Microsoft Flow is a cloud-based software tool that allows employees to create and automate workflows across multiple applications and services without the need for developer help. Automated workflows are called flows.
Microsoft Flow (now Power Automate)
Get started with Power Automate
What can you expect from Power Automate? Here are a few examples of what you can do with Power Automate.
- Automate business processes
- Send automatic reminders for past due tasks
- Move business data between systems on a schedule
- Connect to almost 300 data sources or any publicly available API
- You can even automate tasks on your local computer like computing data in Excel.
Just think about time saved once you automate repetitive manual tasks simply by recording mouse clicks, keystrokes and copy paste steps from your desktop! Power Automate is all about automation.
Who is Power Automate for?
What skills do you need to have? Anyone from a basic business user to an IT professional can create automated processes using Power Automate's no-code/low-code platform.
What industries can benefit from Power Automate? Check out how some companies implemented Microsoft Power Platform solutions using Power Automate in:
What are the different types of flows?
Visit the flow types article to learn more about the different types of flows that you can create to automate your tasks.
Check out the start page
On the start page for Power Automate, you can explore a diverse set of templates and learn about the key features for Power Automate. You can get a quick sense of what's possible and how Power Automate could help your business and your life.
Each template is designed for a specific purpose. For example, there are templates for sending you a text message when your boss emails you, adding Twitter leads to Dynamics 365, or backing up your files. These templates are just the tip of the iceberg. They're intended to inspire you to create customized flows for the exact processes you need.
Create your first flow
- Select a template that's useful for you. A simple template is Get daily reminders in Email:
- Select Continue.
- Enter the email addresses to which the daily reminder will be sent. Next, enter the reminder message. Finally, select Create flow, and then verify that your flow is running as expected.
You can explore the conditions that trigger the flow and the action that results from that event. Play around with the settings to make the flow your own. You can even add or delete actions.
- Select Done.
Follow this tutorial to learn more about creating flows from templates.
When you create a cloud flow from scratch, you control the entire workflow. Here are a few ideas to get your started:
- Flows with many steps.
- Run tasks on a schedule.
- Create an approval flow.
- Watch a cloud flow in action.
- Publish a template.
- Create flows from a Microsoft Teams template.
Peek at the code
You don't need to be a developer to create flows; however, Power Automate does provide a Peek code feature that allows anyone to take a closer look at the code that's generated for all actions and triggers in a cloud flow. Peeking at the code could give you a clearer understanding of the data that's being used by triggers and actions. Follow these steps to peek at the code that's generated for your flows from within the Power Automate designer:
- Select the ... menu item at the top right corner of any action or trigger.
- Select Peek code.
- Notice the full JSON representation of the actions and triggers. This includes all inputs, such as the text you enter directly, and expressions used. You can select expressions here and then paste them into the Dynamic Content expression editor. This can also give you a way to verify the data you expect is present in the flow.
Find your flows easily
When your creative juices start flowing, you might create many flows. Don't worry, finding your flows is easy - just use the search box on the My flows, Team flows, Connections, or Solutions screen to display only flows that match the search terms you enter.
The search filter only finds flows that have been loaded into the page. If you don't find your flow, try selecting Load more at the bottom of the page.
Get notifications when something's wrong
Visit the cloud flow activity page to see the list of cloud flows that recently ran, sent notifications, or have failed.
- Sign into Power Automate.
- Select Monitor on the left side of the screen.
- Select Cloud flow activity.
Use the mobile app
Get help planning your Power Automate projects
If you're ready to start your Power Automate project, visit the guidance and planning article to get up and running quickly.
Overview of the different types of flows
Power Automate is a service that you can use to automate repetitive tasks to bring efficiencies to any organizations.
Create a cloud flow when you want your automation to be triggered either automatically, instantly, or via a schedule.
Create an automation that is triggered by an event such as arrival of an email from a specific person, or a mention of your company in social media.
Connectors for cloud or on-premises services connect your accounts and enable them to talk to each other.
Start an automation with a click of a button. You can automate for repetitive tasks from your Desktop or Mobile devices. For example, instantly send a reminder to the team with a push of a button from your mobile device.
Wide range of tasks such as requesting an approval, an action in Teams or SharePoint.
Schedule an automation such as daily data upload to SharePoint or a database.
Tasks that need to be automated on a schedule.
Desktop flows are used to automate tasks on the Web or the desktop. Using Power Automate Desktop you can automate tasks on the desktop as well as the Web. Alternatively, you can use the two legacy methods of creating desktop flows: Windows recorder (V1) and Selenium IDE.
Business process flows
Business process flows provide a guide for people to get work done. They provide a streamlined user experience that leads people through the processes their organization has defined for interactions that need to be advanced to a conclusion of some kind. This user experience can be tailored so that people with different security roles can have an experience that best suits the work they do.
- Get started with cloud flows.
- Get started with desktop flows.
- Get started with business process flows in conditions in advanced mode.