Power Automate Parallel Branch with Examples

In this Power automate tutorial, we will learn how to work with parallel branch on a flow in Power Automate. Also, we will discuss the below topics using a Parallel Branch with examples such as:

  • What is a parallel branch in Power Automate?
  • Power Automate parallel branch in condition
  • Power Automate parallel branch limit
  • Power Automate adds a parallel branch
  • Power Automate parallel branch join
  • Power Automate terminates the parallel branch
  • Power Automate parallel branches apply to each

What is a parallel branch in Power Automate?

Normally, when we will create a flow in Power Automate, it will create a sequential flow. Meaning the flow actions will execute one by one till the flow completes.

For example, in the case of a leave request flow in Power Automate, the flow actions will execute one by one like below:

  • User submits a leave requests
  • Approval will go to the team lead
  • Then Once the Team lead approves, another approval will go to the Manager
  • And if the manager approves then another approval will go to HR, etc like this.

One after another, the flow actions will execute, you can check out an article on Leave Request Approval Flow using Power Automate or Microsoft Flow.

But there will be scenarios where we want to run two or more steps simultaneously. Microsoft provides the option of creating parallel branches in a flow so that two or more steps will execute at the same time.

For example, If an employee submits a laptop request, then you might want to send an approval to both Manager and the Finance Team. In this scenario, we can use a parallel branch inside the flow in Power Automate.

Read Power Automate Multiple Conditions

How do I add a parallel branch to Power Automate?

If you are using Power Automate, you can get this option when we insert a new step in between trigger and action or two actions in a flow like the below:

power automate parallel branch
Power Automate parallel branch

In a Parallel branch, each branch is independent of the other. Before creating the flow, make sure to log in the Power Automate with your office 365 tenant address.

Create Flow with Parallel Branch in Power Automate

Let’s see how to use this parallel branch in a Power Automate flow. For example, we will create a flow that will trigger when an email receives. Then it will retrieve the attachment and store those attachments within the SharePoint document library.

Step-1:

On Power Automate, click on + Create > Automated Cloud Flow > Select the trigger ‘When a new email arrives (V3)’ > Give a name to the flow > Create.

power automate parallel branch example
Power Automate parallel branch example

It will create the flow and then select an email folder i.e., Inbox. Also, expand the ‘Show advance options‘ and set the ‘Include attachments‘ to Yes.

Flow example of Parallel branch on Power Automate
Flow example of Parallel branch on Power Automate

Step-2:

Next, we will add an action that will get the attachments from the emails. Click on + New step > Get Attachment (V2). Then set the Message-Id and Attachment Id from the dynamic content.

Note- It will create an ‘apply to each’ loop that will apply to each attachment.

Microsoft flow parallel branch
Microsoft flow parallel branch

Step-3:

After getting the attachments, it will upload the files inside the document library. Click on +New step > Create file. Provide the Site Address, Folder path, Filename, and file content from the dynamic content.

create a parallel branch on Power Automate
create a parallel branch on Power Automate

But as per our requirement, we want to upload these attachments to multiple document libraries. So we will add a parallel branch. In between the get attachment and create file action, click on the + symbol to add a parallel branch.

How to create a parallel branch on flow
How to create a parallel branch on flow

Then add another ‘Create file‘ action and provide a different Sharepoint location.

Create parallel branches for actions in workflows
Create parallel branches for actions in workflows

Now the flow is ready. Click on Save > Test > Manually > Run flow. For testing purposes, send an email with attachments to yourself.

create power automate parallel branch
create power automate parallel branch

We can see it will create a file in both SharePoint document libraries at the same time.

Example of power automate parallel branch
Example of Power Automate parallel branch

This is how a Parallel branch works using Power Automate.

Read Power Automate email body formatting

Power Automate parallel branch in condition

The parallel branch does not allow to work within the condition. But we can create a parallel branch first and then put conditions inside each branch or for both branches. Let us take an example where we will see how to use a parallel branch using conditions in Power Automate.

  • For example, when an employee applies for a travel request it will notify both HR and the manager at the same time.
  • If both the responses are approved then the request will be notified as approved.
  • Similarly, if both the responses or one of the responses is not approved then the request will be notified as rejected.

Step-1:

Here we have prepared a SharePoint list named ‘Travel request’, where the employee inserts the details of his travel request. The list has some columns such as:

Columns Type
Title Single line of text
From Date and Time
To Date and Time
Status Choice(Approved, Rejected)
HR Comment Single line of text
Manager Comment Single line of text
power automate parallel branch in condition
Power Automate parallel branch in condition

Step-2:

Now we will move to create a flow that will trigger when an item is created in the specified SharePoint list. On Power Automate, click on + Create > Automated cloud flow > select the trigger ‘When an item is created> create. Give a name to the flow.

Trigger a flow when an item is created in a list
Trigger a flow when an item is created in a list

Step-3:

Next, we will add an action that will get the user profile who created the request. Click on + New step > select the action ‘Get user profile‘. Set the user(UPN) as Created by email.

