Displaying a percentage with two decimal places in Power Automate

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In this section from my Power Automate I initialise two variables (currentscore and maxscore) with values using the Set variable action. I want a third variable, sspercentage, to be equal to:

(currentscore) / (maxscore) * 100

that is, a percentage but with only two decimal places. To do that I need to use the following formula in the Set variable 3 action:

formatNumber(mul(div(variables(‘currentscore’),variables(‘maxscore’)),100),’0.00′,’en-US’)

which you will note, if you look carefully, actually results in sspercentage being a string not a float!

(div(variables(‘currentscore’),variables(‘maxscore’))

handles the division

mul(div(variables(‘currentscore’),variables(‘maxscore’)),100)

multiples the division by 100 to get the percentage value.

The 0.00 in the formula is the actual formatting that you can adjust if you need and the en-US is the language format for the number. The Microsoft reference is for the formatnumber function is here:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/logic-apps/workflow-definition-language-functions-reference#formatNumber

The end result looks like:

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If the formatnumber function is not used then the result contains a lot of numbers after the decimal place and remains of type float, which I would only need if I wanted to display the value of Pi!

CIAOPS Need to Know Microsoft 365 Webinar – May

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Join me for the free monthly CIAOPS Need to Know webinar. Along with all the Microsoft Cloud news we’ll be taking a look at OneDrive for Business.

Shortly after registering you should receive an automated email from Microsoft Teams confirming your registration, including all the event details as well as a calendar invite.

You can register for the regular monthly webinar here:

May Webinar Registrations

(If you are having issues with the above link copy and paste – https://bit.ly/n2k2205 – into your browser)

The details are:

CIAOPS Need to Know Webinar – May 2022
Friday 20th of May 2022
11.00am – 12.00am Sydney Time

All sessions are recorded and posted to the CIAOPS Academy.

The CIAOPS Need to Know Webinars are free to attend but if you want to receive the recording of the session you need to sign up as a CIAOPS patron which you can do here:

http://www.ciaopspatron.com

or purchase them individually at:

http://www.ciaopsacademy.com/

Also feel free at any stage to email me directly via director@ciaops.com with your webinar topic suggestions.

I’d also appreciate you sharing information about this webinar with anyone you feel may benefit from the session and I look forward to seeing you there.

Set up PAYG for Power Platform

The Power Platform now has the ability to be Pay As You Go (PAYG) for licensing. This is a great option to get access to many advanced capabilities on demand. When you configure this option the billing is done via Azure rather than Microsoft 365. This means, prior to setting up PAYG for the power Platform, you’ll need to have an Azure subscription in place. As I have highlighted before:

Deploy Office 365 and Azure together

Once you have the Azure subscription in place, inside the same tenant where you want to enable PAYG for the Power Platform, you’ll need to have or create an Azure Resource group that will be associated with the PAYG option. You need to create this ahead of time. The following will show you how to create one if you need to:

Manage Azure resource groups by using the Azure portal

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You’ll then need to visit the Power Platform admin center which is at:

https://admin.powerplatform.microsoft.com/

then select Billing policies. From the top menu now select New billing policy as shown above.

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Give the policy a name, the name needs to be at least 10 alphanumeric characters. Select Next to continue.

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Now select the Azure subscription you want the billing ties to. Then select the Resource Group that you want to use, the must already be in your Azure subscription as aI noted earlier. Finally select the region and press Next to continue.

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Now add any environment to the subscription and press Next to continue.

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Here select Create Billing Policy.

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The policy should now be created and displayed as shown above.

You create additional billing policies if you wish by simply repeating the above process. Doing so would allow you to tie that policy to a different Azure subscription and/or Resource Group for billing and management if needed.

For more details on the Power Platform PAYG option see:

Set up pay-as-you-go

Techwerks 15

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I am happy to announce that Techwerks 15 will be held in Melbourne CBD on Thursday May 26th 20212.

The course is limited to 30 people and you can sign up and reserve your place now! You reserve a place by completing this form:

http://bit.ly/ciaopsroi

or by sending me an email (director@ciaops.com) expressing your interest.

The content of these all day face to face workshops is driven by the attendees. That means we cover exactly what people want to see and focus on doing hands on, real world scenarios. Attendees can vote on topics they’d like to see covered prior to the day and we continue to target exactly what the small group of attendees wants to see. Thus, this is an excellent way to get really deep into the technology and have all the questions you’ve been dying to know answered. Typically, the event produces a number of best practice take aways for each attendee. So far, the greatest votes are for deeper dives into the Microsoft Cloud including Microsoft 365, Azure, Intune, Defender for Endpoint, security such as Azure Sentinel and PowerShell configuration and scripts, with a focus on enabling the technology in SMB businesses.

Recent testimonial – “I just wanted to say a big thank you to Robert for the Brisbane Techworks day. It is such a good format with each attendee asking what matters them and the whole interactive nature of the day. So much better than death by PowerPoint.” – Mike H.

The cost to attend in Melbourne is:

Gold Enterprise Patron = Free

Gold Patron = $33 inc GST

Silver Patron = $99 inc GST

Bronze Patron = $176 inc GST

Non Patron = $399 inc GST

I hope to also have a streaming option available as well. The costs for this will be:

Gold Enterprise Patron = Free

Gold Patron = Free

Silver Patron = Free

Bronze Patron = $33 inc GST

Non Patron = $99 inc GST

I hope to see you there.

