Microsoft is making lots of noise of late about the soon to be released Spring Release. One of the key takeaways from those announcements is that PowerApps and Flow are a key element of the future for app development in Dynamics (Canvas Apps, as they call them). If you still think PowerApps and Flow are the playthings of non-developers to do things poorly until a ‘real’ developer arrives, you are holding yourself back from a world of opportunity and it is time to embrace the new.
First of all, you can go to flow.microsoft.com and sign up for a free trial account. Once you have done this you can look at the sample templates but there is not a huge amount for Dynamics 365 so I say jump straight in and build your own. You will need a Trigger (similar to the triggers used to run workflows in Dynamics 365) and, once triggered, you will need the Flow to do something via Actions (just like steps in a workflow).
The triggers we have are at the record level and are:
While we can make all sorts of apps do something via an Action, for Dynamics 365, we can:
- Create a record
- Delete a record
- Retrieve a record
- Retrieve multiple records
- Update a record
We can also run Flows on demand via the mobile Flow app and, unlike workflows, we can schedule Flows to run regularly at a specific time. There really is a lot of power here waiting to be unleashed.
If you are familiar with creating workflows, none of this should look too difficult and I assure you making the leap to Flows will not be a large one.