Scripting has become an essential component for businesses to achieve the desired level of automation that can help them stay competitive and grow. However, today companies can even automate different tasks through scripts, which is where Robotic Process Automation (RPA) comes to the rescue. These RPA solutions are built to minimize the drag-and-drops, reduce the clicking, and automate repetitive tasks, even in Microsoft Outlook and Excel.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that people shift to RPA when humans need to be replaced without customizing the integrations or rewriting the entire software. Well, that brings us to Microsoft Power Automate, and Power Automate integration has become pretty popular among businesses looking to automate scripting. So, if that’s something that interests you, we have added everything in the article!
Microsoft Power Automate – What Is It?
When it comes down to Microsoft Power Automate, it’s a free tool available for Microsoft users, and you can enjoy the premium features as long as you have a valid Windows 10 license available. Microsoft Power Automate free vs. premium licensing has always been a common question, but Microsoft has made it free for everyone. The tool is highly convenient to use because you literally design and run the automation within seconds.
It is a desktop tool that allows users to design, create, and run automated features. Previously, it was known as WinAutomation and was operated by Softomotive. However, Microsoft acquired Softomotive in 2020 and renamed the product as Power Automate Desktop. When the PAD is downloaded and installed, you can start with the automation immediately. For instance, you can use the corporate account connected with Microsoft Office 365, and you will be able to login and start automating the processes.
The users can start creating automation, which is also known as flows. However, you have to run Power Automate Desktop. This is a cloud-based workflow automation software that allows the management and development of simple and complicated workflows. It can be used for automating processes and tasks across various apps. It has been integrated with AI features which makes it suitable for IT personnel and citizen integrators.
The users can streamline the redundant tasks, and the digital processes can be designed. In addition, it has been designed with predesigned connectors, which promises easy integration with Salesforce. It has the ability to manage cloud data as well as on-premise data. Microsoft Power Automate Desktop offers multi-step and complicated flows for triggering advanced features that allow the users to customize the capabilities, add flows, and specify the actions.
With Microsoft Power Automate Desktop, the users can develop the “approval flows” to automate the approvals of contracts, budgets, requests, and documents, eliminating the need for manual processes. In addition, the approvers can send email notifications for requests. Moreover, it allows the users to create DLP (data loss prevention) to ensure data protection. In the section below, we are sharing a brief review of this tool (yes, we will talk about free vs. premium licensing as well, don’t worry!).
Users can set the record of the action that can be performed on the browser or desktop. The action lists are saved as flows, and the tool replays all the flows automatically, without any manual or human intervention. The tool can record every functionality done on the system, such as browsing the pages, new document opening, and moving different tabs. It is designed over a pseudo-scripting language that is easy to pick but that doesn’t compromise performance.
The users can use various calculations, loops, variables, and conditions in the flows to create complicated flows as well. In the case of a premium license, the users can utilize an online interface for monitoring the flows (what they do, if they completed the task, and if the flows ran adequately). The premium licensing option is better for people who want to operate the flows without paying much heed or compromising performance.
To begin with, the tool is pretty easy to install, and operating Microsoft Power Automate Desktop is convenient. There is an Edge or Chrome extension available for automating browsing actions. The drag and drop interface makes it easier to design flows for a user that doesn’t have coding or programming skills. A little information about programming can help users to make batch scripting more efficient and faster.
Microsoft Power Automate Desktop is designed with promising digital documentation, but it’s more suitable for developers who have experience in automation. In addition, the community forum is pretty busy, and technical support is generally available for enterprise users.
- Templates & Connectors
The templates are available to help users optimize and manage different tasks. It has various templates available for regular automation on different systems. At this point, you must be thinking about Power Automate vs. Flow, but for your knowledge, Microsoft has rebranded Flow as Power Automate, so they are the same. There is an extensive combination of connectors and templates which can be utilized for setting off the automated processes.
The connectors are available to create links between systems, such as HubSpot, Facebook, Salesforce, and Twitter. That being said, you can link different systems and platforms for performing and automating different tasks with the help of connectors. As far as the templates are concerned, they help inspire automation, and a full library of connectors and templates is available. Lastly, you can connect Windward Hub with Microsoft Power Automate Desktop for quick and easy functionality.
When it comes down to integration, you already have access to marketing, service, and sales with Microsoft 365 Suite. The users can create their own integrations like one can integrate collaboration apps and sales modules to get on-time notifications. Moreover, you can integrate sales and market to monitor marketing emails and how the sales team performs through notifications. It is compatible with social media, file-sharing software, analytical tools, and survey monkey. Microsoft Power utomate Desktop also provides a guide for first-time users so that you can integrate tools without coding.
Microsoft launched 370 predesigned actions that help design flows for different apps, but you can develop the custom scripts for time-consuming and repetitive tasks. If you have a Windows 10 license available, the tool is free to use but if you did not, you would have to buy a license for cloud automation in the past. The tool was launched in September 2020, and it was available for $15 for one user. However, recently, Microsoft made it available for everyone. That being said, there is no premium vs. free license because everyone has access to Microsoft Power Automate Desktop and all its features.
Perks of Using Power Automate Desktop
- It offers advanced features that can be added to the flows with one click, such as creating a file in Dropbox or adding an item to SharePoint.
- It has a template library for flows, so you can select the flows and use them. The users can also customize the flow templates.
- The users can schedule the repetitive flows for performing tasks according to the desired time. In addition, the users can set the time, date, and day.
- The workflows can be developed automatically for processing the document and request approvals.
- The users can opt to utilize DLP to define the accessible or shareable connectors for data transmission without compromising security.
- The Android and iOS users can generate buttons for triggering workflows, creating automated workflows, and receiving push notifications for optimizing the flow activity.
What’s The Purpose of Microsoft Power Automate Desktop for Businesses?
With this tool, the users can achieve different automation, ranging from simple notifications to complicated processes with a combination of integrations and steps. Some of the common features include the following;
- The users create a leads list from the marketing campaign’s email replies
- The users can retrieve data from the order forms and create invoices
- The users can automate the approvals for specific tasks (as you mention in the settings)
- The users can share data and reports through the collaboration app
- The users can automate the email replies for optimizing communication
For the most part, this is a flexible tool that connects various apps, which means the possibilities are endless. So, once businesses experiment enough, they can use Microsoft Power Automate Desktop in different ways.
Wrapping It Up
Microsoft Power Automate Desktop is an amazing addition to expert Windows users’. It’s incredibly convenient to use, the scripting language is strong, and now available for free. Some programmers do believe that the user interface is slow and in a state of flux. Also, the online documentation feature doesn’t have quick updates. To summarize, it’s a powerful tool if you want to automate regular tasks and have an active internet connection.