Here’s a list of things to be verified & recommendations when you are building Power Automate Desktop solutions:
- The user credentials running the machine should be set never to expire
- Do not use OneDrive mapping to process files, it just causes trouble (OneDrive requires a sign-in from time to time)
- Consider when the Windows updates should be running and who is responsible for them
- When going live, there are always errors! Be prepared to offer active support during the first weeks.
- Avoid using the UI script-based approach when you have ready-made actions in the Power Automate (cloud flows) for the same purpose. For example, do not process email attachments through the UI as it is super simple to do that on the cloud. This happens often with RPA developers who are not familiar with Power Automate and are just using the Desktop
- If your solution needs OCR, start by testing with hundreds (if possible) of real examples and count the success rate. OCR is not foolproof and might cause more problems than it helps.
- Make use of looping within the PAD (especially if using pay-as-you-go licensing)
- Remember to use a naming convention with the UI elements, otherwise, you’ll end up with a mess. One idea is to name the windows by the software name or by a sub-flow where those are being used.
Deployment related tips
- Do you really need dev/test/prod environments in smaller cases? Deploying to prod might get quite complicated. Especially if you need to change the machine environments.
- Do not build anything in the default environment
- Change the machine environment with the Power Automate Desktop machine configurator
- Moving the desktop flow to a correct environment needs a solution. The environment appears in the PAD only after the new desktop flow has been transferred to the right environment (but you need to first sign out and sign in)
- Changing the machine environment breaks all the existing connections from cloud flows
- 1 machine runs flows only from 1 environment
- When transferring solutions between environments, transfer first the desktop flow, then the cloud flows, otherwise will fail.
Note: I’m updating this list whenever I remember 🙂