What is Microsoft Flow/Power Automate?
Microsoft Flow is an online workflow service that automates actions across the most common apps and services. For example, you can create a flow that gets Account from dynamics 365 and send a relevant mail (using Outlook) to Contacts related to that Account.
There are many triggers and actions you can use in Microsoft Flow to automate your apps and services including Outlook, Dynamics 365, SharePoint, Gmail, RSS, One drive, Common Data Services, HTTP and many more.When you sign up, you can connect to more than 220 services, and can manage data either in the cloud or in on-premises sources like SharePoint and Microsoft SQL Server. The list of applications you can use with Microsoft Flow grows constantly.You can use Microsoft Flow to automate workflows between your favorite applications and services, sync files, get notifications, collect data, and much more.
For example, you can automate these tasks:
- Instantly respond to high-priority notifications or emails.
- Capture, track, and follow up with new sales leads.
- Copy all email attachments to your OneDrive for Business account.
- Collect data about your business and share that information with your team.
- Automate approval workflows.
A common use of Microsoft Flow is to receive notifications.
For example, you can instantly receive an email or a push notification on your phone whenever a sales lead is added to Dynamics 365 or Salesforce.
Use of Microsoft Flow in D365
Just like workflows in dynamics 365, Microsoft flow can also be triggered at any event. So why we should use Flow rather than Workflow in Dynamics 365. Below are some points to make clear about the usage of Flow over Workflow
- Notifications: Dynamics Workflow can send email-based notifications. That is good when you want an However, modern users don’t like to fill their inbox with hundreds of notification emails. Using Flow, you can enable a variety of additional notification scenarios.
- SMS Text notifications: Using the Twilio connector for Flow, you can easily send and receive SMS text notifications for Dynamics 365 events. The standard pricing for Twilio is $.0075 per message sent, making Flow the easiest and least expensive way to get Dynamics 365 SMS based notifications.
- Push notifications: If you install the Flow app on your mobile device, you can create flows that give you a mobile push notification when a Dynamics 365 event happens.
- Email notifications sent from non-users. Want to have email notifications come from a mailbox that isn’t associated with a Dynamics 365 user? Want to avoid having to pay for a Dynamics 365 license for the account that sends email notifications? Want to use Gmail, Hotmail, or some non-Office 365 email account to send email notifications? Flow supports all these scenarios.
- User created workflows: While CRM workflow can be used by end users to create personal workflows, it is not frequently used in this way. Part of the reason for this is the user interface for Workflow can be confusing and does not display the workflow in an intuitive visual style. Flow, on the other hand, is highly visual and more intuitive for power users.
- Approvals: The April update to Flow introduced a streamlined approval Flow that provides an elegant way to do approvals in Dynamics 365. While you could do an email Workflow in CRM, the process was not very elegant. It required the person providing approval to be a Dynamics 365 user, and they had to log into CRM to make an approval. Using Microsoft Flow’s approval feature, the approver can approve via email, push notification, or from the Flow app. Once the approver approves the request, your Flow can update the record to approved status in Dynamics 365; just we used to do via Workflow.
- Deleting records: There is no standard delete option with Dynamics 365 Workflow (one can be added via a custom workflow activity). Microsoft Flow includes several options not available from standard Dynamics 365 workflow, including the ability to get a list of records and execute an operation for each record in the list, and the option to delete records. Of course, you will want to use this option with caution, and the user’s security role will dictate what they can do with a Flow—if your security role prevents record deletion, you won’t be able to delete with a Flow.
- Lightweight integration options: Want the creation of a customer in Dynamics 365 for Operation (AX) to trigger the creation of the same customer in Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CRM)? Flow presents the option to integrate and synchronize between business systems without writing an integration in SSIS.
- Scheduled jobs: while Dynamics 365 includes some options in Workflow to delay a job for a specific time (using a timeout or wait condition), there is no idea of a scheduled job. Until now. Microsoft Flow can be your job scheduler. Using the Recurrence option when you create your Flow, you can schedule recurring jobs to happen at virtually whatever time interval you want.
Embed Microsoft Flow in D365
Prerequisites to Add Microsoft Flow to your Dynamics 365 environment (on Form)
- Microsoft Flow account
- Microsoft D365 environment
The very first thing we need to have Microsoft Flow in our dynamics 365 is to enable it. To enable Microsoft Flow in our environment, follow below steps:
- Go to the Settings > Administration > System Settings > Customization tab.
- Enable or disable Flow in your organization.
- To enable, under Enable Microsoft Flow Click Yes.
- To disable, under Enable Microsoft Flow Click No.
- Click Ok to close System Settings.
Create Microsoft Flow for D365
To give demonstration about how flow will work in D365 I am following one simple scenario. In this scenario we can trigger Microsoft Flow to Send mails to all of Contacts related to current Account selected.
To achieve this follow below steps:
1. Navigate to Account entity in Sales Module and click on Flow flyout button.
2. Click on Create a Flow button there and login to Flow with your office 365 credentials.
3. You will get following screen giving Template to start with. Press Continue.
4. You will be redirected to the next screen as below:
5. Next, we need to add our Actions. First, we will fetch all contacts related to selected Account. So select Dynamics 365 and then List records as below:
6. Give Organization Name, Entity name and query as below:
7. In next step select Apply to Each control and then inside that select Send an Email Action from outlook and add data as below:
8. Save the flow and turn it On.
9. Now go back to D365 and check if our flow is there. It should be in Flow fly out button over Account entity.
10. Now you can trigger your flow whenever you want Contacts to know they are associated to Account.