :

Comparing this with the matching Logic Job in Azure:

It looks like the reporting might not be able to keep up unless of course I do have many jobs running? Please feel free to leave a comment below or continue to read the rest of this series.

Interested in more? Office 365 – Microsoft Flow – How reliable is Microsoft Flow – Part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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