What is Power Automate?
Originally known as Microsoft Flow, Power Automate is an automation tool provided by Microsoft. It allows users to make quick productivity gains by automating repetitive and time consuming tasks.
Power Automate offers a wide selection of features and currently there are 3 key features of Power Automate.
- Automated/Instant/Scheduled flows
- Business Process Flows
- UI Flows for RPA
The following picture displays the landing page that users will be brought to. Users can navigate easily via the navigation menu on the left. The center of the page displays a couple of key items that users can do — Search templates, view approval requests or even start to build flows right away.
At “My flows” page, users will have a good overview of what are the flows that have been created. They can manage their flows via this page.
Apart from building flows, users can also change language and regional settings to their desired settings. Another tip is to try out experimental features if you would like to see what are the new features that the engineers might be launching in the future.
How to create a flow
Users can choose from 3 different ways to create a flow.
- Create from blank
2. Start from a template
3. Start from a connector
Top 3 Favorites Templates from Power Automate
One of the key benefits of using Power Automate are the thoughtful templates created by not just engineers from Microsoft, but also the Power Community. Such templates allow users to have quick wins in their productivity and encourage them to continue learning and build flows. The following shows my top 3 favorite templates from Power Automate.
- Save Office 365 email attachments to OneDrive → Outlook + OneDrive
- Start approval when a new item is added → Approval + SharePoint
- Notify the team when a new response is submitted → Teams + Forms
Overall, users with Office 365 license that allows Power Automate use right should definitely give Power Automate a try. Although there are some features that might not be available as part of the license, there are still many features that users can explore. These features are typically integrates well with products that are part of the Office 365 suite such as Outlook, SharePoint, OneDrive and Teams . Without any additional licensing costs to the organization, users can benefit from Power Automate as part of the Office 365 license.
Even without taking into consideration the cost factor, the user experience for development is definitely a key point that Power Automate has done well. The number of useful templates that is provided by Microsoft serves as a good springboard for users to get start with Power Automate. This will allow users to stick around for a longer period of time due to quick turnarounds using Power Automate.
Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you have any questions. Let me know what you would like to read in the next post!