Post-DWCAU Conference - 7* flows in 1 hour

I'm composing this post on a sleepy Friday morning, still in Melbourne, on the day after the Digital Workplace Conference (Also Australian SharePoint Conference).  It is still my favourite conference.  This year, I had a session at the end, and helped out in a hackathon-styled PowerApps training.

Thank You

Thank you - the attendees that came to the sessions and the hackathon. 
Thank you to Debbie and Mark for putting together another great conference.
Thank you for the many speakers that flew in to present.  It is always such a thrill and pleasure to meet everyone down under.  
Thank you to Paul and Ashlee for running a PowerApps (with a bit of Flow) hackathon.

No thank-you to the LEGO Voltron I didn't win.  The guilty vendor-name is withheld you know who you are.



I presented a talk on "Functions and Flow" - the plan was to cover increasing our serverless toolkit with both Azure Functions and Microsoft Flow.  But because I see my time is slotted near the end of the late afternoon, I didn't really want to do slides - so I just went with lets do fun demos.

There is a roadmap to the list of Flows that I demo'ed in 1 hour.  In retrospection, I should have left a slide up while I do my demos of this roadmap. 

So imagine this list is that missing slide, giving you the overview of what we are covering as we progress.  Shockingly, the Flows aren't just 'randomly selected' they actually follow a story.

This is the roadmap, with links to each Flow:

  1. The Only "Workflow" in the demo
    How to do parallel approvals with time-out escalation and manager lookup.  The pattern is more complex than one single action with settings, but gives you a LOT of flexibility to twist how you want to design your approval conditions.

    My example is inspired by Serge Luca's "Escalate Approvals" posts on approval scenarios

    Also:  time patterns:
    PT1M = 1 minute
    P1M = 1 month (remember Flow time out in 31 days, so this pattern won't be too useful, unless you want to trigger a new Flow when this one time out)
    P14D = 14 days
  2. Flow does binary natively
    Get SharePoint File from HTTP Request
  3. Making new Files in Flow
    Generate PDF from SharePoint files, including pictures
  4. Making Actions in Flow
    Azure Function and Flow to run any PnP-PowerShell (350 cmdlets)

    This can be deployed via 1 ZIP file 
  5. Making Actions in Flow (make Teams)
    This requires a Batch Custom Connection - I'll be demo'ing this in a future MSGraph call
  6. Making Triggers in Flow
    Convert MSGraph webhook to an automatic trigger (this one is a pair of 2 flows, but I count this as one demo)
  7. Sometimes, we just want an over the top demo for On-Premises data gateway.


  1. A question about on-premises PowerShell
    The best solution is to look at Azure Automation's Hybrid Runbooks
  2. A question about very complex approval sequences - I suggested implementing a State Machine described by Serge Luca


Flow Studio

Because I'm a terrible salesman, I forgot to mention anything about my Flow utility app "Flow Studio" - I actually used it to select a subset of the Flows I present.  So you were looking at it, I just didn't say anything about it.

Try it free:

Flow Studio is a utility toolbox of features I added to help me manage, organize and build more Flows.  It is in Open-Alpha status.  If you want to get some great ideas about what's going on with ALL your Flows and not just individual ones, Flow Studio is really good at that.


I have done several talks in Microsoft Flow - and every time we increase in speed and complexity of the demos.  Because Flow is connecting boxes - once we all get past "action" connects to another "action", suddenly we find ourselves talking about connecting HTTP API and Webhook triggers.

That is actually the final thought I wanted to end on.  Flow makes things deceptively simple, but they aren't steps that seems impossible.  They look like tiny steps.  They represent giant leaps.

We step off the cliff, and we fly.




A Request

I didn't have any pictures from this session!  I forgot!!  If you have some could you tweet them at me (or send them through LinkedIn)?  I'm looking particularly for a picture that shows the size of the crowd that afternoon.