I get following question very often “what’s the behaviour of a flow that has been imported as a new flow or have been updated, with a recurrence – trigger”. A scheduled cloud flow, with trigger “Recurrence”, more information.

Listed up some test scenarios and created a very simple flow “Hello World”, that is sending an email to a specific person. The schedule that has been included is “every day at midnight”.

“Hello world”- Flow

Following test scenarios have been created to check the behaviour of the flow after export:

Power Automate Flow

  • Creation of a Power Automate Flow, simple flow “Hello World” sending an email with the Office 365 connector at a recurring time using the schedule trigger.

From a source environment to a destination environment via a flow ZIP package

  • Export a Power Automate flow, using the exported ZIP package to create a new flow in the destination environment
  • Change source flow and update the previously imported flow via the new exported ZIP package.

From a source environment to a destination environment via a solution ZIP package

  • Create a solution and create a “Hello World” flow.
  • Export solution and import the solution in the destination environment via a solution ZIP package.
  • Change the flow in the source solution and import the new update of the solution in the destination solution.

Export / Import Power Automate Flow via flow ZIP package between two environments

Export/Import via flow ZIP package

In the table below you will find what happened during the import of the flow, using the flow ZIP package. The columns displaying the setting during export and the status of the flow after import (Status = Off/On) and when turning on the flow?

Import Setup settingStatus after importStatus Flow after Turn On
Create as newFlow OffRun not started
UpdateFlow OffRun not started
Import flow via ZIP package in an environment

Results

When exporting a Power Automate flow towards another environment via a flow ZIP package as a new or update of the existing flow. The flow status after the import is always “Off“. Manually activation after creation or update is not triggering the flow (No run is started)

Export / Import Power Automate Flow via a solution between environments

Export/Import via solution ZIP package

In the table below you will find what happened during the import of the flow via a solution ZIP package. The columns displaying the setting during export and the status of the flow after import (Status = Off/On).

Solution typeStatus of flow before export source solutionStatus flow after import solutionFlow executed
managedFlow Off – includes connectionFlow OffNo
managedFlow On – includes connectionFlow OnYes
unmanagedFlow On – includes connectionFlow OffNo
unmanagedFlow Off – includes connectionFlow OffNo
managedSource Solution:
Flow Off
(New version solution + update flow)
Destination Solution:
Flow On (in production)
Flow OnYes
managedSource Solution:
Flow On
(New version solution + update flow)
Destination Solution:
Flow On (in production)
Flow OnYes
Import solution via ZIP package in an environment

Results

There’s different behaviour between a managed and unmanaged package after import. We see that after a solution is imported for the first time, using an unmanaged solution. The flow is always in the OFF – status. What’s different for a managed package, the status is depending on the source flow status and we see that the flow is being triggered after the import of the solution into the destination environment.

CONCLUSION

This behaviour of the flows has been documented with the experience that I had during the test runs. This can deviate from other scenarios and use of another trigger in the flow. This indicates what could happen during import. All feedback is welcome and hope to make this an open discussion. Love to hear your feedback on this.

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