Microsoft Flow is Now Available

Posted on November 2, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, iOS, Mobile, Office 365 with 7 Comments

Microsoft Flow—the software giant’s answer to IFTTT—is now available, following about six months in beta.

Flow is a new cloud-based service that helps you automate tasks and business processes across multiple applications and services, such as Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, and many others, plus Microsoft solutions like Outlook, Excel, Office 365, Onedrive and more. The result is an action or set of actions called a “flow”—short for “workflow”—that takes place when something else happens.

When Flow first arrived in beta form in April, it was available only on the web, limiting its usefulness. But Microsoft added a limited iOS client, also in beta, back in June. And now the web and iOS versions of Flow are generally available, as is a new client app for Android. (There’s no word about a Windows client, though one has to assume that is happening too.)

During this time, the number of supported apps and services has also increased, to 58. That falls far short of the 375 services supported by IFTTT. But Flow is supported in 42 languages and six regions, Microsoft says. And its business focus means it gets an SLA, or Service-Level Agreement, of 99.9 percent (or “three nines”). Aside from this reliability guarantee, Microsoft also provides a Flow Admin Center for businesses.

Despite the business focus, Flow may find fans among individuals who would like to automate their daily workflows, much like IFTTT.

“Anyone can create flows directly on their phone,” Microsoft’s Stephen Siciliano notes. “Browse our rich template gallery, navigate through our services list, search the gallery by keyword, or select a category of solutions. Even if you are new to Flow, we’ll help get you started with our new, ready-to-use experience, which makes it possible to wire up flows with just a click or two … You can do everything from texting a colleague that you’re running late to a meeting, to triggering a new product build in Visual Studio, all with a single tap.”

Microsoft Flow is free for individuals. But Flow also offers additional functionality for those with commercial Office 365 accounts. Otherwise, businesses can sign up for an added cost plan called Microsoft Flow Plan 2.


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