The Flow Studio journey and July price increase


I wanted to write an update about Flow Studio, my personal journey so far as a single founder, and announce that there will be a price increase at the end of July.


There will be an increase of Flow Studio subscription price to US$200/year after July. All existing subscriptions will be honoured and maintained at existing prices - so this month is the best time to come onboard and support my work Flow Studio.

If you are using Flow Studio - but don’t see enough value to subscribe. That’s fine - Flow Studio is a freemium product and there will always be a free tier. But I think it’d be alright to ask from time to time that you tell me what would be something that may entice you to change your mind? I am highly motivated to solve your needs and … make you a subscriber. :-)

Journey - what does Flow Studio do?

A year ago, friends ask me: John why do you write Flow Studio, what pain are you trying to solve? I said - I have more than 50 Flows. The response I got was weird looks - well John that’s just you, I wouldn’t build a product based on that.

Fast forward to today - hundreds of people have more than 50 Flows. Some people have more than me. If you support a service account that is a co-owner to many people’s Flows: that account has access to hundreds of Flows.

Consider IT that needs to support Thousands of Flows - what tools do they have?

The problem was never “if” the problem was always “when”. The reality is actually “too soon”

Flow Studio started with simply “Flow inventory management” being able to rapidly find, sort, filter and group with #hashtags our Flows in multiple ever-increasing environments.

We read pages of runs for each Flow - so we can answer questions such as “what has been running most recently” and “which Flows has been failing”. These are powerful features that are not available in the Flow maker portal.

We support bulk operations - multi-select runs and cancel. Multi-select flows and disable. Multi-select approvals and reject.

We added Edit JSON so power users has a quick way to dive into the core definition of a Flow and tweak that. You can do find and replace. Search for URLs or just move blocks around.

We added Contextual Runs - so makers can quickly make sense of a sea of runs and find the error they are looking for.

We added Sparklines so makers can get a bird’s eye view of what’s going on.

Admin view lets an user with environment administrator permission to see all the Flows made by people in that environment - invaluable for IT admins wanting a better overview of Flows in their environment. This is also an excellent view for a Service Account with P2 to be used as the owner of Team Flows.

Major Feature: Migrate

The most latest and significant feature is Migrate. We now support copying, updating and migrating a maker’s Flow(s) across different SharePoint sites and Flow environments. This is a one-to-many support that is not going to be available in the Flow maker portal, and something really necessary for SharePoint and Teams professionals. This allows a maker to create one flow, and copy it across one, twenty, fifty sites. We help makers keep them all up to date.

This is the main feature that we are raising the price of Flow Studio on. So if this is something you think you’ll need for half the price - get in now!


I’ve been a consultant for twenty years - and it’s really a dream to be able to take something I do for one customer and take it into a product.

It is also so much hard work - the main struggle is that the feedback loop for a startup is somewhat delayed and at times completely missing. Unlike a coding challenge - there’s no immediate “problem, debug, fix, done”. A business makes a decision and there’s really no idea if that’s the right decision. And there’s no way to find out for months, if ever, that a decision is right or wrong.

The opportunity costs of each decision, what should I be doing instead, what can I do in parallel. All the community work I still love to do so much, but now I wonder if I’m sabotaging my own startup while being distracted.

Distracted. Scary word. Extremely scary for a founder.

Anyway, I keep my sights on the goal. I’m certain the future of automation within Office 365 and across Microsoft is Microsoft Flow. With that in mind - there is no way a tool like Flow Studio isn’t valuable to a maker, and Flow governance isn’t valuable to a business. I intend to make my way towards that goal. I’m hoping you are all behind me, or alongside me, or cheering for me.

Let me know if you want a demo happy to visit in person or remote.

July Price Increase

Flow Studio Pro subscription is currently priced at US$10 per month or US$100 per year. There are two pricing updates that will go live at the end of July:

The price will increase to US$20 per month or US$200 per year. We believe the added value to Flow Studio over the year has dramatically increased its value. We also believe that as more and more makers are using Microsoft Flow - a solution like Flow Studio to help manage, migrate and rapidly troubleshoot Flows is necessary for the maker.

