Flow Studio subscription discount finishes very soon

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Photo by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

This will very brief.

At the end of this weekend - Most of the Flow Studio customer’s accounts will flip from Trial to Free status. There is a current discount that will expire in less than two days.

Going forward, I intend to build out more and more features but they will all be behind the subscription. Aside from general UX changes the free tier is unlikely to receive additional features.

Subscriptions

As part of this initial roll over, I wanted to do a special discount to thank my current customers and encourage everyone to move to subscription. This discount is set at $70 / first year.

Future Discounts?

Since I believe Flow Studio to be excellent value at $10/month (or $100/year), I’m unlikely to offer any future discounts. I’m more interested in building compelling features that Makers, partners and businesses needs to be extra-successful.

I didn’t make this a big marketing fanfare, as I’m a learning startup founder and selling things is something I’m learning.

Currently status: I’m still better at making things than actually selling them.

Partnerships

Many of the current subscriptions are sold and tied to the Service User account that enterprise Flows are running under. Essentially this is a “prod” license.

We see a lot of conversations in the months ahead with Makers directly for their business, or with the consultancies that are implementing Microsoft Flow across tenants, to make sure the Flow Studio subscription is a great product both for creating better Flows as well as monitoring your running Flows.

Talk to us about these partnerships. Whether it is bulk licensing, or multiple tenant scenarios. We are very early in this stage so you get to get in the door first.

Some upcoming plans over the next two months:

  • Two major features still under development - if you are interested let me know we can talk privately about feature priorities.

  • A series of short YouTube videos that explains the hundreds of use cases that you need Flow Studio.

  • Probably a FlowStudio main site make over for users visiting and not logged in.

  • May be look for a co-founder?


Thank you

Thank you so much for your time, energy, support over the last 6 months since I pushed Flow Studio out the door. It’s a journey I’m very much enjoying, and I loved talking to you all about how to use it and why you would need it.

P.S sorry I said brief and then posted a wall of text again!

Flow Studio trial ends soon, what's next?

flow-studio-logo-90.png

This is a Flow Studio startup post. A few weeks back I locked myself in a room and added subscriptions to Flow Studio. In less than two weeks, the initial wave of free monthly trial will end. I’m writing this to be clear what we would be expecting.

Plan

  • Inspirations

  • Explain what will happen

  • Different Tiers of membership

  • v0.1.53

  • Where are we going next

  • Feedback


Inspirations

I have been listening to MS Cloud Show episode 276 where JD Trask from Raygun talks about startup with CJ and AC.

I have listened to it 5 times now.

  • (yes!) Add Subscription

  • (yes!) Do it via Strip

  • What do you mean paying is optional for your customers

  • It is a fear of rejection, it isn’t good enough and people won’t use it if it’s not free

OK. Wow. Startups are hard. Business is hard. Selling is hard. Development is actually easy, comparatively.

What will happen next?

Flow Studio subscription tiers were added on October 18 - so on November 18 - Trial status currently granted to all existing customers will flip over to Free status. Customers that joined after October 18 will have a full month of trial, so may flip after November 18.

This means these features will require a subscription

  • Edit JSON

  • Rename Actions

  • Admin

  • Get All Runs (slow) //better name pending**

  • (Bulk) trigger re-run


Different Tiers of Membership

These features will remain in a Free tier

  • Sort

  • Filter

  • Tag

  • Get Latest Runs // this pulls the latest page of 50 runs

The subscription tier is US$10 / month. There is a yearly discount at $100 / year.


New release Version 0.1.53

A lot of work has gone in to move Flow Runs into its own tab page, this gives us a lot of performance improvements to read lots of Flow Runs.

The expanding master-child grid is nice to look at but very difficult to keep the UI performance when there are a lot of Flows and Runs. There was also not a lot of space to do more work with the Flow Runs screen.


Where are we going next?

I’m hoping that customers will add weight to help me prioritize future features. Flow makers comes from all kinds of backgrounds and have very different use cases and needs.

I am adding more analytics - both for error trapping as well as feature detection, to work out what customers are using Flow Studio for. For example I know customers use sort a lot, but I don’t actually know which column they are all sorting by…

I also know customers click on /admin but I don’t know if customers actually have access to their tenant admin environment. So whether that is just exploration, or is that something that’s critical to their workload - and this affect what features I can add to admin.

Feedback

I’m always here - comment here, on Flow Studio issues or support @ flowstudio.app

These next two weeks will be a lot of thinking and planning for the next feature. Customers have the power to influence what that is.

Summary

  • Flow Studio trial wraps up on Sunday November 18 - customers will revert to Free status

  • Get All Runs and Bulk re-trigger becomes subscription feature

  • Email if you want to talk about bulk discounts for your company


/Back to work

Resolving Google DNS problems with hosting *.app from Hover on Azure

This is a quick blog post - special thanks to Simon Waight who looked into this with me and gave me some nudges towards the right direction. The solution was his suggestion too. That guy, he knows his Azure.

