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Microsoft unveils new updates for Power Automate and AI Builder

Power Apps Power BI Power Automate Power Virtual Agents logos on corners with Microsoft logo in the

At its virtual Ignite conference last year, Microsoft announced an enhanced AI Builder - including integrations with other services -, as well as new templates for Power Automate. More recently, meanwhile, the tech giant introduced the capability to leverage unattended robotic process automation (RPA) to Power Automate as well.

Today, as part of the feature unveiling at Ignite 2022, Microsoft announced updates to both the aforementioned services, as well as general availability for Managed Environments.

For starters, automation in Power Automate will now enable users to describe what they want to automate via natural language to build flows more efficiently and accurately. A new option to simplify this creation process is in preview. Alongside this, enhancements once again focusing on RPA have been described as follows:

  • An automation CoE starter kit to help companies establish this practice with greater ease. Along with this, Microsoft is rolling out a new business approvals kit. Both updates are generally available.
  • Power Automate expressions by example is a new method for generating expressions when creating cloud flows, specifically when it comes to data reshaping. Users will be able to provide an example of how they want their data returned to a flow, and suggested expressions will generate using Al to apply the suggested expression to their cloud flow. This update is in preview.
  • Native Power Automate integration in Excel will let users access the Automate menu and Excel-specific templates for automation while keeping work within the same Excel menu. This update is in preview.
A view showcasing Power Platform admin center
Managed Environments on the Power Platform

Moving ahead, AI Builder showcases improvements for Intelligent Document Processing, enabling the service to have a feedback loop to retrain models for better accuracy if required. There is also a new document type - Unstructured Docs - which can be used to extract data from such documents, while a multitable extraction feature supporting both structured and unstructured documents has been introduced as well. Additional language support has been increased, with the count rising up to 164 for text recognition and nine for handwritten text.

Finally, Managed Environments for Power Platform moves to general availability, bringing more fine-grained control to IT admins to manage low-code solutions at scale, with features like a weekly notifications digest, sharing limits, and a simple activation process via the admin center.

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