Microsoft is set to launch a new tool called Flow. This offering for businesses is said to make it more convenient to manage two or more services, be it GitHub, Google Drive, Facebook, Twitter or even Slack. Flow, first spotted by WalkingCat on Twitter, will automate workflow across a number of connected SaaS services, minimalizing the time required by employees to manually carry out certain tasks.
The concept is similar to that of IFTT (or "If This Than That"), which allows the creation of specific recipes to automate various supported tasks. What's different about Microsoft's Flow is how it seems to be tailored to business and enterprise customers. Here are some example user cases, as covered by Neowin:
Boss alert! My manager emails me a lot, but with all the email I get, it's easy to miss an email. Luckily, it's very easy to create a flow that sends me a text message whenever my boss sends me an email.
What's happening on Twitter? My friends will tell you I'm not very adept at social media, so to help me keep on top of it, I'm integrating Tweets with a tool I am familiar with (Excel). I have a flow set up that searches for tweets about Microsoft Flow and saves them into an Excel file that I can review on my own time. You can even save tweets to SQL, as covered in this blog post.
Getting files to work I use OneDrive for Business to store my files, but sometimes I want to easily get the files to SharePoint so my colleagues can see them. I was able to create a flow that copies files from a OneDrive for Business folder up to my team's SharePoint site.
Approve This! We have been working on some blog posts to help you understand and get started with Flow, and we wanted to be sure that all of the posts were reviewed and approved. We created a simple approval workflow.
A number of tasks can be carried out automatically by Flow, including the transfer of files between OneDrive and Dropbox, sending a message on Slack when a manager shoots an email out, or firing out a Slack notification and add a card into Trello for new GitHub issues. As well as third-party services and platforms, Microsoft will also include support for the likes of Yammer, SharePoint, Wunderlist, Azure, OneDrive, Dynamics and Office 365.
We'll have to hold out for an official announcement, which shouldn't be too far out.