What Is Microsoft Flow?
This had to be the first question! Howe it is not the easiest question to answer. Microsoft Flow is cloud based. It helps you automate your processes. It’s feels like it is part of Microsoft’s Office 365 but actually it is more part of the Dynamics 365 and Business Applications product groups.
With Microsoft Flow you can put a set of steps together that form the process that start when a certain event happens. These events can be a scheduled time, the update of data or it could be a person starting a flows.
All the processes developed in Microsoft Flow use a browser based Flow Designer tool. Microsoft has put a lot of effort into keeping the Flows as no or low code.
What is PowerApps?
Microsoft described PowerApps as:
PowerApps is a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs.
Like Flow, PowerApps is part of the Low code Power Platform. Both of these development tools can hardly be seen as separate products. PowerApps helps people create the interface into the business processes that they would like to implement. Often paper based forms are replaced with PowerApps and Flow based processes.
I’m looking for a Microsoft Partner to help
Both Microsoft Flow and PowerApps have a list of partners available on the Contact a Microsoft Flow Partner site and the Contact a PowerApps Partner. You will also find the consultancy where I work, Triad Group Plc, on these sites.
Are there any Microsoft Flow and PowerApps Tutorials available?
I have an idea to improve Flow, where do I go?
There is a special section for Ideas on the Microsoft Flow Community site Microsoft Flow Ideas. This is the place to upload your own ideas but you can also up-vote other people’s ideas.
How about competitor X vs Microsoft Flow?
There are other tools around that do similar things. Just to name a few competing solutions:
There are many more. Feel free to give them all a try. For me personally, I’ve always preferred to use a single provider. A long time ago I worked at consultancies with Document management systems that were not developed by Microsoft and their weak point was always the Word/Office integration. As clients upgraded their Office installation the document management systems would struggle to talk to MS Word. With Flow and PowerApps things have changed slightly however. I still need to integrate with all my Microsoft Technology and Flow and PowerApps are doing a good job here on top of this Flow and PowerApps connect into many other APIs with their Connector framework.
How much do Microsoft Flow and PowerApps licences cost?
In the past I’ve created two post about the licencing options and the pricing for Flow and PowerApps :
Do you have any examples for Microsoft Flow?
On the Flow community site you can find many examples that are published as Flow of the week.
Should I use PowerApps and Microsoft Flow Templates?
When I use Microsoft Flow I only use on template for my production flows Microsoft Flow – Implementing a Try, Catch , Finally in a flow
Microsoft Flow and PowerApps offer many templates and they are useful if you want to find out how something works,however I personally prefer to start with the empty sheet. The only exception is the above Flow template that sorts out the error handling for me.
Some other useful posts on templates:
Is there an on-premises version of Microsoft Flow and PowerApps?
However you can connect to on-premises systems using the PowerApps Gateway. Unlike the name suggests you can use this for both Microsoft Flow and PowerApps to connect to some on-premises data sources.