Australian businesses will be charged at AU$300 - this includes the currency conversion rate as well as inclusive GST, an Australian Tax Invoice will be issued. As an Australian I’m aware that we often feel we pay more than usual US prices, I hope we’d find it fair after conversion including GST.

The price increases are something we intend to do over time. As we keep adding features, we will consider raising the prices to match the value. But this is something we do when the value position of Flow Studio is so significant we actually consider the final price still a bargain for makers. Our promise to existing customers is that Flow Studio subscriptions will remain at the price that you signed up for, as a thank you over a much longer period of support from you. Thank you.

Special Offer: Collab365 Microsoft Flow Virtual Summit

I partner’ed up with the folks at Collab365 - running the Microsoft Flow Virtual Summit next week to offer a special Flow Studio deal for All Access Pass members.

Collab365: Microsoft Flow Virtual Summit is free if you can tune in during the live broadcast of the sessions. If you want to watch the recordings afterwards, you need to purchase an All Access Pass.

The All Access Pass also unlocks a serious bundle of discounts for many affiliated products and services. For Flow Studio - you will get $20 off the first year.

It means if you subscribe to Flow Studio (yearly) before end of July through this offer, you will pay $80 for the first year, and $100/year for subsequent years.

I’ll write more in the next blog post about how this would work.


I have a need of something from all of you.

If you have used one of my Flow tips - then I would like you to try - I seriously ask every Flow maker to try this tool and tell me what they’d like to see.

If you aren’t a subscriber, but would consider yourself my customer, friend or supporter - I’m always in need of founder and product feedback, I feel with you, I can indulge myself and directly ask for your feedback.

Please don’t feel pressured into subscribing if you don’t see the value clearly for you. Your feedback on what would make the product valuable to you is equally if not important than subscribing when you don’t feel like you need it.

Let me know in many ways:

I thank you sincerely for reading this whole post all the way through here. I know raising price is tricky, I want to do it for the right reasons, and explain why I’m doing it. Anyway, you have one month!

Getting started, a roadmap and mastery of Microsoft Flow


In the last few years, Microsoft Flow has taken off like a storm. It is one of the most versatile product, but also quite tricky to completely cover because Flow can be many things. 

  • It is workflow

  • It is automation

  • It is serverless middleware

  • It can be a messaging orchestrator

  • It can be integration service

Microsoft Flow is a product that everyone, from Power Users to IT Pros to Developers need to understand and utilize in our toolbelt.

Two years ago, I remember excitedly telling everyone I meet about Flow - a year later, the same people that thought I was way over the top is excitedly telling me they have also discovered what I meant and caught the same fever.

On Learning - a Roadmap to Mastery

When learning Flow - there are milestones that we go through. Consider our own experiences and where we are, the next step isn’t very far away.

  1. Get started - read the templates and see what’s available

  2. Understand the triggers and actions

    Understand how to chain them - how each output work, and how the properties are filtered by type

  3. Understand how to read each action’s output - knowing what the output looks like helps with understanding if we need to write expressions later.
    Compose and Test - with previous run are our best friends. They tell us what’s going on in the values of our steps, and is our source of debugging if things has gone wrong.

  4. Understand logic constructs - for each, conditions, variables

  5. Understand how to chain beyond the basics - expressions

  6. At this point we should start to go looking for advanced trouble:
    peek code, static output, parallelism, fan-out / fan-in, timeout / retry policy, pagination, asynchronous webhook callback, run-after configurations, HTTP Request and Response.

  7. Patterns emerge - approval timeout escalation, state machines, sending pictures from PowerApps to SharePoint, bulk copying data across CDS and Excel, anything-governance with Flow.
    Built on the smaller pieces that we mastered along the way, but combined in an elegant way.

  8. Wrap custom APIs for others to use:
    schema, authentication schemes and custom connections

  9. *
    Anyone claiming to have the perfect roadmap can only show us the way for where this person has been.
    If you know what’s next - let us know in the comments.

Remember each success brings us closer to the next milestone. These steps aren’t completely sequential - but knowing how to read an action’s output will help with writing expressions.


