What is Microsoft Power Automate?
Microsoft’s Power Automate is a no-code solution that allows users to create workflows to automate repetitive tasks.
Users can start quickly with out-of-the-box templates, which can be customized as needed.
Templates include notifications, copying files, moving email attachments to OneDrive, and many others.
Use cases for Power Automate are varied, ranging from new employee onboarding to document approval, collecting customer feedback, and managing help tickets.
Power Automate includes over 300 connectors, which allow users to access and use data with a set of pre-built actions and triggers.
Unlike SharePoint Designer, Power Automate works with non-Microsoft apps, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Twitter, and more.
For IT teams, the ability to add automation to legacy systems without replacing or configuring those systems is a huge benefit.
Based on your Azure Active Directory, Power Automate is highly secure and easy to audit.
Plus, automation replaces paper-based processes, increasing data protection.
Power Automate also includes robotic process automation (RPA). This capability, called UI flows, allows users to create workflows at scale – without coding.
With a point-and-click interface, a user can record their keystrokes when completing a task. The RPA system transforms this information into an automated workflow.
So How Does Power Automate Work?
Power Automate flows, are based on triggers and actions.
- A trigger starts the flow, for example, receiving an email from a key project stakeholder.
- An action is what happens once the flow is trigged. This can include creating a task when an email marked as high-importance is received. A flow can have one or more actions.
There are five main types of Power Automate flows:
- Automated, a flow triggered by an event, for example, send an email if an item in a SharePoint list is changed.
- Instant flows allow users to manually trigger a flow from the mobile or desktop app with the click of a button. As an example, easily send a reminder email to your team before a meeting.
- Scheduled, which runs at certain times.
- Business Process flows are based on a defined set of actions.
- UI flows, used to record clicks and keystrokes and automate the execution of tasks.
There are three ways to launch a flow:
- Start from scratch with one of the workflows listed above.
- Use an existing template
- Select a connector.
And Finally, How Do We Create A Power Automate Flow
In this example, we’ll use a template to post a message in Microsoft Teams when a new item is added to Planner.
To start using Power Automate, log in to Microsoft 365, and use the app launcher to open the program.
From the homepage, you can:
- Get started quickly with templates.
- Check available connectors.
- Manage your flows.
- Create a new flow.
Search for ‘Planner’ to find the template.
You may need to sign in.
On the next screen, you’ll see how the workflow is built. Power Automate is a highly-visual tool, simplifying things as much as possible so you can understand them easily.
Here, you can add important information such as the Plan ID, Team, and Channel.
Click Save. That’s it – you’ve created a simple flow to improve team communication.
There are a few ways to validate the flow, including Flow Checker and Test.
At any time, you can check the status of a flow under ‘My Flows’.
In this area, it’s easy to:
- Edit individual flows
- Share flows with a team member
- Check the history of a flow.
To see more details on a flow, simply click the name of the flow.