When Flow is Enough
Updated: Mar 20, 2019
I was chatting with Melissa Hubbard last month about the power of Microsoft Flow and my complete ineptitude / frustration with Power Apps. I think it boils down to just not spending enough time with it, but I lack the prowess of Brian Dang and have a hard time getting Power Apps to behave as easily as other things.
Melissa suggested that using Flow as the input interface might make more sense when there isn't a need for an elaborate user interface, and the intent is quick data capture. At the same time, I've been wanting to build a Flow using solely the mobile interface, so off I went to build a simple, yet effective, Flow mini-app.
Beginning with the Flow app on my Android phone, I first went to the Flow buttons section but found that I could only build from templates there (unless I was doing something wrong). Instead, I just went to "Flows" to create one from scratch.
My intent with this Flow is to create an easy interface for my salespeople to gather names and email addresses while walking a trade show floor, or something similar. I know I could use a D365 App to do something similar, but I like Flow. It is my hammer, and this is obviously a nail.
From there, I added "Manually Trigger a Flow", which gives you the opportunity to collect different inputs: Text, Yes/No, File, eMail, or a Number. I chose two text fields (First and Last Name), and an eMail address.
Initially, I was going to have this write to a MailChimp list, but realized I want the lead inside Dynamics 365 instead. I could have run a parallel action to write to both at the same time, or ran them linearly (the issue there is if the first write fails, the second one won't happen).
From there, it was simply a matter of adding the correct action, "Create a New Record" using my Dynamics 365 connector, and bringing in the gathered data from the trigger inputs.
Once the lead was in D365, I could sync it with a MailChimp list and run campaigns and so on. The idea here was only to capture it.
In the image below, you can see where I've added the tags from the trigger to the Create Record Action.
That's it, really! Flow automatically created a button, and now I can share it with folks so they can create leads without having to do all of the things they complain about having to do.