Today we continue with the blog series D365 V9.0 – A Feature a Day, and I am enjoying the self-discovery process of all the new improvements that have been made to the V9.0 platform. Today’s feature will be focusing on the new native Microsoft Flow Integration.
What is Microsoft Flow?
Traditional Microsoft Dynamics workflows allow you to automate processes from within the Dynamics platform, Microsoft Flows however allow the silos between systems to be broken down allowing you to take advantage of the plethora of services available in the cloud.
The key advantages of Microsoft Flow can be summarised as:
- Allows the citizen developer to create powerful flows without having to write custom code.
- Allows you to take advantage of the many services available on the cloud (such as Google Gmail, Microsoft Translate, MailChimp, Twitter, etc.)
- Allows you to perform scheduling.
- And what is best of all there are a lot of pre-built connectors within the Flow ecosystem, here is the current list as of October 2017 – with more being added all the time.
- Microsoft Flows can be converted to LogicApps easily for Enterprise Grade applications.
So how does Flow work within Dynamics 365 v9?
In this scenario, I’ll pretend that I’m a service agent and I need to defer my case to our manufacturer in Korea.
I’ll start by creating a case, and then have Microsoft Flow call the “Microsoft Translation Service”. Then I will use Gmail to send translated email to the team.
- First Create the Case and enter a description.
- Secondly click on the ellipses (three dots) menu and click Create a Flow.
- Create your Flow and give it a Name.
- Refresh your screen, and you should see the ability to Run your newly created Flow. Click on this Flow.
- A progress window will appear checking the connections, click Continue.
And within a few seconds you should see the result, in our case it’s a translated email.
While Flows has been released for some time now (Public Release was April 2016), and the service has been steadily maturing since then with better management, auditing, connectors and so forth. So, with that in mind it is great to see that the product development team has deemed it suitable for the next release of Dynamics 365. The controls behave as you would expect within Dynamics, and doesn’t feel like it has been added on as an afterthought.
It will be interesting to see what the plan is for existing Dynamics Workflows, whilst I don’t see them going away anytime soon potentially it could be advantageous to have a single workflow system or at least a unified interface for the two workflow systems.
But for now, we can look forward to an easy to use yet powerful workflow system in the next release.
Stay tuned for my next blog in the V9.0 series! Until then, thanks for reading.
If you’re keen on trying this new feature out yourself, head on down to https://trials.dynamics.com/Dynamics365/Signup
Other cool resources:
- Marius Pederson’s blog on Using D365 Customer Engagement admin API with PowerShell (with GitHub links)
- Matt Barbour’s Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE Platform Update for Developers