Add Parallel Branch After Condition Power Automate
Add Parallel Branch After Condition Power Automate

Step-3:

Then, we will add an action that will start the approval request and wait for the responses from the approvers. Click on + New step > select the action ‘Start and wait for the approval. Set the properties such as:

  • Approval type– Approve/Reject – Everyone must approve
  • Title– Give a title of the request
  • Assigned to provide an assigner’s email
  • Details– Give the details of the request
Parallel Branches with flows in Power Automate
Parallel Branches with flows in Power Automate

Step-4:

Now we will add a parallel branch that will send an approval request to other approvers at the same time.

Click on the + symbol in between the ‘Get user profile’ and ‘Start and wait for the approval. Then select ‘Add a parallel branch. Then add another ‘Start and wait for an approval action. Set the properties as previously.

Parallel Branching in Cloud Flows in Power Automate
Parallel Branching in Cloud Flows in Power Automate

Step-5:

Now, we will add a condition for both branches. That will check whether both responses are approved or not. Click on +New step > Condition. And set the values as:

  • The outcome is equal to Approve
  • The outcome is equal to Approve

Note- Both the outcome comes from both ‘Start and wait for an approval’ actions.

use condition in Power Automate Parallel branch
use condition in Power Automate Parallel branch

Step-6:

If the condition satisfies then it will move to the ‘If yes’ section. Send an email notification to the creator or user that his request has been approved. Otherwise, it will move to the ‘If no‘ section and notify the user that his request has been rejected.

Inside the If yes section, click on + Add an action > Send an email. Set the properties such as:

  • To– Select ‘mail‘ from the dynamic content of getting user profile action.
  • Subject– Give a subject to the email.
  • Body– Specify the body of the email.

Similarly, repeat this action in the If no section.

How to use condition in Power Automate Parallel branch
How to use conditions in Power Automate Parallel branch

Step-7:

In this last step, we will add an action in both sections that will update the comments and the status in the SharePoint list. Click on + Add an action > Update item. Specify the site address and the list name. Give the ID and Title from the dynamic content.

In the status, set it as Approved (in the case of ‘If yes’). Also, set the HR comments and the manager comments as ‘Responses comments’ from the dynamic contents of each action.

How to use condition after Parallel branch in Power Automate
How to use condition after Parallel branch in Power Automate

Now the flow is ready to run. Click on save > Test > Manually > Runflow. For testing purposes, let us create an item in the specified SharePoint list.

How to use condition in Microsoft flow Parallel branch
How to use conditions in Microsoft flow Parallel branch

Then it will notify the specified approvers to respond to the requests via Outlook. Let both the approvers approve the requests with comments. Then it will come like below:

How to use Power Automate Parallel branch with condition
How to use Power Automate Parallel branch with condition

This is how to use the Power Automate Parallel branch with conditions.

Read Power Automate Do until

Power Automate parallel branch limit

There is a limitation to using the Parallel branch in Power Automate. It allows us to configure up to 50 parallel branches in a single flow.

Power Automate adds a parallel branch

In this example, we will see how to add a parallel branch to an existing flow. We have prepared a SharePoint list named ‘Task list’ having some columns such as:

Columns Types
Title Single line of text
Description Single line of text
Assigned To Person or Group
Start Date Date and Time
End Date Date and Time

We have created an automated flow that will trigger when an item is created in the task list and create a task in the planner. The flow will look like the below:

power automate add parallel branch
power automate add parallel branch

We have added another action to update the task details:

power automate add a parallel branch
power automate add a parallel branch

Now, we will see how to add a parallel branch inside this existing flow. For example, when an item is created in the list, it will create a task in the planner, and also, at the same time, it will notify the user who is assigned to the task via the Microsoft team.

For this, we need to add a parallel branch inside this flow. Click on ‘+‘ in between the trigger and the action. Then select the ‘Add a parallel branch.

How to add a parallel branch power automate
How to add a parallel branch power automate

Next, we will add an action ‘Post message in a chat or channel‘ that will notify the assignee about the task with a team message. Select the action and set the properties like below:

  • Post-as- Flow bot
  • Post-in- Chat with flow bot
  • Recipient- Select the ‘Assigned To email’ from the dynamic content.
  • Message- Specify the message that will post to the Microsoft Team.
How to add a parallel branch in power automate
How to add a parallel branch in power automate

Here the trigger acts as a Parent where both the branches act as child actions. Let us save the flow and click on Test > Automatically > With a recently used trigger > select the previous successful test > Test. We can see it will create a task in the planner and at the same time it will notify the assigned user via Teams.

How to add a parallel branch in a flow
How to add a parallel branch in a flow

This is an example of how to add a parallel branch in an existing flow and how it works in Power Automate.

Read Power Automate create a task in Microsoft Planner

Power Automate parallel branch join

Similarly, here we will see how to join a parallel branch in Power Automate. Let us take the above example, where we will join the parallel branch and add an action to proceed.

