Express Yourself: Data Types References

Microsoft Flow works with several different data types, and for you to have a better understanding of what they are, I have compiled this post with all the data types, along with their definition and examples. Please enjoy!

Data Types

A data type determines what type of value an object can have and what operations can be performed. These data types are String, Integer, Float, Boolean, Arrays, Dictionaries, and Forms.


A string represents alphanumeric data, which includes letters, numbers, spaces, and other types of characters such as symbols and punctuation marks. Basically, a string is plain text. For alphanumeric data to be identified as string, it needs to be wrapped in quotes. For example, the sentence ‘123 Main Street’ is interpreted as string, but without the quotes, the numeric characters 123 will be interpreted as a number.


An integer is a numeric value without a decimal. Integers are whole numbers and can be either positive, negative, or zero. Examples of integers are: -10, 1, 50, and 2000.


A float is a decimal number. The term float comes from floating point, which means you can control where the decimal point is located. Examples of floats are: -1.50, 0.8, 3.14, and 1,150.45.


Boolean only represents two values: true or false. Normally, 1 is used to represent true and 0 is used to represent false. The Boolean data type is the primary results of conditional statements, which are typically used to control the workflow in a program. For example, a condition in a Microsoft Flow can either be true or false. If true, an action is performed, but if false, a different action takes place.


An array is a data type that represents a collection of elements (values or variables), each selected by one or more indices (identifying keys) that can be computed at run time during the execution of a program. An array is structured as follows:
array[item1, item2, item3]
This is an example of an array:
cars["Honda", "Toyota", "BMW"]


A dictionary is a data type that represents a collection of key and value, and it provides a mapping of the set of keys with their values. Each addition to the dictionary consists of a value and its associated key. Every key in a Dictionary must be unique and cannot be null. A Dictionary follows this structure: {key, value}. Below you can find an example of a Dictionary.
Let’s say a city library has a system to have books checked out and they have the following books: SharePoint 2016 for Dummies, PowerApps for Dummies, and Flow for Dummies. The following users are regular customers and they borrow books all the time: Melissa H., Jon L. and Paul C. Each customer can check out either a single book or multiple. One day, the book inventory may look like this:

   "SharePoint 2016 for Dummies": "Melissa H.",
   "PowerApps for Dummies": "Paul C.",
   "Flow for Dummies": "Jon L."

Another day, the book inventory may look like this:

   "SharePoint 2016 for Dummies": "Paul C.",
   "PowerApps for Dummies": "Paul C.",
   "Flow for Dummies": "Melissa H."

In the example above, a book can only be checked out by one user, but one user can check out different books.


Forms contain elements called controls, and each control manages a specific data type. These controls are used to display information to the user or receive information from the user. For example, if a form needs to capture text data, it would use a textbox, a dropdown, or a radio button control.


Data Types in Programming: Numbers, Strings and Others
Data Type
Array Data Type
Associative Array
Dictionary Data Type
Form Data Type
Form Controls and Data Types

As always, if you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, please do not hesitate to reach to me via Twitter or LinkedIn.

Thank you for reading.

Fausto Capellan, Jr

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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