A workflow is a series of steps and rules that serve to automate a business process. It can be as simple or complex as you make it. The automated tasks can be initiated manually, or they can be initiated automatically, in a number of different ways. Power Automate is a service, provided by Microsoft’s Power Platform, that helps you create automated workflows between your favorite apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, collect data, and more.
Before Power Automate, Dynamics 365 administers had to create the workflows manually. To create any Workflows in D365 that run in the background or in real-time, they contain all of the following components:
- Check condition
- Conditional branch
- Default action
- Parallel wait branch
- Create record
- Update record
- Assign record
- Send e-mail
- Start child workflow
- Change status
- Stop workflow
Another disadvantage with workflows in D365 is it can only work with data inside of Dynamics and requires data integration for outside data. For additional functionalities, custom workflow extensions need to be created as well.
Many see Power Automate as the future of workflows. According to Forrester, using power automate reduces app development costs by 70%. Users can create custom workflows for their organization with little coding technical knowledge. Workflows in Power Automate can be triggered based on button push, scheduling date, event, automatic triggers, etc. Below is a guided video on how to create a workflow that is triggered by an event.
For workflows like this and many other, templates are available to use as a starting point for many cases. There are templates provided by the community for several common use scenarios:
- Save tweets about a specific topic to an excel sheet.
- Receive push notification when an email is received from a manager
- Request an expense sheet approval
- Create a task when an email is flagged
In addition to a more simplified workflow building process, Power Automate made accessibility easy. Users have the ability to build out the workflows on both web and mobile devices. For more information on how to build workflows on your phone, here is a good resource by Microsoft.
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As for outside data, connectors are available to access different popular applications and data. The connectors can access both online and on-premise data without development having to access those applications. With Power Automate, you just need to provide the common triggers and actions within the applications.
In fact, over 300 connectors are currently available on a variety of applications such as Common Data Service (D365 Sales backend), Twitter, SQL Server, Pinterest, Microsoft Office, Marketo, Jira, Gmail, Eventbrite, etc. Many have built out the connections to common applications and tools. However, there is not a pre-built connector available for your application, you can build a custom connector yourself. Learn how here.
If the system you currently work with does not have an API for direct connection, a new feature name Robotic Process Automation (RPA) provides the capability to do so. RPA records and plays back user interface actions (clicks, keyboard input, etc.) for applications that don’t have easy-to-use or complete APIs available; an extension that would be extremely costly to develop!
Interested to see if your organization could benefit from Power Automate? Contact KTL and one of our account managers would be happy to meet and discuss more with you. Schedule a complimentary discovery call and learn more.