Solution is a feature that has been used in the CRM space for a long time. Solutions support for Flow was announced last year -> https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/solutions-in-microsoft-flow/. One thing the post does not mention is that Flows have to be created from the solution record. If you have an existing Flow, that you want to package up into a solution, you cannot do that. To workaround this limitation, I have created a Flow to clone an exisiting Flow and make it solution enabled.
The Flow itself it not that long. Here is how it looks.
The first step is to select the existing Flow that you want to clone, into a solution enabled Flow. This can be done using the Flow Management Connector’s “Get Flow” action.
Solution enabled Flows, like solution enabled canvas apps, are also stored in the CDS database. The entity it used to store the Flow is called Process (logical name: workflow). It stores both the Flow definition, as well the the connection references.
However, the connection references are stored differently between CDS and Flow. Here is how the connections are stored in Flow.
As you can see one is an array and another is an object. So, this means the connection JSON has to be reshaped, when we create a Modern Flow Process record, directly in CDS. We will use select action to reshape the data, and then do a replace to cleanup the JSON.
The action below is the one that creates the Solution enabled Flow. You create the “Process” record using the CDS connection, and populate the Flow JSON in “Client Data” field.
This creates the JSON that is accepted for the “Modern Flow” process record.
In the last step we activate (start) the newly created Flow.
The Flow’s GUID is stored in a field called “workflowidunique” on the Process entity. So, we can use this to the retrieve the Flow, and activate it.
The crazy part of this Flow is that I was able to run the Flow on itself and add it to the solution, hence the title of the post.
You can now add the Flow into the Solution, from web.powerapps.com
The newly created Flow, will have the same step Flow name, you specific in the first Get Flow step, prefixed with “Solution: “
The solution with the Flow can now be exported and imported into a new CDS environment. I hope this helps you to package some of you old Flows into a solution. This Flow can further improved by listing all Flows in the environment and doing the same process or cloning it, rather than specifying a specific Flow at design time.