Microsoft Flow became general availability (GA) in April of 2016, which makes it about 14 in dog years, and in technology that is about a generation. Over those years, I have found that many O365 users do not know what Flow is, nor do they know what’s it’s used for.
What is Microsoft Flow?
In short, Microsoft Flow is a service that empowers users to easily automate business process across applications and services. In geek speak, it allows conditional statements, conditional expressions, and constructs. This can all be accomplished with a simple to use interface and without having to learn to program!
Do you have the Flow?
I hope you do because it quickly can become a vital tool to add to your toolbox. Flow on its own can accomplish many tasks. For example, it can synchronize One Drive and One Drive for Business, send a notification to your mobile device when your manager emails you, send an email when a SharePoint list has items added or deleted, deliver daily weather reports to your email and/or phone, etc.
Better yet, in combination with other solutions like Power BI and Microsoft Cognitive Services, it can provide a simple Twitter sentiment analysis. Below is an example analysis that I made up with Power BI and the locations of tweets for #O365. All this possible because of Flow.
Capabilities of Flow
Helping in sentiment analysis is not the only thing Flow can do. Flow has an extensive template section. The template section is subdivided into flows for approval, data collection, social media, notifications, email, SharePoint, FTP, syncing, etc. In case you were wondering, here is a sentiment analysis template. There is a Flow for many things and just in case you can’t find a template you can always create your own.
Once you understand the vast capabilities for Flow you will quickly realize that you could integrate Flow into many aspects of business and personal life. It can sometimes bridge the gap between an applications native functions and further integration into new or existing processes.
I hope by now you are getting the Flow bug, and soon enough you will be asking others: Do you have the Flow?