Meet Microsoft PowerApps and Flow
Oh, you’ve heard about Flow and PowerApps, but you aren’t quite sure where they fit into your Office 365 deployment. In the briefest description, if you were wondering what the future of forms and workflow are in Office 365 - Flow and PowerApps would be my answer.
So why do you need them? Simply put, they give end users and site owners the ability to improve their productivity by designing no-code solutions that make use of Office 365’s powerful backend systems and the content that resides within.
First and foremost, PowerApps exist to enable normal users to create solutions without having to know code. Second, they’re designed to utilize Office 365 connections to combine data from Office 365 and external sources like Salesforce. Don’t worry, there’s even a data gateway to support hybrid Exchange and SharePoint scenarios. These forms are designed to be used on a mobile device and soon will be available embedded within SharePoint list views.
My first PowerApp was to create a Migration Checklist that goes through prioritizing what’s valuable to our customers as they plan their migration. Here’s the first page of the mobile form that was created directly from the SharePoint list with questions.
With Flow you can build automated processes that connect to your favorite services including Twitter, Dropbox, Wunderlist and SQL. Based on an ever-growing list of templates you can do things like save tweets with a specific hashtag to a SharePoint list. That’s from the outside in, however, you can also do typical SharePoint activities like send an email based on a new list entry. These templates are truly no-code solutions where you pick a template and fill in the details. There’s even a visualization of your flow where you can track the actions you’d like to take.
Here you can see a quick flow I built to email me when a new item is created within the Migration Checklist.
First, ask your admin to make sure that you have the right license.
Then you need to go to a new document library or list and select either Create a app (PowerApps) or Create a flow.
So what’s next? Think about how you can increase your workplace productivity by using PowerApps or Flow. Create simple forms with PowerApps and move manual repetitive tasks into Flow to automate them.
Interested in what else is coming to Office 365? Then I’d encourage you to listen to “Microsoft Ignite Decoded | Living with Office 365 Day to Day,” a webinar panel discussion that I led with a fellow Microsoft MVP and two experts as we interpreted all the Office 365 news from Microsoft Ignite and what it will mean for administratorsand end users.
Adam is a Director of Product Management at Metalogix and a Microsoft MVP advocating for collaboration by connecting business needs with the right technology. Prior to Metalogix, Adam was a Practice Lead for Office 365 in a cutting edge Microsoft Consulting firm where he was responsible for moving customers to the cloud, designing and implementing information architecture (SharePoint Farm and content) and increasing user adoption. Adam is an ongoing member of the SharePoint Saturday DC coordinating committee and active speaker at various events.