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GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

[ Edited ]

Today, as we announced on the Office Blogs, we are proud to celebrate the general availability of Microsoft PowerApps and Flow.  These solutions represent the present and future of our ambition to reinvent business processes, and should be a central element in your toolkit for building collaborative business apps for SharePoint and OneDrive.

 

Today's announcement builds on our previous post about the tight integration of PowerApps and Flow with SharePoint, and lays out our plan for even deeper integration coming soon.  (See below!)

 

PAwithSPO_mock.png

 

Most commercial Office 365 plans are automatically entitled to start using PowerApps and Flow.  Further details on licensing and pricing are available at https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/  Thanks.

 

Frequently asked questions

 

Q. What does Microsoft’s commitment to PowerApps and Microsoft Flow mean for historic business solutions on SharePoint, like InfoPath?

A. As we announced at Ignite, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow are tools for business users to build business applications and automation in SharePoint today and tomorrow. They are the successors to InfoPath and SharePoint Designer for many common business scenarios, especially custom forms used on SharePoint lists.

Q. Will Microsoft still support InfoPath and SharePoint Designer?

A. As we announced earlier in 2016:

  • SharePoint Server 2016 will include an ongoing capability to host InfoPath Forms Services. InfoPath Forms Services on SharePoint 2016 will be supported for the duration of SharePoint 2016’s support lifecycle.
  • InfoPath Forms Services on Office 365 will continue to be supported.
  • InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 will be the last versions of those products. SharePoint Designer is not being re-released with SharePoint Server 2016, although we will continue to support custom workflows built with SharePoint Designer and hosted on SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365. Support for InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 will match the support lifecycle for SharePoint Server 2016, running until 2026.

Q. What can customers expect to see inside SharePoint Online?

A. The release is principally a licensing event. If you have previously enabled preview features inside SharePoint Online, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow will continue to appear in the App Launcher and as elements of modern lists. If you had disabled access to preview features, users will see those integrations enabled in the next few weeks.

Q. How can Office 365 customers connect to custom data sources?

A. Every Office 365-licensed user of PowerApps and Microsoft Flow can create a custom API data connection, in addition to the intrinsic ability to connect to sources like SQL, Exchange, Yammer, Box and Twitter.

Q.  How is user access managed/licensed?

A. Flow and PowerApps are managed separately. Here is documentation on how users are managed for Microsoft Flow. Here is documentation on how users are managed for Microsoft PowerApps. They are both quite similar in implementation, and provide options to help prevent existing users from joining an Office 365 tenant.

 

Q. How can restrict my users' ability to move data out of corporate certified environments like SQL and SharePoint to insecure, legacy or consumer technologies?

A. PowerApps and Flow allow you to create data zones for business and non-business data, as shown below.  Once these DLP policies are implemented, users are prevented from designing or running PowerApps and Flows that combine business and non-business data.   For more details, see https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-data-loss-prevention

PAFPolicy.PNG

Q. How can Office 365 customers connect to custom data sources?
A. Every Office 365-licensed user of PowerApps and Microsoft Flow can create a custom API data connection, in addition to the intrinsic ability to connect to sources like SQL, Exchange, Yammer, Box and Twitter.

 

Q. How can I prevent new users from starting to use PowerApps until the organization is ready?

A. We have extensive documentation on this topic at https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/tutorials/signup-question-and-answer  The short answer is to use the PowerShell cmdlet:

Set-MsolCompanySettings -AllowAdHocSubscriptions $false

which prevents users from activating "ad-hoc" service like PowerApps, Power BI or Azure RMS.

 

Q. How can I remove PowerApps and/or Flow from existing users?

A. Again, see https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/tutorials/signup-question-and-answer for a comprehensive overview.  The quick answer is to use the Office 365 Admin center and remove the license for PowerApps and Flow.  Also, the integrated list button to create PowerApps and Flow require design and edit permissions on the list, respectively. Users, even if licensed, will not see those buttons on any list or library where they don't already have appropriate rights.

 

Also, inside the Office 365 SharePoint license (e.g. Office 365 E3) disable access to the PowerApps and Flow services as shown:
ServiceLicenseRestriction.PNG
This will remove the PowerApps, Flow, and Dynamics 365 icons from the AppLauncher “waffle”.