Problem

Okay, checklist of my problems:

  • Bought flowstudio.app domain name with Hover

  • Mapped custom domain on Azure

  • Set CNAME/A record from Hover nameserver to Azure

  • .app needs secure cert - which was bought through Azure (Go-Daddy)

  • DNS lookup is good for almost everyone

  • DNS lookup from Google DNS 8.8.8.8 fails

  • So anyone that uses Google DNS can’t see flowstudio :-(

Notes

Please understand John is a developer and not an infrastructure guru. But this was pretty interesting.

  1. .app is a secured domain

  2. Google DNS fails, because Google owns .app

  3. While most DNS servers are happy to talk to ns.hover.com to resolve my domain name to Azure, Google wants to verify the DNSSEC

  4. This fails, so Google DNS treats the DNS record as invalid, refusing to resolve FlowStudio.app

  5. This was really confusing, until I finally come across a note on Hover’s FAQ:
    https://help.hover.com/hc/en-us/articles/217281647-Understanding-and-managing-DNSSEC

Please note: Hover does not offer hosted DNSSEC DNS services using ns1/2/3.hover.com. If you require DNSSEC, you’ll need to use a third-party DNS provider that offers DNS that supports DNSSEC fully.

Solution

The fix is to create a new Azure DNS Zone, and then change the nameserver records on Hover to point to Azure DNS Servers. A/CNAME records are created on Azure DNS. This seems to have resolved the issue for everyone, especially Google DNS.

Please let me know if you have problems accessing https://FlowStudio.app

Hiding your Microsoft Flow valuables I mean variables out of sight

Photo by  Annie Spratt  on  Unsplash

Today is a quick #FlowNinja post on a strange technique.

Hiding Microsoft Flow valuables I mean variables out of sight

Yes, a very ninja technique.



This is actually an article about how to use tracked properties in the current Flow. But of course that’s the boring side to this. The fun side is how we can attach properties, like having a utility property bag and store properties as we go along!

Start with three compose (I guess we only need two really)

The expression give us the trackedProperties dictionary off the first action

actions('vars')?['trackedProperties']
// vars is the name of the first Compose action

Toggle to the … settings for the first action - that’s where different tracked properties are defined. We can use expressions if prefixed with the “@…” syntax, or define literal strings or numbers or even nested JSON objects.

What could we use Tracked Properties for?

  • Well, hide things that we don’t want to show - like the back of an envelope.

  • Unfortunately, an action can’t reference itself, so we can’t hide secrets that the action itself needs on the back of itself.

  • Tracking time between two actions - calculating the time difference between approvals can be useful.

  • https://flowstudio.app can ‘see’ tracked property values in the detailed Flow Runs - but there are no UI to display this for now. One idea is to use this to surface data within the Flow run that can be observed at the Runs level - like the Trigger URL or List Item ID of the runs, and allowing sorting on them. Powerful ideas but difficult to build an UI for. Let me know if you are keen about how this works below.

Flow Studio Subscription FAQ

I added Stripe subscription to Flow Studio today. I also became my first customer (as I’m testing the integration).


Time for this FAQ



How much is a Flow Studio Subscription?

US$10 / month, or US$100 / year.



Is there a trial?

Currently (2018-10-19) the premium features are not blocked by non-subscription status. Everyone is defaulted to Trial status.

In about a month’s time (2018-11-19) a timer job will expire Trial status into Free status, then users will not be able to access subscription features.

The time recurrence job is of course written in Microsoft Flow

Is there a free tier?

Yes! Listing, sorting, metadata grouping, see and filter by runs, triggers and failed runs will all remain in the free tier.

It is our opinion that these features are essential to a pro Flow maker.



What features need a subscription?

Getting Flows as Flow Admin - this requires both Flow Studio subscription and Microsoft Flow Premium 2 - but let you observe all the Flow runs across a tenant / environment.

Edit JSON - this is an advanced feature that is used by Power Users.

There will be additional features as we now focus on making features that will make you love Flow Studio.



What is the coffee donation?

It is a way to let us know that Flow Studio made you smile, but you don’t want a subscription for any reason. It doesn’t grant subscription status.


How did you implement the subscription? Give us the technical blog post!

Flow Studio is an Angular 6 application compiled with AOT and deployed on Azure Functions.

It uses a mixture of LogicApps and Microsoft Flow as serverless middleware. These are proxied behind Azure Functions Proxies.

Timer jobs and triggers coordinate communication between Flow Studio and Stripe payment processor.

This is a blog post on this in the future.



Ask us any questions!

This is an evolving document. Feel free to keep asking us more questions and we’ll provide answers!