Microsoft Flow wants to steal the workflow app crown

As companies utilize increasingly connected services to get their work done, ensuring that connectedness can become increasingly difficult. That’s a situation Microsoft wants to improve with its new Flow app, which lets you combine two or more services together, for more automated workflows.

Microsoft is no pioneer in this space, with the likes of Zapier and IFTTT leading the way on this sort of collaborative software, but Microsoft’s biggest push with its latest generation of office-based software has been focused on joint workloads, so a piece of kit like Flow is unsurprising.

Indeed, Microsoft first showed off what Flow could do with a web-accessible version that debuted in April this year, so the addition of an iOS app version of the service is just the icing on the cake. The firm will make moves to integrate Flow in some of its subscription-based packages like Office 365 in the near future.

It will also receive support for third-party platforms and services like Slack, GitHub and Salesforce, according to TechCrunch.

As it stands though, the app allows you to manage previously created flows, check their properties, and run history reports both to debug any errors and to make sure they’re running as efficiently as they can.

As you might expect with a service that is all about integration and automation, you can even have it let you know in real-time when something goes wrong. If a certain service within the flow chain hits a hurdle it can’t cross, you can have it deliver a push notification to your phone to let you know.

One aspect that is lacking on the application though is flow creation. While it might be a little awkward to build an entire flow on your smartphone’s relatively small display, that is something that Microsoft plans to add in the near future, as well as an Android version.

It will be interesting to see if this increased functionality will translate into a wider audience for Flow. While traditionally this sort of automation is found among high-level users, it could be that with Office 365 integration it will reach a wider group of potential users.

You can download Flow direct from the App store.


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