 

Bulk removal of licenses is also possible through PowerShell. See https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn771774.aspx for a detailed example.   Finally, further guidance about bulk removal of services within a license can be found at https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn771769.aspx 

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41 Replies

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

This is great news, congratulations on reaching GA!

 

On the Pricing details page for PowerApps it mentions "Establish company policies regarding the usage of different connections and apps" as a feature of PowerApps Plan 2. Is there any specifics on how these policies can be implemented? Thanks.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Thanks - further details on environment controls are posted at https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/tutorials/working-with-environments/

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

[ Edited ]

What "maximum flow frequency" means in the different plans?

- no matter when the trigger event happens, the flow will be scheduled to check/run in every 15/5/3/1 minutes?

OR

- the flow is executed ~immediately after being triggered but the next possible run will be scheduled in 15/5/3/1 minutes at the earliest?

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Ey Zoltan,
Where did you read the information about flow frequency?

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Thanks for sharing @Zoltan Bagyon ...well, after reading the prizing page I have to say that I see some "bad news" / "not understandable prizing" there...a 5 minutes frequency for Office 365 Plans and Dynamics 365 I think is not reasonable...I'm sure customers would expect a 1 minute maximum frequecy without having to pay extra money... @Chris McNulty are there any specific plans / ideas to get Flow P2 as an AddOn for Office 365 and Dynamics 365?

RE: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

If the flow has a starting condition, the execution only counts against your threshold if the condition is met. For example, in a 30 day month, if you poll Twitter every minute for #GPODAWUND, and that tag is only found once a day, you are only counted for 30 Flows, not 42000.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

You can purchase the P1 and P2 plans to add additional capacity for Office 365; however, relative to most scenarios where classic Workflow Manager was being used for orchestration, we believe the Flow engine will provide enhanced capacity for most cases.

RE: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Look forward to working with this program. Congrats!

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

I now see Flow and PowerApps under our E4 licesne and they appear to be turned on for everyone (as Planner was too).  Is this expected?  If you turn it on by default, how many Flows does each user get under E4?

 

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

From https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/#plan-feature-table its 2000 per user per month. I've seen these appear in our Tenant today also.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

[ Edited ]

Thanks, I was interpreting it that way, but wasn't certain as if we are going to be limited in the number of 'free flows', and get charged after x amount of Flows it doesn't seem like this is an App Microsoft should turn-on by default for everyone.  

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Yeah, I'm trying to figure out how to turn it off for all users at the moment. I also noticed a Dynamics 365 app tile appear today.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

I've added a new FAQ with links to licensing and user controls information above...hope this is helpful.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Really useful! Thanks

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

AFTER the tiles have popped up I can now see the links to Flow and PowerApps in the Office 365 admin.

Once selected I am told:

"To access the admin center, upgrade your plan."

We are on E1 and we definetly won't upgrade our plan.

 

Is this by design, do I have to wait a few weeks until this is available, why should I have to upgrade in the first place?

Is the only way for me to manage/disable Flow/Powerapps through Powershell?

 

 

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

It might be the rollout is not finished for your tenant...E1 plans are eligible to have Flow: https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/ If the problem continues in some days, open a ticket

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

This just feeds into the same discussion elsewhere, staff are let loose on features they should'nt have access to. Thanks, but no thanks.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

[ Edited ]

I've just added another section to the FAQ to cover DLP.  We've had a few inquiries about how an admin can restrict the ability of users, for example, to use Flow to move enterprise files from OneDrive to Dropbox.  This is covered above.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

[ Edited ]

The Dynamics 365 tile provides a user launch point for PowerApps and Flows that might live outside a SharePoint/Office 365 container.  It doesn't give the user full rights to the D365 suite.

 

That said, I've also updated the FAQ with further guidance about removing the Office 365 app launcher tiles for selected users or the enterprise. 

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Thanks, now would you please tell us how to remove the Dynamics app tile while leaving Flow and PowerApps.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

That's not possible right now.  The goal of the Dynamics 365 icon is to provide a launch point for PowerApps and Flow that might not be found inside an Office 365 container (SharePoint).  We got a lot of feedback during the preview that the PowerApps and Flow "apps" were really focused on designers and admins, and didn't provide great signposts for users just trying to launch a prebuilt app.  That icon doesnt confer any Dynamics rights (or costs) beyond that specific launch pad.  Hope that makes sense - it was a later addition to the GA rollout.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

It would make more sense if the main page did not include the following text, " Here you’ll find all your Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps—from sales and service to operations and financials—along with apps that work with them from Microsoft AppSource."

