Building a flow is a very iterative process, especially when we have a lot of actions within our business process. As a result, we want to incrementally test our flow as we build it. So how can we do this? We can use the Test feature that exists within a Power Automate.
Once we have addressed any design errors, we can test our flow by clicking on the Test button.
Once we have clicked the Test button, we are presented with different options including:
• I’ll perform the trigger action
• Using data from previous runs
• Use data from Office 365 (Trigger dependent)
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these options.
I’ll perform the trigger action
This option is great when we have a flow that is triggered manually or on a schedule. It allows the user to explicitly kick-it off. However, if we are expecting a data event, such as the case when a new item is added to a SharePoint List, this option will not be useful.
Using data from previous runs
This is a very useful feature, regardless of the type of trigger that we have in our flow. The only problem with this option is that we need to have a flow run that has executed before we can use this feature. What makes this feature useful is we don’t have to create data in our source system to kick-off our flow. If we have issues with downstream actions or expressions, we can go ahead and continue to test our flow using the same inputs until we get it resolved.
Use data from Office 365
This option is only available when we have an Office 365 Email trigger and it will use the most recent email in our inbox to test our flow. Naturally, this functionality is useful when we have a predictable set of emails that we want to test with but not if we have a wide variety of emails entering our inbox.
Note: A similar capability also exists for SQL Server, Gmail and Outlook.com triggers.
In this tip we outlined the different testing options that exist in Power Automate. Using the Test feature improves both maker productivity and quality of the flows that we build.