Although not exactly a household name among consumers, IFTTT has become the darling of power users of all shapes and sizes, platforms, and devices. The web-based service basically takes inputs, triggers, and other events that can send a sort of signal and ties it with any other action. Taking a page from that strategy, Microsoft has silently launched Flow, a service that sounds and looks almost like IFTTT. But, as they say, looks can be deceiving, and that’s because Flow is only available for Microsoft’s business and education customers.
Microsoft Flow basically allows users to mashup two or more services in a single template, what IFTTT would call recipes. Here is already another way Flow differs from IFTTT. Recipes have a 1:1 flow, though you can definitely have multiple recipes that all have the same “if” trigger. Flow, on the other hand, allows for a direct “one is to many” relationship. A single trigger, for example, receiving an e-mail, can directly lead to multiple actions, like searching in Bing, copying to OneDrive, and inserting a row in an Excel file, all in the same single template.
If you presumed that Flow would only work with other Microsoft products and services, you might be thinking of the old Microsoft. The new image of the company is one that embraces other, even competing, services. So you’ll have the likes of GitHub, Slack, Twitter, Dropbox, and others supported in Flow.
Exact details of Microsoft Flow are still missing, as the company seems to be in the middle of a very soft and limited launch. Unfortunately for power users, you’ll need either a business or education Office 365 account to be able to sign up for it. Hopefully Microsoft will eventually open it up to regular users, though it’s still too early to tell, considering it has barely launched in the first place.
VIA: WalkingCat (@h0x0d)