Course Introduction and Overview
Components of Power Automate
Building and Managing Flows
Power Automate is part of the Microsoft Power Platform and is a powerful tool to create automation flows for workflow processes. In this course, we cover the capabilities of the Power Automate service. You will learn how to identify common components such as flow types, connectors, conditions, expressions, and approvals.
You'll also learn how to build basic flows that can be started immediately with a button, based on an automated trigger, or on a set schedule. We'll explore how to update your flows and correct any issues that might interfere with your flow running successfully.
Furthermore, this course will help you in preparing for the Microsoft PL-900 certification for the Power Platform.
- Describe the different types of flows
- Identify and choose the proper type of flow trigger
- Find and use templates to run or modify a flow
- Use and change data connectors
- Be able to describe templates, connectors, loops and conditions, expressions, and approvals
- IT professionals who are interested in obtaining the Microsoft PL-900 certification
- Those tasked with automating tasks from Microsoft 365 applications and external application integration
- Basic knowledge of the Microsoft 365 applications and a license to create Power Automate Flows (a trial of an Enterprise version would work as a temporary testbed)
And welcome to Power Automate connectors. You might notice that throughout Power Automate you will not only see Microsoft connections being made but you'll see connections to all sorts of different third-party vendors. Connectors make this possible by creating a link to that third-party provider of some service. When we want to connect two different things that don't speak the same language, we need some kind of connector in the middle and that's what Microsoft has built. There are hundreds of connectors built into Power Automate. At this time, there are close to 500 different connectors.
Let’s talk a little about accounts you will need and pre-built content that comes with a connector
Each one of these connectors helps us to actually make a connection between two different services. In some cases, you need to have an account with the service that you're connecting with, for instance in the case of Cognito forms, they offer a free membership where you can build simple forms.
If I want to have somebody fill out a survey from Cognito, and have that information flow to a SharePoint list, then email someone, then I use a connector from Cognito forms, a connector from SharePoint, and I use a connector to Outlook. With the connector comes some prebuilt content so when I do link up with Cognito forms it already knows that it's going to go and find my forms and the fields of that form, with the type of data for each field. I then connect the form that I've created and pull different information out of it. This is why Power Automate is called a “no code, or low code solution”, because it does most of the work.
Notice that some connectors have the word Premium under them. Premium connectors look like all the rest of the connectors and can do the same things as other connectors, but the difference is in the level of service, licensing, and price. So, I can link up my MailChimp account to pull new subscribers into SharePoint, but I need to put in credentials for MailChimp and be able to use their premium content which requires me to purchase more than their free account.
I also need to have a proper license with Microsoft for Power Automate. Since licensing changes from time to time, please check your license to see if Premium accounts are included. When you see the item that says premium that means there's a charge on one end or the other, and, sometimes premium can mean that we need a higher license within Power Automate or other services.
An example of this is for Adobe Acrobat functionality. If I want to put a file into a SharePoint folder and have it converted to an Adobe PDF file, I need to have a license for Power Automate, a paid account for Acrobat Pro, and go through a certification process on Adobe’s site to connect to Power Automate.
I’m going to take you through the process of certifying my connection with Adobe for this connection. Whenever you need credentials for a connector that you haven’t used, it will show up with a plus sign. Once you have put in your credentials, it turns into a check mark. Most of the time it is simply putting in your username and password but not in the case of Adobe.
When this was a plus sign, I had to go to Adobe’s site and register. I have put the website on the slide. These are the screens that I had to read and fill in. Once filled in and requested, this is what I got back. I then had to go back to Automate and fill in each of these items and the check mark appeared. Gladly, I only have to do that once.
One note I would like to share is that there are connectors and there are connections. Connectors are what get two different services talking together, connections are the credentials that we use to connect with the different services. Connectors are found under the connectors link in the left-hand navigation. Connections are found underneath the data link in left-hand navigation. There at the bottom, you see my latest connection with Adobe.
To recap our lecture, we learned that connectors connect at least two services together. We learned that you need to have an account for many of the connections. Connections come with pre-built content that helps us use a no-code approach. Those connectors marked as Premium, will need to have paid accounts, and licenses to work. And lastly, we learned that connectors and connections are different. Connectors connect items together, and connections are the credentials we need to connect our services to the connectors.
Next lecture coming up: Learning Loops and Conditions.
Ron is an experienced professional with in-depth expertise in SharePoint, Power Automate, Power BI, and Microsoft 365. He enjoys involvement in corporate presentations, training, change management, communications, marketing, and facilitation.
Ron brings this experience together to design SharePoint solutions that meet his client’s business, training, and collaboration needs. His skillset includes: Program Management, Change Management, SharePoint Site Administration and Architecture, Project Management, Graphic Design, and Technology Infrastructure Expertise. Ron is an expert skier and speaks Japanese as a second language.