Similar to the Android app IFFT, Microsoft's Flow promises that it can “automate almost any time-consuming task or process.” Its uses have been limited so far, but the addition of CDM makes it even more powerful.
The support covers not only standard entities, but also allows custom entities to built. Stephen Siciliano, principal group PM manager of the project, had some words on what this means for businesses:
“With the Common Data Model, enterprises can improve operational efficiency with a unified view of business data. For example, the Common Data Model is also integrated directly into Microsoft PowerApps, and PowerApps makes it easy to build views and applications on top of the data that you put in with Microsoft Flow.”
Using the Common Data Model
The blog post also lists a number of uses and templates for Flow. The Common Data Model allows users to store data from tweets and RSS feeds, but also has wider implications:
“Some of the templates can be used to import and export data from other common services. For example, you can import data from:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM
- Microsoft Excel files stored in any cloud file provider
- A Microsoft SQL database, both in the cloud and on-premises
- A custom API that you define to connect to your own systems”
Siciliano notes that this is especially useful for developers building PowerApps on top of the CDM, as it gives them a way to get data in. Microsoft promises more features incrementally, but hasn't gone into specifics just yet.
SharePoint Integration with Flow
Last month, Microsoft announced SharePoint list integration with Flow. Utilizing a number of other features, the new lists are expected to start rolling out early this month.
Users will be able to create and launch flows directly from a SharePoint list, then store and modify the resultant data. The new lists also support PowerApps, which will help users build efficient mobile forms and apps directly from the lists, without having to code.
You can sign up to try the new features of Flow on their website, provided you you have a work or education email. Microsoft also has a full list of their CDM templates, but the page seems to be down for now.