Over the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of tools that enable non-developers to build applications and automate business processes. Microsoft has introduced a set of tools collectively referred to as the Power Platform to achieve this goal. From building simple capture forms, user interfaces and apps using PowerApps, to automating processes with Power Automate (formerly called Microsoft Flow). These tools have given rise to the term citizen developers, business users that create applications inside their organizations to solve problems that would traditionally have been sent to IT, with many procedural delays, complexities and other issues.
To this end, Azuro investigated mechanisms to streamline the issuing of contracts, work orders and other agreements and documents that were previously taking a long time to produce. After they had been edited to satisfaction, they were manually sent to someone for signature before being printed and signed and scanned and sent back. We decided to make use of Microsoft Flow (now called Power Automate) in conjunction with some partner software, DocFusion and DocuSign to generate the document based on a template and data in a SharePoint list and send it for signature via DocuSign. This cut down the amount of manual document editing, as well as streamlining the process of getting agreements signed. We then took things a step further and introduced approvals into the workflow, to ensure documents were checked prior to being sent to customers for signature. All of this was done without writing any code and by a non-technical person.
To get started with Power Automate you will need an Office 365 subscription, and any one of several different license options. Provided you are correctly licensed, you can start creating your Flow. Navigate to https://flow.microsoft.com and sign in with your Office 365 credentials. From here you can choose to start with a template or build your own flow. There are hundreds of connectors and integrations, making it a truly powerful platform for simplifying business.
Take a look at this video for a quick overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCuxuUaGC6Y&feature=youtu.be