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Intro to JSON and Power Automate

Intro to JSON and Power Automate

If you've played with Power Automate, Microsoft's new workflow tool, you've likely come across some JSON-related content.  If you've never worked in software development, this may be the first time you've seen data formatted this way; you've likely only seen XML-formatted data in applications like Microsoft Dynamics 365.  In this blog, we'll break down the key things to know about JSON and how you can use it to create powerful Flows for your business.

What is Power Automate?

Formally known as Microsoft Flow, Power Automate is Microsoft's code-less tool designed to automate your business's repetitive and manual tasks.  With Power Automate, you can:

  • Automate business processes.
  • Pass data between nearly every application in the Microsoft Stack.
  • Connect to any publicly available API.
  • Automatically send reminders and create events for your business.
  • And much more!

Click here for countless examples of how Power Automate can fit your business needs.

What is JSON?

JSON is a language-independent data interchange format.  Essentially, it is a lightweight way of displaying and transporting data in applications regardless of what coding language that application is written in.  XML, on the other hand, is an older format used to transport data that has become less popular over the years.

Power Automate and JSON

Power Automate utilizes JSON to display and transport data between your Flow Steps.  If you've ever troubleshooted a Flow by reviewing its Run history, you will see that most Flow Steps have inputs and outputs that contain JSON.  Therefore, understanding JSON is key to creating and troubleshooting Flows successfully.

JSON consists of Arrays(denoted with braces), Objects (denoted with curly braces) and Properties (displayed as Key-Value Pairs).  These come together to create a data hierarchy that can be understood by almost any modern application.  Suppose you create a Flow Step that queries the Accounts table.  When you run this step, you will see some JSON in your Step's Output like this:

"Value": [
        "Account": "ABC Construction",
        "Primary Contact": "Mike Green",
        "Annual Revenue": "$10,000.00",
        "Status": "Active",
        "Owner": "Sarah Blue"
        "Account": "Corey's Company",
        "Primary Contact": "Corey Williams",
        "Annual Revenue": "$8,500.00",
        "Status": "Active",
        "Owner": "John Red"
        "Account": "XYZ Group",
        "Primary Contact": "Janet Orange",
        "Annual Revenue": "$11,000.00",
        "Status": "Inactive",
        "Owner": "James Black"

(JSON is simplified for explanation purposes)

Here, you can see that we have an Array named "Value" that contains multiple Objects, each containing the 5 Properties "Account" "Primary Contact" "Annual Revenue" "Status" and "Owner."   The "Value" Array represents a list of Records similar to what you might see in a View in Microsoft Dynamics 365.  Each Object (wrapped in curly braces) represents 1 Account record.  Each Account contains 5 Key-Value Pairs for the 5 fields that were returned from your query.  Power Automate utilizes this consistent format of data in almost every type of Flow Step.  Becoming familiar with this data format will help you master Flow creation and troubleshooting, and open the door to creating powerful automations for your business.

Contact Beringer Today!

Our team has deep experience utilizing the latest Microsoft technology such as Power Automate and JSON. Reach out today if you have questions on how your business could benefit from this technology.

We’ve also been working with Microsoft Dynamics since its inception, and we’re always finding innovative ways to implement the latest tools and help automate business processes.

Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution also provides expert Managed IT ServicesBackup and Disaster RecoveryCloud Based Computing, Email Security Implementation and TrainingUnified Communication Solutions, and Cybersecurity Risk Assessment.



Rob is the CTO of Beringer Technology Group, and focuses his efforts on software development, cloud engineering, team mentoring and strategic technical direction. Rob has worked with Beringer since 2005, and has influenced every department from Development, Security, Implementation, Support and Sales. Rob graduated with his MBA from Rowan University in 2012, earned his Bachelors of Computer Science in 1997, and is current with several Microsoft technical certifications. Rob is very active, and loves to mountain bike, weight train, cook and hike with his dog pack.