Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in recent years, but one of the issues has been how do we get all these different apps to talk to each other across different platforms? Is there a product that can be the seamless handshake between these apps? Absolutely! This is where Microsoft Flow steps in.
The integration of Flow with SharePoint addresses the issues of cross application action-reaction events, or IF this, then that scenarios. There is no need to write a single line of code to achieve this as Flow has templates integrated within it so creating and managing your flows are simple while saving you precious time to focus on more important tasks.
By integrating Flow as a workflow tool into SharePoint Online lists and libraries, Microsoft has achieved a powerhouse which is able to quickly deliver automated information with ease to your audiences on-prem or in the Cloud. The ability to automate and receive notifications, synchronize files and obtain data between your favorite apps and services provides you the ability to reach out beyond your intranet.
The templates that are currently included in Flow allow you to create workflows with 43 services, including Office 365, SharePoint, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Mail Chimp, One Drive, Dynamics CRM, Google Drive, Slack, Dropbox, Salesforce, SQL, GitHub, Wunderlist and Instagram. Microsoft has indicated that they will continue to add more services and templates as they continue to work with the integration of the two programs. One key feature, as with most Microsoft products, there is the option for community members to contribute their flow for other members to use.
Unlike SharePoint Designer, Flow does not require lists and items to be in one site. With Flow, it will search for your items no matter where they are stored in SharePoint, even if the site resides in different site collections or a different tenant. This provides the power to initiate and generate notifications based on events across your corporation to your targeted audience.
Not only does Flow and SharePoint reach out to your audience, your audiences’ actions reaches back to Flow. Every event that you have indicated as a trigger, whether it be the project name, a hashtag, or a person’s name, each generated notification is logged into a SharePoint list or an Excel file and each time your audience uses these triggers, it logs this information. The data can then be analyzed at a later time. Not only is this beneficial for analytics, but the ability to add a recurrent step for delivery of this data is built into Flow. The recurrence can be set to occur weekly, daily, hourly or as frequently as minutes and seconds.
Microsoft continues to integrate their products so there is more cohesion between their various applications and third party ware. In this case, the integration of Flow with SharePoint has provided greater accessibility for users and better analytics for the corporation all the while increasing productivity and lessening the workload.