Power Automate’s Best Kept Secret Trigger: When an action is performed

By John Cote | October 24, 2023

The WHEN, to Use the When an Action is Performed Trigger

Have you ever wanted to trigger a flow based off an action in the system such as when the create order button was executed on a quote or when a user shares a opportunity with a coworker? For some cases this is a simple feat, as when another record is created because of an action you can just use the well-known trigger “When a row is added, modified or deleted” and be right on your merry way. However, it gets trickier when a record is not created, or the originating record is not modified as the case is when using an action like granting or modifying access. So, what then is a power platform low code enthusiast supposed to do? Well, I’m glad you asked because here is your answer: Use the lesser known “when an action is performed” trigger instead!

When an Action is Performed in Power Automate

The HOW, to Use the When an Action is Performed Trigger

This trigger has 4 fields that are all required and is not as scary as it looks. So, lets start from the top and work our way down.
Catalog: this field points to the catalog of the action you want to perform. The really cool part is that if you do not know the catalog and don’t want to go digging through your system to find it, then you can just select the “(All)” option and it will look in all of them.

When an Action is Performed Catalog in Power Automate

P.S. If you have linked environments to F&O or Business Central then you will see some of their actions too!! Yep that’s right a Dataverse trigger that can trigger off of actions outside of Dataverse!

Category: much like the first field, this helps narrow down the search for the action and will be filtered off of what you select for the Catalogue. If you didn’t know the catalogue of your action, then you can select this as “(All)” as well.

Example 1: filtered off of All Catalogue

Filtered off of All Catalogue in Power Automate 

Example 2: Filtered off of Microsoft Dataverse Common Catalogue

Filtered off of Microsoft Dataverse Common Catalogue in Power Automate

Table name: Yep you guessed it, this is the table name that the action is bound to. This is where you will have to start getting specific and know a bit about your action in order to find the correct table and action name. This is also filtered based on the two options above.

Need help finding your table and action name? follow the steps below:

Navigate to Advanced Settings -> click the settings drop down again and find Processes-> change the view to All Processes -> filter based off Category so you are looking at Actions -> check the primary entity column of the action.

All processes tab in power automate

Action name: This is the name of the action you are running this flow after. This is also filtered based off of the table you selected which makes this a seamless process to find your action and start your flow.

The Outputs: from this trigger you get several useful outputs. The dynamic outputs change depending on the action that you are getting them from so play around to find what you want and use a compose step to see if it gives you the data you need in the desired format.

Example Flow:

Business Requirement: A sales manager wants to know when Sales users merge account records so that he can evaluate the new record and the old record to make sure it was merged correctly.
Simple solution: Trigger the flow off the action, send the manager an email with the information so he can review and determine if he needs to take further action.

An example flow in power automate

All we had to do was use our new trigger, parse the JSON to get field inputs and outputs and then use that to get the records that were merged. Once we have those two records we can do just about anything we want. We could put a table in the email showing fields from the old account vs. fields in the new account or put links to those records like I simulated here if you are storing account URLs on create.

The Best Part About When an Action is Performed Trigger in Power Automate

You don’t just have to use a standard event/action to use this trigger, you can also trigger it off the following:

  1. Custom actions!! That’s right, if you have a developer make you a custom action you can trigger flows off it!!
  2. F&O/BC events (limited currently! OH yeah! It’s a Dataverse connector/trigger that can trigger off of events outside the Dataverse.
  3. Platform functionality like Pipelines! Let your imagination run wild with this awesome trigger and keep on automating!

Want to Learn More about the Power Automate?
Please get in touch with us to learn more about how to take advantage of Power Automate.

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