I’ve been talking to some friends, colleagues and fellow Dynamics 365 CRM experts lately about the difficulty in moving from a standard CRM Workflow mindset to Flow. And while there is ample documentation and training materials for making Flows using Power Automate, there seems to be a lack of materials for the absolute beginner. So here’s my first Flow 101 blog article! I thought we could spend some time walking through Power Automate at a very slow, introductory level.
Tip: Sign up for a free trial environment so you can play around – the best way to get comfortable with something like this is to play.
A flow is made up of:
If we put this in traditional CRM Workflow language, a trigger is like a conditional.
With traditional CRM Workflows, we are largely limited (using out-of-the-box capabilities) to performing actions just in the CRM system. Power Automate extends those to reach far, far beyond the confines of just CRM. It’s very exciting when you start to think about everything you can automate. No longer are you chained to Scribe, KingswaySoft or others – you can start to easily build out connections between different software without deeply technical knowledge. How? By using connectors. A connector is something takes an action of performs a trigger from one system to another.
Tip: Design your flow on a whiteboard, etc. BEFORE you start to build!
I think the most difficult part is designing your flow. There are close to 500 connectors that are Microsoft-certified for Power Automate. Sometimes, you know exactly what to use. Other times, you have a goal in mind but not a specific vendor. Here are two resources you can use to help design your flow (before you build!):
If you haven’t already, I recommend checking out the Microsoft Learning path for Power Automate here.
The learning path walks you through an overview on Power Automate, then provides a number of exercises to practice using Flow:
The exercises are good use cases to get started building your flows.
Stay tuned, we will walk through the following over the next few weeks:
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