Lookup fields & Power Automate

This is an interesting post, for several reasons. Firstly, it’s the first one in 3 weeks – I was off on holiday, and decided to take an (almost) absolute break from all things digital, which included this blog. It was actually quite refreshing, though now coming back & starting to write again does seem a bit daunting, I’ll admit!

Thankfully, whilst wondering what exactly to start with, a scenario came up that I was working on. It seemed quite simple at first, but then actually got someone complicated. I therefore thought it would be helpful to others if I wrote about it, so here it is.

The scenario was as follows. We had records being auto-created in the system, and needed to create child records for them. This, as I’m sure you’ll agree, is really quite simple to do with Power Automate. We also needed to set lookup values on the child record, that were already populated on the parent record (for reference purposes).

So for example, the parent record has a lookup to Country (being a separate entity), and the child record also has a lookup to Country. These need to be the same.

Being both lookup fields, I figured that I’d be able to take the value from the parent record, and simply plop it into the corresponding field on the child record in Power Automate:

So I did that – and immediately hit an error. Not just any error, but the fabled ‘Resource not found for the segment’ error!

Obviously, I did what anyone would do at first – I put it into Google & Twitter, and took a look at what came up.

The ‘problem’ was coming from using the ‘CDS Current Environment’ connector, which is the latest version available (the old one is no longer available to use). It’s really great for a lot of things, but unfortunately not so great in a few areas. See, in the old CDS Connector, you could just drop the lookup field value into the field you were wanting to populate. Power Automate had no issues with that, & it would run just fine.

However in the ‘new’ CDS Connector, you can’t just do that. Instead, you need to use an OData reference (which I haven’t done much of before, to tell the truth). So based on the blogs I had come across, I went to work to try to get this working.

Part of the challenge was that there didn’t seem to be a unified consensus in how to do it. I came across the following variations:

  • /entityname(Lookup Field Value)
  • /entityname/(Lookup Field Value)
  • /pluralentityname(Lookup Field Value)
  • /pluralentityname/(Lookup Field Value)

Somewhat confusing, as I’m sure you’d agree. Nevertheless, I ploughed through all of the different possibilities. But nothing was working – every single time, I still got the ‘segment not found’ error message. This, as you can image, was extremely frustrating!

Thankfully, one of my good friends was around & able to help out. Namely, Tricia Sinclair came to the rescue!

We took a look at the code I was using, and she took a look at some of her own use cases (where it had worked for her). I was starting to think down the path of needing a capital letter in the entity name (some systems can be REALLY finicky around things like that), but thankfully it wasn’t.

Instead, it was the following. See, this was a custom entity. It turns out that for a custom entity (& heck, for all I know system entities as well) the syntax needed is ‘publisherprefix_pluralentityname(lookupfieldvalue)’. Now that’s not something that I had come across ANYWHERE at all!

Looking at it, I guess it makes sense. After all it would technically be possible to have multiple entities with the same name, though with different publishers. As a result, the system needs to know WHICH exact entity is being needed for the Power Automate, so uses this. Somewhat complicated (and hey – it worked without all of this in the OLD CDS Connector), but we got it to work!

Testing it out, everything worked smoothly. The Power Automates fired off without any issues, the data got created & populated, and everyone was happy.

So there you go. Another interesting little twist in syntax needed, which hopefully will NOT change in the (near) future!

Have you come across anything like this? I’d love to hear – drop a comment below around it!

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