I have no idea what the MS AppSource is, and this does not provide any clue that PowerApps with no relationship to Dynamics will be available on this same page. It appears to be a big push by the Dynamics marketing team.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

So...does it means the PowerApps and Flow tiles will be removed or will stay? It's a kind of confusing to have three tiles that seems to do the same

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Chris,

 

We are an EDU customer and have disabled PA and Flow licenses for now.  We need to develop communications for end users and also check for Accessibility issues in the new features before they can be rolled out as an Enterprise feature in O365.

 

However, some of our SharePoint Online users (with Designer and above permissions) still have access to create Flows and PowerApps.  My question relates to the Admin centers for PA and Flow.  We are bound to have some usage of PA and Flow from within SPO lists, but it appears that my team (as O365 global admins) cannot access the Flow or PA Admin centers to create DLP policies, etc.

 

Do we need to purchase some Plan 2 licenses for Flow and PA in order to access the Admin center?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Tim

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

If you disable the license and services for a user, all three tiles will disappear from the waffle, yes.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Everyone seems to be celebrating this but what about those who made product decisions based on and significant investments in SPD and Infopath? I am correct in assuming there is no upgrade path right? We have customers with tons of SPD workflows. I assume that at some point in the future those workflows will cease to work or that SPD will not be able to edit them right? If we make the decision to have our customers start using Flow then what confidence can I have that in 5 years MS won't pull the plug on Flow or replace it with something that has no upgrade path again?

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

@Bill Harrell, I'm not worrying about losing support any time soon because of the following statement

 

"InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 will be the last versions of those products. SharePoint Designer is not being re-released with SharePoint Server 2016, although we will continue to support custom workflows built with SharePoint Designer and hosted on SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365. Support for InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 will match the support lifecycle for SharePoint Server 2016, running until 2026"

 

the above is from https://blogs.office.com/2016/01/20/sharepoint-server-2016-and-project-server-2016-release-candidate...

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

IMHO, there is not a guarantee that in 5 years Microsoft could have new tools and services to maybe replace PowerApps and Flow...5 years in an evergreen approach is simply too much so we have to rely on support provided by Microsoft as stated by Dean

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Dean,

 

Thanks for responding.  I agree that we won't lose support anytime soon and that is certainly a good thing!

 

However, we are designing our product around Microsoft SharePoint and Office365 and counseling our many customers to use products such as SPD as an integral part of our solution.  So when MS discontinues that offering with absolutely no upgrade path it is still a huge concern for us and our customers.  No other workflow vendor we work with has ever done this because their customers would revolt on them.  Maybe it is MS's size and breadth of product offering that doesn't make them take things like this as serious.  After all, if 2000 customers are affected, what does that actually do to their bottom line?  Probably not a whole lot.  

 

The other option we have is to build all of this functionality ourselves like Nintex or K2 does.  We were trying to take advantage of what MS is offering and counsel customers to use as much of the native functionality as possible and only use our products to fill in the gaps.  This is not the first decision like this that has made us re-think our strategy.  When MS killed Foundation server and offered no concurrent or server based licensing for SharePoint we began re-thinking our entire strategy to even build our product on top of SharePoint at all.

 

I guess the bottom line for us is that MS seems to push us more and more towards abandoning them as a platform for our solution with decisions like this and they seem to be oblivious to it and don't take feedback about it seriously.

 

Love much of what MS does though and we are still seeing a lot of value right now but I think our executive team is slowly losing confidence in our current direction.

 

Thanks,

 

Bill

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

I really appreciate you weighing in.  Right now we are truly looking for opinions.  I think you are probably right and unfortunately that means for our product that we probably need to move in the direction of not counseling our customers to use Flow and to build this type of functionality ourselves so that we can make sure we have a consistent and upgradable option.

 

IMHO, I don't think that just because you have an evergreen offering that this means you should not offer a consistent and upgradeable solution.  IMHO this is a big mistake for MS to value tinkering and innovation above consistency.  If you want to solve real business problems for real businesses you simply can't undermine their efforts on a regular basis and think that those customers will continue to have confidence in your solutions.  Hey, this is why different businesses and models exist though right?

 

Thanks again,

 

Bill

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

I'm confused by your response. What has MS discontinued in O365 without an upgrade path? SPD still works fine and the WFs it creates will continue to work for many years.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Im not sure why there is confusion about support - we've extended support for SPD for ten years, and identified Flow as the successor product to migrate and build new automations for SharePoint, preserving existing data. 

