Microsoft Workflow – Getting started with Power Automate

What is Power Automate?

Power Automate is an online workflow service that automates actions across the most common apps and services. Power Automate is a service which helps you to create automated workflows between your favorite apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data, and more. Once you will automate your repetitive manual tasks simply by recording mouse clicks, keystrokes and copy paste steps from your desktop, just imagine how much time can save. Power Automate is all about automation.

Here are few examples of what you can do with microsoft power automate.

  • Automate business processes
  • Send automatic reminders to teams for past due tasks
  • transfer business data between systems on a schedule
  • Connect to almost 300 data sources or any publicly available API
  • You can even automate tasks on your local computer like computing data in Excel.

To get started with microsoft workflow, first please signup here https://flow.microsoft.com

What is microsoft flow or workflow?

Microsoft flow nothing but Power Automate. Workflow is an extremely low cost Web based platform and easy to use tool to create workflow. It is a process and task automation tool that helps connect different services and applications together. Many of these applications that can be used with Flow are cloud-based, although You can use Flow in an on-premises environment.

Microsoft Flow is available bundled in some Office 365 licenses but also on a separate subscription-basis. There’s even a limited free version for individuals as well as an accompanying mobile app. It has seamless integration with SharePoint online and Dynamic 365.

Flow as name says it is just a simple platform to develop workflows. But on the top of it gives us connectors so that we can connect to everything else. It gives us triggers so that we can fire the workflow and finally actions that workflow does during the execution. 

microsoft workflow power automate

Connectors

Connectors are communications gateways between workflow and rest of the world. A workflow in isolation is not good. So we want to connect our workflow to anything that we can possibly interact. Inside flow there are lots of connectors. Some of them are widely used and very popular such as office 365, outlook, onedrive. sharepoint, twitter etc. There are other connectors too we can use in our implementation. 

microsoft workflow connectors

Triggers

Triggers are actually flow listeners that wait for an event through connectors to fire the workflow. So basically triggers are listeners telling to flow when to kick in and finish the task.

microsoft workflow triggers

Actions

Finally, after all these listening, workflow needs to do something. so basically everything that workflow does for us is called actions. This actions can be setting the content approval status in sharepoint, getting the items in sharepoint, sending something to dynamic 365 and creating a record such as creating a lead in CRM System or adding a record to MSSQL server database etc.    

Types of flows

There are usually 5 types of flows that you can build to help address your use cases.

Flow Type Use Case Automation Target
Automated Flows You can create an automation that will trigger by an event such as arrival of an email from a specific person, or a mention of your company in social media. Connectors for on-premises or cloud services that connect your accounts and enable them to talk to each other.
Instant Flows You can start an automation with a click of a button. You can automate for repetitive tasks from your Desktop or Mobile devices. For instance, send a reminder to the team with a push button from your mobile device instantly. Various tasks such as requesting an approval, an action in Teams or SharePoint.
Scheduled Flows You can schedule an automation such as daily data upload to SharePoint or a MySQL Server. Tasks that need to be automated on a particular time that can be scheduled.
Business Process Flows It ensure that everyone in your organization follows the same process by defining a set of steps for people to follow. Human processes such as customer service requests, approvals, IT development etc.
UI Flows You can record clicks and keyboard strokes from your Desktop and Web applications and automate the playback of manual steps on legacy software. Web and Desktop applications that do not have APIs available for automation.

Conclusion

In this tutorial we tried to provide all possible information about most powerful tool to automate anything to anything. I hope you got a better understanding. In our upcoming tutorial you will learn how to create your first flow, so Stay tuned. Thanks!!

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Ravindra Kumar

Hi, This is Ravindra. I am founder of TheCodeCloud. I am AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate & Certified in Oracle Cloud as well. I am DevOps and Data Science Enthusiast.

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