Sunday, 1 March 2020

Power Automate Notes

What is Power Automate?
Power Automate previously called Flow.  Power Automate contains "Flows".  Power Automate is workflow including RPA options.  Power Automate is a workflow engine that is based on Azure Logic Apps.  Very powerful extendable workflow solution for low code automation.  Allows workflows to be easily automated with 3rd part systems e.g. SAP.

Used for:
  1. Personal Workflows e.g. I send an email to all people that have not update the DevOps Scrum board on a in the last day as a scrum master.
  2. Business Process e.g. Holiday request form.  If more than 10 days, need senior manager approval.  Generate RFP based on an event.  Historically, used K2 or Nintex or WCF workflows for business processes.
  3. Integration: e.g., move twitter posts into my warehouse for data-mining later.
Licencing:
  1. Seeded licence is part of O365.  Use standard functionality such as standard connectors without needing to pay more for advance.  The advance/premium connectors are not part of the O365 licence.
  2. Per User licence -  Allows the  user $15 retail, can get discount with bulk and can use the advanced connectors & on-prem. gateway.  Many users need multiple workflows, normally personal workflows.
  3. Per User RPA licence - same as above but also has amazing RPA capabilities.
  4. Per Flow/Process - $100 per process per month, min 5 flows per month licences.  Anyone can use as part of the process.  Use for few people but process does a lot of workflows.  Can add a process one at a time after the first 5.
Licencing MS page
Power Automate has some licence add-ons available: AI builder and an unattended RPA add-on.
"Power Apps licenses will continue to include Power Automate capabilities", I don't know what is included but I assume it means any connector I can use in Power Apps, assuming I'm in Power Apps I can make Flows for.

Build workflows:
  • Can get a dedicated IDE tool for Power Apps or use the browser (which i always use).
  • There are over 350 connectors (in both standard and premium) and you can always use a custom connector to any OpenAPI (Swagger) endpoint.
  • Templates have some examples and often help as a starting point to make your own custom Flows in Power Automate.
  • Easy clear tracing so you  can see what part of the workflow is working and where you fail, and you can drive into the issue.  Super easy to use.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA):
  • Also known as UI Flows within Power Automate.  Microsoft have purchase and integrated Softomotive for UI flows to add WinAutomation.
  • Attend (user logged in) and unattended version (complete tasks without manual intervention)
  • Can have multiple instances
  • API is generally better than using RPA as it is versioned and generally not changeable, whereas using a website, they website can be changed causing the RPA flow to fail.  Useful for instance when the RESP API is incomplete.
  • Recording tool for creating UI flows - Web use Selenium to record.
  • 3 Types: 1) Windows /Desktop/Screen reader and 2) web/website (Selenium) and 3) WinAutomation (covers both Windows and Web, easy to use but not as full featured yet).
  • WinAutomation has a drag and drop IDE, has error handling.
  • UI flows are well priced.  Also get AI builder credits with UI flow licences.
  • "Power Automate Per user plan with attended RPA to use UI flows and WinAutomation" Microsoft.
AI Builder:
Cognitive builder e.g recognize forms and extract data. E.g. receive invoices and add to accounting SaaS software.


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