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

Ready to get started?

Learn more or sign up for a free trial:

CData API Server



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 Paylocity ADO.NET Provider (or any of 200+ other ADO.NET Providers), line-of-business users have a native way to create actions based on Paylocity triggers in Power Automate; the API Server makes it possible for SaaS applications like Power Automate to integrate seamlessly with Paylocity data through data access standards like Swagger and OData. This article shows how to use wizards in Power Automate and the API Server for Paylocity 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 Paylocity 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 Paylocity

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.

Set the following to establish a connection to Paylocity:

  • RSAPublicKey: Set this to the RSA Key associated with your Paylocity, if the RSA Encryption is enabled in the Paylocity account.

    This property is required for executing Insert and Update statements, and it is not required if the feature is disabled.

  • UseSandbox: Set to true if you are using sandbox account.
  • CustomFieldsCategory: Set this to the Customfields category. This is required when IncludeCustomFields is set to true. The default value for this property is PayrollAndHR.
  • Key: The AES symmetric key(base 64 encoded) encrypted with the Paylocity Public Key. It is the key used to encrypt the content.

    Paylocity will decrypt the AES key using RSA decryption.
    It is an optional property if the IV value not provided, The driver will generate a key internally.

  • IV: The AES IV (base 64 encoded) used when encrypting the content. It is an optional property if the Key value not provided, The driver will generate an IV internally.

Connect Using OAuth Authentication

You must use OAuth to authenticate with Paylocity. OAuth requires the authenticating user to interact with Paylocity using the browser. For more information, refer to the OAuth section in the Help documentation.

The Pay Entry API

The Pay Entry API is completely separate from the rest of the Paylocity API. It uses a separate Client ID and Secret, and must be explicitly requested from Paylocity for access to be granted for an account. The Pay Entry API allows you to automatically submit payroll information for individual employees, and little else. Due to the extremely limited nature of what is offered by the Pay Entry API, we have elected not to give it a separate schema, but it may be enabled via the UsePayEntryAPI connection property.

Please be aware that when setting UsePayEntryAPI to true, you may only use the CreatePayEntryImportBatch & MergePayEntryImportBatchgtable stored procedures, the InputTimeEntry table, and the OAuth stored procedures. Attempts to use other features of the product will result in an error. You must also store your OAuthAccessToken separately, which often means setting a different OAuthSettingsLocation when using this connection property.

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 Paylocity Data to a Flow

You can use the built-in HTTP + Swagger connector to use a wizard to design a Paylocity 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 Employee" operation.
  6. Build the OData query to retrieve Paylocity data. This article defines the following OData filter expression in the $filter box:

    EmployeeId eq '1234'

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

Trigger an Action

You can now work with Employee 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 Paylocity columns in these boxes.