Comparisons as extremely useful in any programming language or platform and Power Automate is not the exception. The “equals” function helps us to have two values and compare if they are “equivalent”. Notice that we’re not comparing if they are the same, but this will make sense below.

So let’s check it in more detail.

Usage

It follows a simple pattern.

  1. Object 1 to compare
  2. Object 2 to compare

Let’s start with a simple example:

equals(10,10)

will return 

tre

It works also with float numbers:

equals(12.2,12.2)

will return

true

Now let’s look at strings. The comparison is case-sensitive and requires that all characters are the same. For example:

equals('a','a')

returns 

true

But this:

equals('a','A')

returns

false

Let’s compare boolean values now, but one of them is a string:

equals('true',true)

returns

false

They are different datatypes and we can’t convert a random string (even if the characters are the same), with boolean. But how about ints?

equals(1,true)

returns

true

Let’s look at an array:

equals(createArray(1,2,3),createArray(4,5))

will return

false

They are different so it makes sense. How about if the arrays are the same?

equals(createArray(1,2,3),createArray(1,2,3))

will return

true

So we can use the equals function to compare arrays.

Limitations

Depending on the size of your string, your expression may return an error, even if it’s correct. Please note that the expressions have a max size of 8,192 characters. If you have an expression that is even bigger than 1000 I would strongly advise that you break it into smaller manageable formulas.

Recommendations:

Here are some things to keep in mind.

Use “debug” compose actions

Since the comparison will return true or false, sometimes it’s tricky to understand how the calculation is done, depending on how complex the expression is. So I recommend using Compose actions to have the values that go “in” the function. This way, if the value doesn’t make sense you can understand, based on the parameters, why it was calculated that way.

Don’t nest

There’s no real reason to do it. In fact if you try to nest “equals” functions you’ll receive an error unless it’s a boolean either in the left or right side, but that would not be very helpful. If you have a scenario where it makes sense to have “equals” functions please let me know.

Be very careful to avoid breaking Flows.

Sources:

Microsoft’s equals Function Reference

Back to the Power Automate Function Reference.

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Manuel Gomes

I'm a Project Manager with experience in large projects and companies. I've worked in the past for companies like Bayer, Sybase (now SAP) and I'm currently working for Pestana Hotel Group.

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