To join the parallel branch, click on the + New step.

Re-join Branching After Adding New Branch in Power Automate
Re-join Branching After Adding New Branch in Power Automate

Search the action ‘Send an email’ > select it.

Power automate parallel branch join
Power Automate parallel branch join

Set the properties such as:

  • To– Give an email id to whom you want to send the email.
  • Subject– Give a subject to the email.
  • Body– Specify the body of the email.
Joining a parallel action to an already existing flow
Joining a parallel action to an already existing flow

Now save the flow. Select to test it automatically. Run the flow. We can see after creating the planner task and posting the message in Teams, it will notify the specified user via outlook.

Create or join parallel branches for actions in workflows
Create or join parallel branches for actions in workflows

This is how to re-join branching after adding a new branch in Power Automate.

Read Power Automate create a task in Microsoft Planner

Power Automate parallel branch terminates

In Power Automate, the terminate action is used to terminate or end the execution process of a flow.

power automate terminate parallel branch
power automate terminate the parallel branch

This action will control the status that is selected by us i.e. failed, succeeded, canceled, and Enter a custom value.

  • If we select failed, it will ask to give an error code and error message. Then the flow will terminate.
  • If you select the canceled, it will cancel the flow and then terminate the flow.
  • Similarly, If we select succeeded, it will complete the flow and then terminate.

Let’s take the previous flow that we have created as an example. As per that scenario, when an item is created in the task list, it will create a task in the Microsoft Planner and then update the task details.

Terminate a parallel branch in Power Automate
Terminate a parallel branch in Power Automate

In that flow, we will add a terminate action by creating a parallel branch. That will terminate the flow once the task is created in the planner.

Click on the + symbol in between the actions > select ‘Add a parallel brach‘ > search and select the action ‘Terminate‘. Set it as Succeeded.

power automate terminate a parallel branch
Power Automate terminates a parallel branch

Now save the flow and test it, then run the flow. We can see it will terminate the flow successfully.

Similarly, if we set the status as ‘failed’ and give an error code as well as the message, then it will show the code with an error message even after the flow ran successfully.

How to use terminate in a Parallel branch in Power Automate
How to use terminate in a Parallel branch in Power Automate

This is how to terminate a parallel branch in Power Automate.

Read Power Automate Copy Folders

Power Automate parallel branches apply to each

In this example, we will see how to use a parallel branch inside the ‘apply to each‘ loop. For example, there is an opening in a certain company and the user sends his resume to that company’s career site or specified email address. Then it will redirect to recruiters with attachments via Outlook.

Let us create an automated flow. The following steps are:

Step-1:

On Power Automate, click on + Create > Automated Cloud Flow > Select the trigger ‘When a new email arrives (V3) > Create. Select the arrived email location i.e. Inbox.

power automate parallel branch apply to each
Power Automate parallel branches apply to each

Step-2:

Next, we will add an action that will get the attachments from the email. Click on + New step > Search and select the action ‘Get attachment‘. Set the message-id and the attachment-id from the dynamic content. It will create an ‘apply to each‘ loop automatically.

Power Automate parallel branch add apply to each
Power Automate parallel branch add apply to each

Step-3:

After getting the attachments, we will add a ‘Send an email action that will send an email to the specified user (recruiter1) including the attachments.

  • Inside the ‘Apply to each‘, click on + Add an action > Send an email. Set the properties such as To, subject, and the body of the email.
  • To add the attachments dynamically, expand the advance option. In the attachment’s name, give a name to the attachment, and in the attachment’s content, select the content bytes from the dynamic content.
Apply to Each Control Action in Power Automate Parallel branch
Apply to Each Control Action in Power Automate Parallel branch

Step-3:

Again we will send this email to another recruiter. For this, we will add a parallel branch in between the get attachments and the send email action.

Click on the + symbol > Add a parallel branch. Add a ‘Send an email action. Set the properties as previously. Then the flow will look like the below:

power automate parallel branch using apply to each
power automate parallel branches using applying to each

Now the flow is ready to run. Let us save the flow. Then click on Test > Manually > Runflow. For testing purposes, send an email to yourself including attachments.

We can see once the email arrived in our inbox, it will forward to both recruiters as well.

power automate parallel branch apply to each action
power automate parallel branch apply to each action

This is how the power automate parallel branch applies to each action works.

You may like the following Power Automate tutorials:

Conclusion

From this Power Automate Tutorial, we discussed everything about Power Automate Parallel branches. Also, we had discussed all these below topics:

  • What is Power Automate Parallel Branch?
  • How to use conditions in Power Automate parallel branch?
  • What is the limitation Power Automate parallel branch?
  • How to add a parallel branch in Power Automate?
  • How to join Power Automate parallel branch?
  • How to terminate Power Automate parallel branch?
  • How to use apply to each Power Automate parallel branch?
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