Power Automate… Microsoft Flow… has created suspicion among many people because of their names. You may have researched them and become even more confused. Are they the same tools? Is there any difference between them? What are they used for? Read this blog to know about Power Automate aka Microsoft Flow.
What is Power Automate?
Power Automate is a cloud-based automation tool from Microsoft that helps us to automate the integration and synchronization of all our data analysis and applications with the goal of boosting productivity and business performance.
It has the capability of automating nearly everything! You just need to describe the stages and procedures that can be automated or recorded to perform the specific action.
In addition to automating processes and activities in a simple and straightforward manner, it also allows for the creation of a functional flow with low code or no code. It connects two or more applications (from Microsoft’s products or third-party apps) and performs actions to automate the most common business operations.
What was Microsoft Flow?
Microsoft Flow was an Office 365 solution that aimed to boost worker productivity by automating numerous processes and integrating various cloud apps and services. The development of these automated workflows provided the opportunity to receive notifications, synchronize files, gather data, and so on.
Later, it was renamed Power Automate and included in the Power Platform.
Read our previous blog on Power BI “Why should you focus on Power BI?”
What are connectors in Power Automate?
Connectors are responsible for facilitating the integration. There are more than 300 predefined connectors that enable us to work with data in the cloud or on-premise. This number is continuously expanding and if none of these connectors meet our requirements, we may design our own.
To understand better, we have to know about these three terms:
Triggers – A trigger is an event that starts the workflow. For instance; a new post on your Facebook, when a new video is uploaded on your Twitter. Here, a new video uploaded on Twitter is the trigger. There’s at least one trigger for each connection.
Actions – We must define what steps to take after the trigger has commenced. An email sent to the specific person when the file is uploaded on the drive. There are one or more actions for each flow.
Connections – It refers to connecting two applications. While connecting two apps, the tool requires credentials although they are protected with Microsoft security and can be easily removed when required.
Different Types of Flows
Workflows can be categorized into three parts: Cloud Flow, desktop flows, and business process flows.
Users build Cloud Flows when they want automation to be activated automatically, instantaneously, or on a schedule.
|Flow Type||Use Case||Automation Type|
|Automated flows||Creating automation that is activated by an activity such as subscribing to the newsletter of your organization.||Cloud or on-premises service connectors link your accounts and enable them to establish a connection between them.|
|Instant flows||Starting automation just with a click. For instance, instantly sending an email to all your team members just with a push of a button on your mobile device.||A wide variety of activities, such as seeking approval or performing an action in Teams or SharePoint.|
|Scheduled flows||Schedule automation. For instance, data uploaded to the cloud at a particular time every day.||Activities that should be automated on a regular basis.|
Desktop flows are intended to automate activities on both the desktop and the web. You can create desktop flows using two methods: Windows recorder (V1) & Selenium IDE.
Business process flows
Business process flows serve as a roadmap for individuals to complete tasks. When these flows are carried out, they are intended to provide a simplified user experience for individuals to simplify their operational engagements. Furthermore, these flows may be modified for different persons with varied tasks that are specific to their work duties.
Read our previous blog on Power Apps “Why should you start thinking about Power Apps?”
Benefits of using Microsoft Power Automate
Enhanced business processes and measurable business outcomes – We can see the organization achieve better results by being able to automate procedures and spend their resources on evaluating data, setting objectives, and supporting their team.
Data-Driven Decisions – Many of the Power Automate initiatives that organizations have undertaken capture data/information from a certain set of employees and return it back to corporate. This provides managers with more information and more immediate access, allowing them to make better and faster decisions.
Increased Satisfaction and Decreased Errors of Employees – Employees from numerous positions have reported feeling more accomplished, unified with their team, and having a sense of direction. Additionally, automating operations across various apps has reduced the possibility of mistakes.
Enhance Application Security – Microsoft can improve digital workplace security in a number of ways. To begin, it makes use of Active Directory permissions to restrict access to data and systems. It also uses the same authentication procedures as other Microsoft products.
Do you feel Power Automate is needed for your organization?
We have seen a lot of companies having success as they use Power Automate to create powerful, user-friendly internal applications that collect and display business data. If you’d like to learn more about how Microsoft Power Automate products may help your business, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a product demo here.
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