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Automate Tasks in Power Automate Using the CData API Server and FinancialForce ADO.NET Provider

Automate actions like sending emails to a contact list, posting to social media, or syncing CRM and ERP.

Power Automate (Microsoft Flow) makes it easy to automate tasks that involve data from multiple systems, on premises or in the cloud. With the CData API Server and FinancialForce ADO.NET Provider (or any of 200+ other ADO.NET Providers), line-of-business users have a native way to create actions based on FinancialForce triggers in Power Automate; the API Server makes it possible for SaaS applications like Power Automate to integrate seamlessly with FinancialForce data through data access standards like Swagger and OData. This article shows how to use wizards in Power Automate and the API Server for FinancialForce to create a trigger -- entities that match search criteria -- and send an email based on the results.

Set Up the API Server

Follow the steps below to begin producing secure and Swagger-enabled FinancialForce APIs:

Deploy

The API Server runs on your own server. On Windows, you can deploy using the stand-alone server or IIS. On a Java servlet container, drop in the API Server WAR file. See the help documentation for more information and how-tos.

The API Server is also easy to deploy on Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, and Heroku.

Connect to FinancialForce

After you deploy, provide authentication values and other connection properties by clicking Settings -> Connections in the API Server administration console. You can then choose the entities you want to allow the API Server access to by clicking Settings -> Resources.

There are several authentication methods available for connecting to FinancialForce: login credentials, SSO, and OAuth.

Authenticating with a Login and Token

Set the User and Password to your login credentials. Additionally, set the SecurityToken. By default, the SecurityToken is required, but you can make it optional by allowing a range of trusted IP addresses.

To disable the security token:

  1. Log in to FinancialForce and enter "Network Access" in the Quick Find box in the setup section.
  2. Add your IP address to the list of trusted IP addresses.

To obtain the security token:

  1. Open the personal information page on FinancialForce.com.
  2. Click the link to reset your security token. The token will be emailed to you.
  3. Specify the security token in the SecurityToken connection property or append it to the Password.

Authenticating with OAuth

If you do not have access to the user name and password or do not want to require them, use the OAuth user consent flow. See the OAuth section in the Help for an authentication guide.

Connecting to FinancialForce Sandbox Accounts

Set UseSandbox to true (false by default) to use a FinancialForce sandbox account. Ensure that you specify a sandbox user name in User.

You will also need to enable CORS and define the following sections on the Settings -> Server page. As an alternative, you can select the option to allow all domains without '*'.

  1. Access-Control-Allow-Origin: Set this to a value of '*' or specify the domains that are allowed to connect.
  2. Access-Control-Allow-Methods: Set this to a value of "GET,PUT,POST,OPTIONS".
  3. Access-Control-Allow-Headers: Set this to "x-ms-client-request-id, authorization, content-type".

Authorize API Server Users

After determining the OData services you want to produce, authorize users by clicking Settings -> Users. The API Server uses authtoken-based authentication and supports the major authentication schemes. You can authenticate as well as encrypt connections with SSL. Access can also be restricted by IP address; access is restricted to only the local machine by default.

For simplicity, we will allow the authtoken for API users to be passed in the URL. You will need to add a setting in the Application section of the settings.cfg file, located in the data directory. On Windows, this is the app_data subfolder in the application root. In the Java edition, the location of the data directory depends on your operation system:

  1. Windows: C:\ProgramData\CData
  2. Unix or Mac OS X: ~/cdata
[Application] AllowAuthtokenInURL = true

Add FinancialForce Data to a Flow

You can use the built-in HTTP + Swagger connector to use a wizard to design a FinancialForce process flow:

  1. In Power Automate, click My Flows -> Create from Blank.
  2. Select the Recurrence action and select a time interval for sending emails. This article uses 1 day.
  3. Add an HTTP + Swagger action by searching for Swagger.
  4. Enter the URL to the Swagger metadata document: https://MySite:MyPort/api.rsc/@MyAuthtoken/$oas
  5. Select the "Return Account" operation.
  6. Build the OData query to retrieve FinancialForce data. This article defines the following OData filter expression in the $filter box:

    Industry eq 'Floppy Disks'

    See the API Server help documentation for more on filtering and examples of the supported OData.

Trigger an Action

You can now work with Account entities in your process flow. Follow the steps to send an automated email:

  1. Add an SMTP - Send Email action.
  2. Enter the address and credentials for the SMTP server and name the connection. Be sure to enable encryption if supported by your server.
  3. Enter the message headers and body. You can add FinancialForce columns in these boxes.