Microsoft Flow: A Backend Internet Plumbing Service To Compete With IFTTT

Flow Hero

Microsoft is working on a new tool that will connect separate services to create unique actions. The tool, called Flow, was uncovered this evening and while it is in the preview state, we can see how it will operate and can make your life easier.

The announcement post for the service, that you can view here, gives a general overview of what Flow is but the landing page is still being assembled as many of the links take you to a 404 page. Supporting more than 35 services (like Dropbox, Slack, Salesforce, Mail Chimp and of course the entire Office suite), Flow allows you to connect these services and create action-based triggers using templates.

Using a template, you can create actions so that if your manager emails you, a notification can be posted in Slack or receive a text notification for the same email. Or you can do things like when a member is added to MailChimp, copy that user-name to a SharePoint list if approved by the user; there are thousands of action items you can create using the template tool.

If this sounds familiar, that’s because IFTTT is a similar service but it’s always good to have competition and with Microsoft entering the market, it will give consumers (and businesses) a choice for which platform to use. While the company has not made any official announcement about support for the platform, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Microsoft make this enterprise-hardened which is something IFTTT may have trouble doing.

It looks like, by how the page is assembled and that there is a blog post up announcing the service, that Microsoft will be pulling back the curtains on this tool soon and when they do, we will be sure to let you know.

[Update] The service is now live, you can check it out here.

Thanks for the tip @h0x0d!