In this two-part blog series, we’ll explore the technology that is revolutionising customer service delivery in government. In our first installment, we examine the technology transformation from the perspective of back-office processes.
The Microsoft Flow team has been hard at work making important improvements this year. Flows are easier to learn, use, and manage than ever before. In this blog we share a few of our favorite updates to Microsoft Team Integration, Approvals, Sharing Flows, and the Flow Documentation site!
This goes beyond the Teams connector, which already allowed you to create Flows that could take actions in Teams, for example by posting a message. This gives you the ability to interact with Flow from inside Teams. The first step is to install the Flow app from the Team store.
Go to the More Apps menu in Microsoft Teams to access the Flow app. The Flows tab shows your flows and team flows. The Approval tab shows sent and received approvals and the Conversation tab allows you to interact with Flow Bot.
Flow Bot can tell you what it can do, provide you with a list of flows it can run, run a scheduled flow on demand, run a manually triggered flow that does not have inputs, and show the description for a flow.
Modern approvals in Flow allow you to quickly set up an automated approval workflow for your data in many systems. Proposed content in SharePoint, Twitter, Visual Studio, and more, can be set up such that actions are automatically taken once the proposed content is approved. Approvers receive emails notifying them of the approval request and users can interact with approvals in a unified Approvals Center in Microsoft Flow.
What's new in modern approvals? The detail of the approval request can now have rich text, lists, links and tables using Markdown. In addition, approvals you receive can now be reassigned to a different person.
The new History tab in the Approvals center shows all requests, both sent and received. Filter by title or direction and sort ascending or descending by date. Click on a row to see the details of an approval request including the comments and the exact time of the request.
The modern approvals connector is now built on the latest version of the Common Data Service for Apps (CDS for Apps). This allows you to build flows that act based on the status of approvals you receive or send. For example, you can build flows to notify you of new approval requests, remind you of pending approval requests, or notify you when a request you sent is approved. Use the template created by the Microsoft Flow team as a starting point. Modify the data operations, variables, and conditional actions to fit your scenario.
We have been able to share flows by adding people as co-owners, or (for manual flows only) adding them as run-only users (which makes the flow button available to them in the mobile app). Now, it is possible to add an Office 365 Group (including a Microsoft Team) as the co-owner or (for manual flows) as a run-only user. If the flow has steps which interact with a SharePoint list, the list can be invited to be a co-owner of the flow or (for manual flows only) as a run-only user, giving access to the flow to all members of the list.
When you add owners to a flow, you will see exactly which connections and permission are being provided to them.
Since a shared flow always runs with your connections and data, it's important to evaluate whether you trust the author of the flow and whether you agree with the actions in the flow before running it. When running a flow, we can now see details of all the actions and connections in the flow, including details of SharePoint sites accessed by the flow, if applicable.
As you can see, Microsoft Flow is growing and improving all the time. To help you find the documentation most relevant to where you are in your Flow journey, the documentation page now has links to different content for different audiences. Whether you're a beginner, intermediate user, expert or admin, there is a path for you. This makes it easier to find information you can use right away so you can get started having fun and being productive with Microsoft Flow!
Want to learn even more about Microsoft Flow? Join PowerObjects, this year's Platinum Sponsor, at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit on July 22-24 in Seattle. Register with code HCL100dc to receive a $100 discount.
Please note: there are three different Flow plans. Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications and Office 365 plans may include Microsoft Flow Free, Microsoft Flow Plan 1, or Microsoft Flow Plan 2. To learn about pricing and features, please visit the Microsoft Flow Plan site.
Want to learn more about Flow and the Common Data Service? Check out our PowerApps, Flow, and CDS for Dynamics 365 training.
Happy Dynamics 365'ing!