Microsoft Flow is a cloud-based software program that enables employees and teams to create, customise and automate daily tasks, workflows and business processes across various applications and services. All of this is possible without the assistance of developers.
Automated workflows are called flows. In order to establish a flow, the user is required to specify what action needs to take place when a defined event happens.
After a flow has been made, as most Microsoft applications are interconnected, especially on cloud, Flow can be managed on desktop or using the app on any mobile devices. As briefly mentioned above, Flow integrated with most Microsoft operated services and apps, such as Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint 2019, PowerApps and Dynamic 365.
How can you use Microsoft Flow
Anybody who is signed up for a free Microsoft account can use Flow. People with an Office 365 subscription can also use Flow, but they get similar functionalities as people with a free Microsoft account. Flow also comes with business versions of Office 365 and Dynamics 365, but different subscription levels get different versions of flow that match up with the paid and free accounts.
Flow scope is taking away the hassle of tasks that a computer could be doing for you. This could be as simple as getting an email alert when someone modifies a file in Dropbox or as complex as a multi-step workflow with approvals, alerts, and notifications that’s based on a Power BI analysis of real-time data.
There are three types of flows:
- Automated: a flow which is automatically triggered, such as an email arriving or a file changing
- Button: a flow which is triggered through the press of a button
- Scheduled: a flow that is triggered when at a set time. It could be set once or as a recurring action.
Main features of Microsoft Flow
Microsoft Flow does not just integrate with other Microsoft products. It can be used with connectors, a wide variety of apps and services. The list includes Google Drive, Skype Salesforce, SQL Server, Twitter, Box and Slack.
Microsoft Flow provides an extensive library of pre-build flows, referred as templates. If none of the templates fit the process that needs to be automated, users can also make their own flows. Microsoft Flow is designed so that nontechnical staff can automate workflows without the help of a developer. The Microsoft Flow Admin Centre allows an administrator to manage users, permissions and roles and ensure that employee-created flows comply with data loss prevention policies.
Licensing for Microsoft flow
Each flow that is triggered, whether automatically or manually, is considered a run. Checks for new data don't count as runs. Each of Microsoft's three pricing plans for Flow includes a certain number of runs and checks. The Flow Free version includes up to 750 runs per month and 15-minute checks. The mid-tier Flow Plan 1 supports 4,500 runs per month and three-minute checks. The business level plan, Flow Plan 2, supports up to 15,000 runs per month and checks every minute, along with "premium" level connectors, policy settings and business process flows.