Today I had a look at the Templates available in Microsoft Flow and in PowerApps. When I looked at the templates available in Flow I found many templates all doing small little things that don’t really impress me and if I was new to Flow I would probably have the feeling  of why bother?

A lot of these templates do something after a trigger has gone off. Many of the connectors show you quick and easy examples. But the big danger hewre is that you would think that Flow is only for small processes that help you do your regular tasks. But flow is so much more than that!

Then I had a look at PowerApps templates and I had a feeling of “Wow that looks good” and if I was new to PowerApps I would probably think that it is easy to make a good looking useful app. Ok it may not be that difficult but most beginning PowerApp-ers do struggle for a while

In my experience both these template galleries show us the wrong story. Within the Flow template gallery the templates give too simple flows to show all possibilities, where PowerApps gives maybe a too advanced view. Although I must day that I prefer the PowerApps approach here. Even though I always start from a blank app, it can be helpful to have a look at the templates to figure out how things can be done.

So back to the original question. Why do you use PowerApps and Flow? Do you use it for your personal needs or do you implement larger business processes and applications? I definitely would implement the larger more challenging processes and every day again I’m impressed with the stability of the Flow workflow engine.Unfortunately Microsoft Flow still seems to be seen as a replacement for SharePoint Designer and PowerApps is seen as a replacement for InfoPath, but both low-code products are so much more than that.

For both Flow and PowerApps it is important to understand how you can create flows without using the templates as your base for your solution. Take for examples the flow templates. None of these templates will really do much with error handling. Once you have started with a blank screen and a plan in your head, you will see that the possibilities are endless.

Some of the things that should be considered are:

  • Error handling
  • Connector Limits
  • Data usage
  • Optimizing your flows and increase performance
  • Notifications
  • Approvals
  • Data location
  • Users involved

So start today and create your flows and apps from blank and think about the overall process and app needs and put the right process in place.