Feature Review: MS Flow Location Trigger

Introduction

Every since its announcement last summer, we have been looking forward to trying out this great new feature. We have had a few clients with location based Flow requirements and thought this might pose as an interesting Flow building tool.

Here is the video created by Jon Levesque that gives an introduction to this new feature:

 
 

Background: Flow Triggers

Each and every Flow needs to be triggered or initiated somehow. Here is a rundown of the current methods of triggering Flows:

  • Start a Flow from PowerApps: You can kick off a Flow from within PowerApps Canvas Apps. This is a great feature considering that you can actually send data from your PowerApp into MS Flow. Click Here for More Information on this Trigger

  • Scheduled Recurrence: Flows can be configured to run automatically on a scheduled basis. We’ve used this Flow trigger in a lot of real world solutions where our clients want to see an automation repeatedly occur. More information on the schedule / recurrence Flow Trigger

  • Flow Buttons: From the MS Flow mobile app, you can initiate a Flow with the press of a button. There are a lot of reasons why these Flows are useful - if you’d like to learn more, here is a post we wrote, dedicated to the Flow button. Click Here to read all about the Button trigger

  • Event Trigger: Many of the connectors out there allow you to initiate a Flow based on the occurrence of an event in another system. For example, when a new Lead record is generated in Dynamics, you may want to iniatiate a Flow to automate your Lead management process. There are over 230 connectors MS Flow available in MS Flow that connect to other services, applications and data stores - many of them offer triggers.

  • HTTP Trigger: If you are a little more technical, you can even initiate a Flow via an HTTP call. These triggers are very useful for cases where you would like to move data from one system into another. This post provides a good rundown of how this trigger works.

  • Location Trigger: Likely why you’re here! This is a great new trigger that just entered into preview at the time of writing this post. More details on how this works below.

Now that we’ve covered the importance of Triggers in MS Flow, let’s have a look at the Location Trigger.

The Location Trigger

Get the Flow Mobile App

To use this feature, you will need to have the Flow app on your mobile device. This is what will determine when you move in and out of the Location Trigger’s radius and initiate your Flow.

Add the Trigger

When you create a new Flow, you can choose the trigger you would like to use. In the search box, just type in “Location“ and you’ll be presented with the location Trigger.

Here’s how you get started with the location trigger

Here’s how you get started with the location trigger

Setup the Trigger

After adding the trigger, you will be prompted to ‘Create the Trigger Region’. Setting this up will determine the geo-boundary for firing the trigger.

Define the area for your Location Trigger

Define the area for your Location Trigger

Opening the Create Trigger Region screen will allow you to provide either an address or coordinates for your trigger.

 
Location Trigger by Address

Location Trigger by Address

Location Trigger by Coordinates

Location Trigger by Coordinates

 

After you have configured the Address or Coordinates of your Location Trigger, you can use the zoom arrows to increase or decrease the radius of your trigger’s boundary.

Using the Location Trigger’s Data

Here is a look at the values that are output by the trigger. Note that the trigger makes important details available, but there’s additional information in the body that you may want to look at more on this below.

location Trigger Details.PNG

The Trigger’s Body

You can use the Body of the trigger to get more details about the request. The property we are most curious about is the transitionType property

In our tests, the transtionType property shows a value of either 1 or 2. We are wondering if:

  • A value of 1 is returned when a user enters the radius **

  • A value of 2 is returned when a user exists the radius **

**Not based on official Microsoft documentation

Without there being official documentation on this, we are only guessing, but our hope is that this indicates whether someone is entering or exiting the trigger’s defined radius.

We’ll check back on the official documentation the transitionType property to confirm exactly what these values indicate.

Body of Trigger.PNG

Conclusion

We hope this post answers some questions you might have about this trigger and how you might be able to use in your your automations and workflows going forward. Thanks for reading and happy Flow’ing