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Power Automate desktop flows in Dataverse updates

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Power Automate desktop flows are stored in Microsoft Dataverse, which lets you securely store and manage data that’s used by business applications. This enables you to leverage features like Solutions for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). However, we have received feedback from customers that the way data is stored can be difficult to work with.

Thus, a new storage schema for desktop flows in Dataverse (v.2) has been implemented. This will be much easier to work with when you are using Dataverse APIs and will enable future product enhancements with Power Automate for desktop. This new storage schema is publicly available along with the February 2023 application release (v.2.29).

What does this mean for your enterprise Power Automate for desktop deployment?

Power Platform Administrators: 

Power Platform Administrators can choose when to enable the v.2 storage.  Ensure that Power Automate for desktop users and unattended runtime machines have been updated with version 2.29 or later and then enable the v.2 storage schema through the feature toggle.

This setting is applied at the environment level.  There is no immediate need to act, although it is recommended to enable the use of future product enhancements.  In addition, desktop flows stored in the v.1 schema will eventually need to be converted to the v.2 schema in 2024 as the v.1 schema is deprecated.  Power Automate for desktop versions 2.29 and later will be required to author and run desktop flows using environments where the v.2 schema has been enabled.  This requirement ensures desktop flow makers and both attended and unattended users can take advantage of the new functionality.

Makers and runtime users:

The user experience within Power Automate for desktop will be unchanged for makers and runtime users when working with environments where the v.2 schema is enabled.  Note that makers, runtime users and unattended machines used to create, edit, or run desktop flows, should all be updated to version 2.29 or later, so that flows which are stored in either v.1 or v.2 schema can operate as intended.

Power Automate for desktop will make incremental improvements moving onward from the 2.29 product release which include performance enhancements for environments with v.2 enabled and in relation to loading, saving, authoring and runtime of desktop flows.

How does this work?

The v.2 schema version effectively reduces Dataverse database consumption for paid license users and offloads components of your desktop flows into your Dataverse for Apps File Capacity which is included in your current subscription.

When the v.2 schema is enabled for an environment, any new, or re-saved desktop flows will be stored into v.2 which breaks the process definition down into new fields and incorporates new workflow binary entity references.  Therefore, the process definition will be converted into a new field within your Dataverse storage table, and images related to the process will be stored in Azure file capacity.

The v.2 feature reduces the amount of Dataverse capacity which is required and increases Azure file capacity at a nearly equal rate – the combination of which should result in savings for your organization.

Can desktop flows saved in the v.1 schema coexist with flows stored in the v.2 schema?

Yes, they can.  However, it’s best practice to create back-ups and migrate all production flows to the new schema as soon as possible to avoid production disruptions in the event a flow has not been migrated leading up to the time when the v.1 storage schema is unsupported.

More details:

ScenarioPower Automate for desktop –
prior to February 2023 release
Power Automate for desktop –
after to February 2023 release
Can run v.1 schema desktop flows
in environments with v.2 schema enabled
YesYes
Can run v.2 schema desktop flows
in environments with v.2 schema enabled
No (user notified of error)Yes
Can run v.2 schema desktop flows
in environments with v.2 schema disabled
No (user notified of error)Yes
Can edit/save v.1 desktop flows
into v.1 schema in environments with v.2 schema disabled
YesYes
Can edit/save v.1 desktop flows
into v.1 schema in environments with v.2 schema enabled
YesNo (flows are upconverted and saved in v.2)
Can edit/save v.2 desktop flows
into v.1 schema in environments with v.2 schema disabled
No (user notified of error)Yes (flows are downgraded to and saved in v.1)
Can edit/save v.2 desktop flows
into v.2 schema in environments with v.2 schema enabled
No (user notified of error)Yes

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