After nearly a year in preview, Microsoft announced the general availability of Microsoft Flow and PowerApps — enabling both to be tightly integrated with SharePoint, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 deployments.
They join Microsoft Power BI to create what James Phillips, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Business Applications, Platform and Intelligence, described as "the power trio."
Collectively they allow non-developers to accomplish what previously required programming skills, he said, with each playing a specific role:
- Microsoft PowerApps – rapidly build web and mobile business applications without coding
- Microsoft Flow – automate business processes through simple configuration
- Microsoft Power BI – analyze and visualize the data that drives your business
The apps should make life easier for SharePoint users. In a blog post about the releases Seth Patton, general manager for OneDrive and SharePoint, explained:
“We know that tight integration is essential to unlocking productivity gains for the digital workplace. Accessing data from mobile devices was a first step. Bringing business processes to the same site for team documents and data is next."
Microsoft has been adding new functionality to SharePoint and making existing features easier to use to counter criticisms about its complexity.
PowerApps and Flow represent the next step in fulfilling Microsoft’s ambition to provide enterprises with a unified, cloud-enabled productivity and business application ecosystem. They have connectors to Office 365 and recently released Dynamics 365, and both will offer the ability create custom APIs for other data connections as well.
Users will also be able to connect to data in SharePoint Online and on-premises, as well as SQL, Exchange, OneDrive and services like Yammer, Twitter and Box.
PowerApps and Microsoft Flow will be enabled automatically for most Office 365 commercial plans this month. Both Apps and Flow will be available in 42 languages.