After reading about how to get started with Microsoft Flow, you might have some questions. What do people use these technologies for? How do you create a Microsoft Flow? Typically, Microsoft Flow is more geared towards the business user using Office 365, whereas IFTTT is better suited for controlling things like a Nest thermostat; you want to have your house temperature lowered when you leave for work and raised when you are expected to get home.
While you can use IFTTT to do much of the same things you can do with Microsoft Flow, Microsoft Flow allows for better customization how your flows operate. It was only recently that I started using IFTTT, and I tested IFTTT out for things that I need to have automated for work, but do not necessarily need to monitor or check on a daily basis. When I heard about Microsoft Flow, I was interested because there are a lot of things that I want to be able to do in IFTTT, but the functionality is only currently available in Flow.
Starting out, I used Flow when it was in preview, and I really didn't know what I was doing. Thankfully, Flow has Guided Learning that can help get you up to speed on creating flows and what are the common components that make up a flow. Guided Learning is certainly helpful when you are looking to create your first flow or are a flow veteran. Let's take a look at Flow terminology to understand how to create a Microsoft Flow.
Microsoft Flow Terminology
- Connectors - Sources and destinations of data in a flow
- Triggers - events that start (or trigger) a flow
- Actions - tasks that need to be completed by the flow
- Conditions - allow for adding if/then logic in a flow
- Loops - are for adding sequences or instances where a flow needs to be repeated
By understanding these 5 terms and their meanings, creating flows will be easy to do and you will be able to create more complex flows if needed later or be able to create even better flows than even the templates that Microsoft has available.
There are flow templates available, but it helps to know how to create your own flow because Microsoft doesn't always have the template you want or need. Plus, you'll be able to create custom flows more easily in the future.
Creating a flow is relatively easy to figure out. You'll want to create a flow where a connector performs one or more tasks automatically when you want to trigger an action. Now that you understand the Microsoft Flow terms, here's a short video on setting up a Microsoft Flow from scratch or from a template.
If you need additional help, you can always take a look at the Microsoft Flow documentation to see a number of extensive step-by-step guides and in-depth on-premises gateway information.
Download the Microsoft Flow mobile app for Android or iOS. Please note: The Microsoft Flow app ONLY allows you to create flows from templates. At this time, you cannot create flows from scratch in the Microsoft Flow mobile app.