Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – Integrate Common Data Service (CDS) with Power Automate UI Flow and Desktop App (Paint)

In this article I want to talk about the solution provided by Microsoft for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) through an example that involving Common Data Service, Power Automate and Paint… yes, you got it right, Paint 🙂

Let’s do some explanations first!

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) automating time-consuming manual processes with UI flows. The RPA capability is provided by Microsoft Power Automate.
It is typically used to perform tasks on legacy platforms where integration is not possible or expensive. RPA help organisations to accelerate digital transformation projects without having to replace legacy systems or develop expensive integration solutions.

What is UI Flows?

UI Flows is the capabilities of Microsoft Power Automate that supports the automation of Desktop App and Web App. In both cases the steps to create an UI Flow are the same, making the configuration as a prerequisite step.

Prepare the Environment

To make a UI Flows on a local environment you need to perform some configurations that I report below:

1 – On-Premises Data Gateway to make possible the communication between Power Apps and the local enviroment:

2 – UI Flow in order to build, test and run UI Flows

3 – UI Flow browser Extension in order to build the Web App UI Flows:

4 – Selenium IDE browser Extension in order to rec the UI Flows:

Well, once you completed the configuration of the Data Gateway in our Power Platform environment and in general all steps listed, we can create our UI Flow (the various configurations are not within the scope of this post!):

First, we can open Power Automate and select UI Flows under My Flows to create it:

Next, we select the Type of UI Flow, In our case we want interact with Paint and then select Desktop App:

Into step Set Up Inputs, we can create a dynamic text called Account Name, because we want that Paint drawing dynamically the name entered for the Account in Dynamics 365:

Into step Record and Edit Step, we click Launch recorder to capture all sequence of actions to execute:

In our specific case we must record the opening of Paint, the addition of dynamic text and the saving of the PNG file:

When the registration is complete we will save the UI Flow:

Next, we can create a typical automated flow, where the trigger is when a CDS record is created in the Account entity. In the action we will select Run UI Flow and will choose the UI Flow that we have created:

Finally, we will save and try the Flow:

Watch the final result in the following video 🙂

Hope it helps and happy 365Power’ing!

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