Satya Nadella at Ignite 2017 Getty Images

Ignite 2017: Microsoft Flow's Automation Capabilities Extend Even Further in the Enterprise

We are here at Microsoft Ignite this week in Orlando, Florida along with almost 25,000 attendees to hear the latest from Microsoft on the productivity, cloud, machine learning, and AI fronts.

Here is a snapshot of some of the big news announcements which began the week during the main keynote led by Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella.

What Was Announced

Microsoft is expanding the integration capabilities between PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Any business user familiar with InfoPath forms, Access databases or SharePoint can build apps that extend and automate their business processes, including apps that can do the following:

  • Create a custom list form experience within Office 365, enabling users to easily extend task- specific forms that embed directly in SharePoint;
  • Embed your PowerApps directly into SharePoint pages with a web part;
  • Use a point-and-click rule builder to express conditional logic in apps for formatting and actions;
  • This will enable the creation of sophisticated apps in less time without the need to create
    advanced formulas;
  • Upload attachments into a list and multi-select items from a list with improved SharePoint
  • Column types support

This also means that with a combination of Flow, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Dynamics 365, you can automate approvals workflows and final approvals systems. 

Why It's Important

The more data-dependent work tasks that you can automate, the more time is freed up for workers to do the stuff that machine learning still can't -- or won't ever be able to. The combination of Flow (i.e. a quick and easy way to set up if-this-then-that routines) and roll-your-own apps will allow enterprise users to customize tools that free up people's time while also retaining or improving current levels of productivity.

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