Microsoft campaigns for broader Flow usage: More developers, more Dynamics 365 progress, more enterprise-grade scenarios

June 13 2019

Microsoft continues to push for ever-broader adoption of Flow as a maturing process automation platform. The product team is making improvements like adding stronger administrative controls, access to new tools like AI Builder and new hooks into Power BI. And the company wants to convince customers that Flow can work for the needs of nearly any role, from the power user to the professional developer – even the administrators overseeing the whole range of development, execution, support, and governance

Flow development for all levels

Microsoft wants to see power users, citizen developers, and professional developers all adopting Flow, according to Stephen Siciliano, Microsoft program manager for Flow, who spoke at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit (MBAS) earlier this week. 

It may be true that Flow is most often embraced by power users of enterprise systems who want to automate something simple – at least at first, said Siciliano. But that leads to the attitude that Flow is not for developers, which he says is not the intention. (A recording can be found here.)

"Pro developers, we find more and more, are using Flow to automate the solutions that they have that span the entire enterprise," he said. "And the reason they're doing this is that Flow is a tool they can use to quickly iterate on the automation needs that you have inside the organization." Similarly, he noted, pro developers are customizing flows by connecting them with services running in Azure Functions and Logic Apps, something a citizen developer wouldn't be able to do.

Business Process Management flows: Key to the SharePoint and Dynamics 365 roadmaps

Siciliano emphasized the two primary focus areas of Flow: Workflow automation, which is what newcomers typically learn about when they begin automating any process, and business process management, which is used to represent a multi-stage process (like a CRM sales opportunity) and can be used to trigger workflow automation at various points throughout.

About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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