ANZAC Day 2022

Today we take a moment to commemorate ANZAC day here in Australia. It is probably the one day that truly unites unites Australia. This is largely due to it harking back to a time when Australia came together as a nation for the first time. The benefit of historical hindsight may question the value of that military action all those years ago but the core values that came from that are what should be celebrated. It cemented the bond between unknown individuals who came together in truly terrifying circumstance to survive, flourish and in many ways, give birth to a nation on the back of their commitment to each other.

The actions all those years ago, across many battlefronts, brought many Australians face to face with other Australians they would have probably never met had the circumstances been different. It thrust them into life and dead experiences that many would have never expected. It thrust the average Australian into circumstances that would truly demonstrated man’s inhumanity to man. Yet, through all this adversity, Australians began to forge a bond, a concept of mateship, that lives on today.

This is something that perhaps we now need more than ever as we face an uncertain and divided world. The past few years have seen many live through life changing and unexpected circumstances that have irrevocably altered our community and the world. They have perhaps, cemented the fragility of life in people’s mind and hopefully made them appreciate how truly lucky we are every day. Our celebration today should look to the example these people provided us all those years ago.

Of course, not everyone is lucky. As with that day back in 1915, many paid the ultimate price and had their lives cut sort by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A unique fact about Australian troops throughout World War One was that they were a total volunteer force. Each one, chose to be there. Many chose to remain, through the horrors of war, to be with their mates and do what they could for each other above all else. Today we also remember those in our community that continue to live and demonstrate that spirit to service.

This is the sacrifice and commitment we honour today. It is about what people do for others. It is about what people did that they thought was right. It is about what people did for what they believed was the greater good. You can judge their motives and ideals through the lens of history but you can’t question their devotion to each other and to their commitment. Today, we celebrate their devotion to each other.

Their hope, after enduring war, was that no one else would have to go through the same experience. The ‘war to end all all wars’ as it was known, sadly did not eventuate. That failure lies on the shoulders of modern society, who do not readily learn the lessons of history. Who lets their world view become full of negativity, impatience, violence and revenge all too readily. We should take a leaf from our ANZAC forebears and focus on what is truly important, our mates.

Lest We Forget

If you want to learn more about the ANZAC battlefields in northern France, visit my web site – www.anzacsinfrance.com.

Build a system to solve staff challenges

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One of the major issues that will remain a challenge for most SMB IT resellers is the recruitment and retention of qualified staff. Many times I have been asked questions like – how much should I pay? Should I get a more senior person or more junior people? What skills do I need to look for when it comes to supporting the Microsoft Cloud? My response to that is to say that you are going about things the wrong way.

The challenge with staff is that they are human beings. This makes them imperfect for any task for which you employ them. Also, even if you do manage to employ the ‘prefect’ candidate, they can resign from the business at any time. Given the pace of Microsoft Cloud technologies there will always need to be further investment in skills and knowledge to remain effective. This is a hard job, as many business owners already know, but there is a far better approach in my books.

The thing that I don’t see readily implements in most businesses is a training and onboarding system. The idea is that you build a system that will produce the results or skill levels you are after. In that way, you can simply input just about any candidate at one end and out the other end will pop a highly effective and skilled member of your business.

Having a system means you don’t have to spend time looking for people with the ‘right’ technical skill level and paying them a fortune. You can in fact focus more on what is truly important when it comes to employees, attitude. As the saying goes, you can train skills but you can’t train attitude.

A good employee will also welcome a structured developed path that they can progress along. A system like this also allow the use of metrics to flag employees that are struggling and even though excelling, so they can be given more opportunities.

The biggest challenge obviously comes with building a system. Problem is that most people look at the end result, decide it is all too hard and then fall back on antiquated approaches that don’t work. The best way to start, is just to start! You don’t have to develop the prefect system immediately, you can grow into it over time. The important thing is to start and keep working on it, because as we know, the skills requirements will continue to change over time.

I wrote an article a while back:

Key skills for an IT Professional

that I would suggest is a good place to start when determining what training topics to look at. There are also many resources you can use to help people get skilled up and most are free. The secret is to set them out in a curriculum so people know what is required of them and what they need to learn. Simply leaving people to ‘learn by experience’ doesn’t cut it in this field any more. Likewise, learning on the customers’ dime is not a good business practice to do regularly.

A skilled employee has more confidence when they approach challenges and are much more likely to stay with a business that has invested in them and has a formal training system that encourages them to grow.

Best of all, because it is a system, it can be used over and over again when new employees are brought on board. This will also provide a consistency of knowledge throughout the business and if done right, promotes greater sharing of information and mentoring amoung staff. The idea is that you use the people who use the system to help build, extend and maintain it as they are best placed to do exactly that by already being part of the system. Remember, you should not see the system as limited just to the content it contains but also the people who utilise it. You want to create a system that suits a broad audience, who learn via different methods and learn at different speeds.

In short, investing your time looking for the ‘prefect’ employee is an ineffective approach to building the skills and team you need in a business. It is far better to invest in building the ‘prefect’ training system that you can have total control over, own and will give the desired output for just about any input.