Meet Microsoft Flow: A free way to connect all of your cloud services – including Slack, GitHub, Twitter, and Google Drive – together in new and novel ways.
You can have your Dropbox files automatically copied to a OneDrive account. You can have your Tweets saved to a spreadsheet. If you’ve ever used the mega-popular IFTTT service, it’s exactly like that, with user-created “flows” for shunting data from one service to another.
Even more interestingly, it looks like we first found out about Flow before Microsoft was ready: The annunciatory blog post, dated April 27th 2016, was publicly viewable as of Wednesday afternoon, but the main flow.microsoft.com site didn’t yet work. Both the blog and the site were first noticed by Twitter user “h0x0d.”
Here’s the key image from that blog post:
It also includes example “flows,” like this one:
My manager emails me a lot, but with all the email I get, it’s easy easy to miss an email or. Luckily, it’s very easy to create a flow that sends me a text message whenever my boss sends me an email.
Or this one:
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[…]
That same blog post explains that Flow is based on a tool originally introduced alongside Microsoft PowerApps last November as a closed preview. Now, it’s free and open to everyone, so maybe give it a shot. If nothing else, it’s a great sign of Microsoft’s continued willingness to work with outside companies.