Power Automate: Overview, Types of flows, and benefits

Power Automate: Overview, Types of flows, and benefits

In this blog we will discuss about the overview of Microsoft Power Automate, types of flows you can create and benefits of using Power Automate

Introduction to Power Automate

Do you ever get bored of repeating the same work over and over again, the same tiring process and wish for some kind of miracle to assist you in doing so? Well, the wait is over as Microsoft has got the perfect solution to streamline the repetitive and mundane tasks with Power Automate.

Power Automate is one of the components of Microsoft Power Platform. It was previously known as Microsoft Flow and was renamed to Power Automate in October 2019. As with all other members of Power Platform family, Power Automate is a low-code/no code solution to solve your business problems by creating time-saving workflows. It helps you to create workflows to automate from some of the easiest day to day processes to extremely complex business processes.

Power Automate lets you to smoothly integrate your workflows with hundreds of data sources using a library of connectors and Microsoft Dataverse. It thus helps to automate everyday tasks by building secure workflows with robotic process automation and with no prior coding experience required. As a low code platform, it empowers everyone from business users to IT pro to build workflows to automate repetitive tasks so that you can focus on strategic and high value opportunities.

Common Scenarios and capabilities of Power Automate

Pre-built template

It empowers everyone to create workflows to automate your process by choosing from more than 100 pre-built templates. With the help of pre-built template, you can build workflows in no time for everything from individual tasks to large-scale systems.  

Seamless Integration with data and services

It offers you to choose from more than 300 connectors so that you can easily connect with data and services across the web and on-premises. Moreover, it also supports multiple data connections so that you do not have to rely only on one data source. Multiple data connection allows you to gather data from different platforms into a single automation. Some common data sources include Microsoft Dataverse, Salesforce, Google Drive, Office 365, and Dynamics 365.

Power Automate desktop

Power Automate now includes a new, easy to use desktop version – Power Automate Desktop. It lets you to automate anything from simple data transfer to complex business workflows using Robotic Process Automation in Power Automate Desktop.

Power Automate mobile Apps

Power Automate mobile app lets you to create automated workflows between your favourite apps and services to get notifications, gather data and synchronize files from anywhere. It helps to monitor flow activity directly from your mobile device and grant approvals from the palm of your hand.

AI builder

Earlier using Artificial Intelligence with your apps and flows required lots of skills and technical expertise however, now using Power Automate you can easily add AI capabilities to your workflows without even writing a single line of code.

Process Advisor

This feature of Power Automate is still in preview so it cannot be used in production. It is a great feature that can record an analyse your manual business tasks. It shows you the ways to optimize your opportunities and discover inefficiencies. This is a powerful feature to drive information and boost your business using the insights from Process Advisor.   

Types of Flow in Power Automate

There are 3 types of flows that you can create using Power Automate:

  1. Cloud Flows
  2. Desktop flows
  3. Business Process flows

Cloud Flows:

Cloud flows are flows that work depending upon the way you want your automation to be triggered. It is subdivided into below categories: –

  • Automated Flows
  • Instant Flows
  • Scheduled Flows

Automated Flows – A flow that is triggered by a specific event such as mention of your company in social media or specific posts with a particular hashtag on social media or like arrival of mail from a specific person.

Instant Flows – A flow in which the automation starts by the click of button. This flow is to automate repetitive tasks from your Mobile devices or from your Desktop. For example, get an automatic alert whenever you receive email from your VIP clients or save all your email attachments to a folder automatically by a click of button.

Scheduled Flows – As the name suggest, you can choose when and how often your flow would run. For example, uploading data daily to SharePoint or database. 

  

Desktop Flows

Desktop flows allows you to automate tasks on both web and desktop applications. It was previously known as UI flows. It broadens the existing robotic process automation RPA capabilities in Power Automate. You can automate modern applications as well as legacy applications using Desktop flows. It works for legacy apps also even if API is not available or missing.

Business process flows

It guides people to get the work done by flows. It provides a streamlined user experience to lead people through the process required by the organization. This user experience is tailored to suit to different people in the same organization but with different security roles. This flow is used to define certain set of steps for people to follow to get the desired outcome.

Benefits of using Power Automate

  • Streamline repetitive tasks by creating automated workflows using pre-built templates in Power Automate
  • Create secure workflows efficiently to boost productivity, faster than ever before using Robotic Process automation capabilities in Power Automate. 
  • Smoothly integrate your apps with almost 300 data sources and services using library of connectors
  • Send automatic reminders using workflows and keep yourself updated with the upcoming events, so that you never miss any event.
  • Automate tasks on your local computer like computing data in Excel.
  • Set schedule to transfer your business data between systems.
  • Build powerful end-to-end business solution by creating workflows in Power Automate that can connect across entire Microsoft Power Platform.

I hope you enjoy reading the post. For any further feedback, please leave comment.

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Rashmi Kaushik

“Nothing can withstand the power of the human will if it is willing to stake its very existence to the extent of its purpose.” - Benjamin Disraeli. I am Rashmi Kaushik, working as a blogger, Software Consultant and Subject Matter Expert in Cynoteck Technology Solutions Ltd.. I believe hard work, dedication, willingness, desire to succeed, and determination are the collective keys that can open the lock of success. I am MB-200: Microsoft Power Platform + Dynamics 365 Core and AZ-900 Azure fundamentals certified.

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