Getting Started With Microsoft Flow

Microsoft flow is a cloud-based workflow engine, Using Flow end users can create cross application workflows (no code workflows).  Flow is a part of office 365 E3 suite. It is a successor of SharePoint designer workflows. Complex level Flows can be promoted to an Azure logic app.

Microsoft Flows Vs SharePoint Designer Workflows

Anatomy of Microsoft Flow

  • Flow Designer
  • Connectors, Triggers & Actions
  • Variables & Data Flow
  • Expressions
  • Branching, Error Handling & Scopes

Flow Designer – Create a Flow from Browser or Mobile Application

Desktop Version:

  • Go to https://flow.Microsoft.com
  • Sign-in with Office 365 Account
  • Start from existing template or import from disk or create from scratch (both in desktop & mobile browsers)

Mobile Version:

  • Install flow mobile app, sign in
  • Create new flow (template or from scratch).

Connectors

Connectors Wrapper around an API that allows Flow to talk with other services.It exposes Triggers & Actions.

Triggers

  • Run based on user action or event

    • From other apps in office 365 – PowerApps, SharePoint, etc.
    • From SQL
    • From dedicated Flow button

  • Run on a schedule

    • Flow also run based on time schedule, From every minute to 1 am on Days.

  • Run by HTTP GET/POST to URL generated by flow

    • Call another Flow
    • Call from any application/service/agent that can make HTTP calls

Scenarios & Types of Triggers

  • Triggers – Scenarios

    • Simple: Flows start with a Trigger.
    • Advanced: Flows can have more than 1 trigger (async actions)
    • Custom: Flows can have custom triggers
  • Types:

    • Polling Trigger:
      • Periodically checks the service
      • Checks count as executions
    • Push Triggers :
      • Listen for data on an endpoint or wait for event.

Actions

  • Execute CRUD operations with workflow context
    • SharePoint: Create Item, Delete Item, Create File.
    • SQL: Insert Row, Update Row, Delete Row, Get Row.

  • Transform Data

    • Inline – using expressions (e.g. string operations, math operations.)
    • Other services – Html to text.

  • Send Notification

    • Send mobile notification, send email notification etc.
  • Call other Flow

    • Chain Flows to create complex Flows.

Variables

  • Use Variables connector*
  • Initialize & then set value
  • Supported value types (Boolean, String, Object, Array, Float).

Variables are NOT always necessary!

  • Why variables are not always necessary?

    • Data Flows from each step and is available for all later steps
    • ‘Add Dynamic Content’ allows us to select outputs from previous steps
    • Certain outputs show up based on the types of the inputs and outputs.

Expressions:

  • Expressions can be used in most of the fields to transform data inline
  • IntelliSense available as you type
Expression Type Example Sample
Convert Type
String to Integer
Int (triggerBody())
String Manipulation
Claims to UPN
replace(triggerBody()?['Author']?['Claims'],'i:0#.f|membership|','')

Date Time Manipulation
Add 1 day

Get month

adddays(utcnow(), 1)

formatDateTime(utcnow(), 'MMMM')

Arithmetic

Add numbers

Add(11,22)

Generate data

Create GUID

guid()

 

Branching

  • If-then-else

  • Switch

 

  • For-Each

    • By default, parallel
    • Parallel (20 exec)
    • Supports sequential

  • Do-Until

    • Emulate State machines
    • Help in approvals & more

  • Parallel branches

Error Handling

  • Actions can be set to run if previous action fails/times out.

Scopes

  • Logically group actions
  • Allow advanced error handling for a group of actions
  • Scope boxes are in brown boxes.

CONCLUSION:

 

 

 

 

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