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Maybe I am confused.  Will the SPD workflows be editable and upgradable in Flow?

 

Thanks,

 

Bill 

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Editable, no - but the SPD processes can be rebuilt side by side with the old instance against the same data simultaneously.  It is not a one click automatic updatek, to be fair - code solutions tend to need to refactored. 

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

If it is not editable or backwards compatible and requires me to design the workflow from scratch in Flow then by definition there is no upgrade path and in my opinion my original comments and the problems I outline still stand.  I completely get that you guys may disagree or that your business model or market is demanding you to go in this direction.  We all have to do what we think is right for our business and our customers and we certainly don't always agree.  I am only commenting here in the hopes that MS will understand that these types of decisions have effects on your partners and their customers and sometimes dramatic ones. 

 

In 17 years of working with other ECM vendors not one time have they released a version of their workflow products that do not have an upgrade path or provide backwards compatibility and it is usually the latter.  Even if it is 5-10 years before our SPD workflows are not supported anymore I can promise you it will be much sooner that our customers start asking us why they have a bunch of workflows designed in a product that MS has discontinued.  Many of our customers have dozens of SPD workflows that will take weeks to rebuild and we being the good vendor that we are will have to eat these costs because it is no fault of the customer that this has to be done.  This is on the back of having to explain to Foundation customers that if they want to continue with our products they will now have to shell out many thousands of dollars for SharePoint Server costs with no server based licensing model.  So if I have a company with 10 power AP users and 1000 users that need to approve an invoice once a month then there is no option to upgrade to SharePoint server for this company because they have to buy 1000 user CALs.  This is another example of a decision that is dramatically impacting our offering and our customers.

 

So the internal debate at our company is do we migrate to Flow or do we build a product on our own that will not require us to completely rebuild workflows in the future.  Do we continue to build our products on a platform that has no licensing answer to the 1000 casual user scenario.  I love the idea of telling customers to use MS platforms and products instead of building everything ourselves.  It gives us and them a huge advantage in the market but big changes like this make doing so a harder and harder sell to our leadership team.  

 

Like I said though, everyone has their own business models and initiatives.  I am just offering the reality of what one ISV is facing in light of these decisions for what it is worth and hoping it will have some small impact on how MS makes these types of decisions in the future.  I understand that you guys are in a completely different competitive landscape with Google and other players out there and that this may not make sense for you.

 

Thanks,

 

Bill 

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Is there any plans to make this more granular?  We have many users who have the need for Flow and Powerapps, but do not need Dynamics 365.  Dynamics 365 is simply adding more confusion for them!

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

[ Edited ]

Thanks!  Users aren't getting full access to the Dynamics 365 suite - just to the D365 portal for ease of access to PowerApps and Flow particularly for organizartions that haven't yet adopted SharePoint for their enterprise portal.

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

We have adopted SharePoint Online as our enterprise portal.  We would like it so that if you have an E3 user and you give them a Flow license, that they see the Flow tile in the app launcher.  It's very frustrating to see the Dynamics 365 tile suddenly appear along with flow when we really only want them to use the Flow tile and the other tiles we have approved (such as the Sharepoint tile). 

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

Hello, I see two issues here.  1) Restriction of "business data" services does work by creating DLP policy. However once DLP was created, any new user environment is not being enforced automatically, you'll need to modify again your DLP policy to include those newer user environments.  2) Even if user subscription is disabled, it does not prevent a corporate user from using a "trial license". 

Re: GA: Microsoft PowerApps and Flow

The Dynamics 365 tile is a real problem for some Microsoft customers, and I don't think Microsoft has properly listened and understood. This is making the customers (IT professionals) and Microsoft look bad.

 

The reason *some* of your customers need the tile is understood, you have explained it well enough already. The reason *some-other* customers need to remove the tile is being ignored.

 

In our environment, some staff might be assigned a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Professional license, but none of the students are assigned this license. So when any student clicks on the "Dynamics 365" icon the "The new home for all your business apps" page appears briefly and then an error page appears with the message "You need a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online license to continue" and a red X icon indicating that this app is broken. From the student point of view, this is just a permanently broken application that the organisation is doing nothing about.

 

Having the "Dynamics 365" icon should be optional, controlled by the tenant.

 

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