September 8, 2024

# Power Automate: float function

Converting things is essential, and Power Automate has a few functions to help us in doing that. Today we’ll focus on the float function that converts values into a floating number. Ok, it’s pretty self-explanatory, but there are some things to understand.

Let’s take a look.

## How to use the float function?

It follows a simple pattern.

1. Value to convert

Let’s start with a simple example. First, convert a float value from a string.

``````float(variables('STRING_TO_CONVERT'))
'-1'

will return

-1
``````

The string needs to contain a valid number; otherwise, the conversion fails with the following error:

``````Unable to process template language expressions in action 'Convert_string' inputs at line '1' and column '4480': 'The template language function 'float' was invoked with a parameter that is not valid. The value cannot be converted to the target type.'.
``````

``````float(variables('INT_TO_CONVERT'))
12

will return

12
``````

Exactly what we expect. Now let’s try with a negative value to see what happens:

``````float(variables('NEGATIVE_INT_TO_CONVERT'))
-12

will return

-12
``````

So far, all of them are doing exactly what we expect them to do. First, let’s look at complex objects like arrays.

``````float(variables('ARRAY_TO_CONVERT'))

will return an error
``````

It’s not possible to convert array objects into a Float. So we’ll get the following error:

``````Unable to process template language expressions in action 'Convert_the_array' inputs at line '1' and column '4480': 'The template language function 'float' was invoked with a parameter that is not valid. The value cannot be converted to the target type.'.
``````

Finally, let’s try with “null.”

``````float(null)

will return an error.
``````

Here’s the error:

``````Unable to process template language expressions in action 'Convert_a_null_value' inputs at line '1' and column '4481': 'The template language function 'float' was invoked with a parameter that is not valid. The value cannot be converted to the target type.'.
``````

It behaves the same way as the “bool” function but is different from the “string” function.

## Limitations

Depending on the size of your float and nested functions, 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 breaking it into smaller, manageable formulas.

## Recommendations:

Here are some things to keep in mind.

### Please don’t do it on floats.

It’s a waste to do it on float variables since they are already floating. There’s no real reason to convert a value into itself, but please let me know if you know of a good reason to do it.

### Don’t nest

There’s no real reason to do it. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have nested float functions in a formula, you should review it because it will be a mistake 99% of the time.

## Sources:

Microsoft’s join Function Reference

Back to the Power Automate Function Reference.

Photo by Joe Calata on Unsplash

#### Manuel Gomes

I have 18 years of experience in automation, project management, and development. In addition to that, I have been writing for this website for over 3 years now, providing readers with valuable insights and information. I hope my expertise allows me to create compelling, informative content that resonates with the audience.

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