Microsoft Flow and PowerApps

By on January 24, 2017

Recently, Microsoft released for general availability Microsoft Flow and PowerApps. These tools will give users the power to enable the automation of workflows and the building of custom apps, and will also ease and expedite the creation of applications without the need for complex custom software development.


Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Flow IconMicrosoft Flow is a new workflow automation solution that can be used to tap application and service data, making it easy to combine different services. Microsoft Flow connects more than 35 services, including SharePoint, OneDrive, Slack, and Twitter, so that users can perform actions such as sending notifications, pushing data into Excel, sending OneDrive files to SharePoint sites, automatically copying files from Dropbox to their SharePoint document library, and creating simple workflow approval tracking. Along with this, business users will be able to use Microsoft Flow to utilize pre-built templates and create their own flows in a visual designer that can work anywhere on the web.

The following screenshot shows a simple Microsoft Flow which sends an email to the user whenever a blog post has been added to the Aptillon blog:

Power Apps Aptillon Blog Notification


PowerApps

Power Apps IconMicrosoft’s new PowerApps tools have been created in order to make it easier for IT professionals, company employees, and developers to create business solutions. The tools include prebuilt templates and wizards to create web apps, mobile apps, logic apps, and API apps, and users can now build apps, forms, and workflows without having to write code. This will ease development for users who are less familiar with the workings of SharePoint, encouraging collaboration between developers and employees.

PowerApps will also be fully integrated into the SharePoint web experience; users will have the ability to launch PowerApps directly from the SharePoint mobile app, document libraries can be used as data sources, and both PowerApps and Microsoft Flow will work with on-premises data in SharePoint using the data gateway. The PowerApps tools will also allow users to create apps from the command bar of the SharePoint Online custom list, and the apps will appear as a custom view of the list. The new apps can then be published instantly to co-workers across the web, their tablets, and their mobile devices without the need to wait for app stores, heightening accessibility and efficiency.

The following screenshot shows a sample Service Desk application built with PowerApps:

Power Apps Service Desk Example

The combination of both Microsoft Flow and PowerApps has the potential to increase productivity and collaboration within workforces, as well as easing the use of workflows and the production of applications. For more information on Microsoft Flow and PowerApps, see these additional resources:

SharePoint welcomes PowerApps and Microsoft Flow – Office Blogs
PowerApps – Microsoft Blogs
Microsoft Flow – Microsoft Blogs
GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow – Chris McNulty
Announcing General Availability of PowerApps – Darshan Desai (Microsoft Blogs)
Power to the People: Introducing Microsoft Flow and Announcing the Public Preview of PowerApps – James Phillips (Microsoft Blogs)
PowerApps and Microsoft Flow Previews Released – Kurt Mackle (Redmond Magazine)

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