After news of the service showed up yesterday, Microsoft has formally announced Flow, designed "for automating workflows across the growing number of applications and SaaS services that business users rely on".
The service is similar in function to IFTTT (If-This-Then-That). Here are some examples of use cases for Flow:
I get hundreds of emails every day, and my notification options are all-or-nothing. It’s hard to keep up with all that traffic when I’m traveling. I’d like to get an SMS when specific people like a key customer prospect reach out directly to me.
Our teams are constantly meeting people at events and following up over email. We want to ensure we don't miss any of these leads, but re-typing information from emails into our CRM system is tedious.
We work with agencies who create content and upload large files to OneDrive or Dropbox accounts. Our teams want to know right when the latest files arrive, without having to check every 30 minutes, and then they want to transfer a backup to SharePoint Online as soon as it comes through.
The company is also introducing a public preview for PowerApps. Originally announced back in November, PowerApps is designed to allow businesses to create apps without having to write any code.
Microsoft has offered similar applications in the past, such as Project Siena. On the consumer side, the firm offers Windows App Studio Beta, which allows anyone to create a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Universal app.
James Phillips said the following in a press release:
PowerApps connects to the cloud services and data sources you're already using, giving business analysts and specialists the ability to quickly build apps that suit their specific needs—without writing code or struggling with integration issues. Apps can be published instantly to co-workers across web, tablets and mobile devices without waiting for app stores. PowerApps also integrates with Microsoft Flow, making it possible to trigger flows from within apps.