In the upcoming Digital Workplace Conference Australia, I’ll be giving an advanced introduction to Microsoft Flow - with a twist.

This session is an introduction to Microsoft Flow – but I will go far deeper – and will show the many different “kinds” of Flow apps that we can build.  Each one hopefully a spark in our imagination.

We will cover some deeper technical sides of Flow. What does it look like under the hood. When do we need to learn advanced expressions and why are they necessary.

When we don’t have an action, we make our own actions. When we don’t have a trigger, we make our own triggers. From patterns, to expressions to insane tricks.

Me, you, we!

The 1 hour will never be enough to answer everything and go deep enough to satisfy everyone.

Please please please come talk to me and ask me your Flow questions directly - where you are, if you have an error with your Flow. I’m here to help.


Ultimately, we discover that the true joy of Flow is not merely creating a business workflow. It is a bit more low level. It is low-code execution, they run and do whenever and whatever we want them to do.

The joy I think is being able to imagine them, build them step by step, each step closer to our goals, and when our Flow finally succeeds, our wishes are fulfilled.

Release of Flow Studio: Deploy & future Price Increase

We have released Flow Studio v0.1.91 “Flow Studio: Deploy”

This is a super productive feature that we’ve been working on for a while.

You can think of it as “Flow Migrate Wizard”.

There’s a YouTube video showing the feature.

How Does it work?

  • Select one or more of your existing Flows

  • Enter a new name, or select an existing Flow to overwrite

  • Configure text, URL or variable replacements if you need to create variations

  • Run deploy Plan

What are the use cases?

  • Bulk create Flows from a template

  • Keeping child copies of a Flow updated from a master version

  • (Future) Migrate Flows between environments

  • (Future) Migrate Flows between user accounts

  • (Future) Migrate Flows into Solutions

Future Price Increase

Flow Studio currently is US$100 per year or US$10 per month. When Flow Studio: Deploy goes live (we are hoping in two or week’s time), we will be raising the price of Flow Studio to US$200 per year (or US$20 per month).

As a thank you to current subscribers - existing customers before the price increase will remain under current price.

So yes - if you have been thinking about purchasing Flow Studio in the past but needed a nudge, we are adding a great Deploy feature to go with that nudge.

We believe your time building Flows and keeping them up to date is far worth the price increase we are adding to the product.

As always. We couldn’t have done this without our fans.

Thank you for your support. Let us know what features you need.

Join us for a free full day Sydney Microsoft App in a Day - June 7


Join Microsoft MVPs John Liu and Paul Culmsee - two of Australia’s Power Platform MVPs in Microsoft’s App in a Day event on June 7 right here in Sydney. I’m running this in June with Paul’s Seven Sigma solutions.

Register today for an all-day interactive training to learn how to create custom business applications without writing code, leveraging the Microsoft Power Platform technologies - PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.

App in a Day is designed to accelerate your PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and CDS for Applications experience with a comprehensive training in a single day led by certified Microsoft Partners.

Bring your Windows-based notebook and we will supply the rest, including lunch! *

The training provides practical hands-on experience with Seven Sigma who specializes in creating PowerApps solutions in a full-day of instructor lead app creation workshop.

You will learn how to build custom apps that run on mobile devices, and share them inside your organization securely.

Space is very limited and there’s only two weeks to go - so you need to quickly talk to your colleagues and book at this link.

One Flow to handle them all - Part 2 figuring out the changes

I had previously wrote a method of using Microsoft Flow to subscribe to all the lists in a SharePoint site - and how to have them all call a second Request flow to execute on File changed in any of these lists.

In that blog post, as all good trilogies go - we finished at a spot where we have gotten a webhook event call, but did not proceed to continue working out which items actually changed.

The full Get Changes Method

In the long delay between my #FlowNinja tweet and the blog posts being written, my friend @ISSPDEV couldn’t wait for the next part he went ahead with this. He wrote in much detail. 

Implementing the best practices from the SharePoint team

The Short Cut Method

I provide a second method, perhaps one that is much shorter for a Power User to implement. I worked on this with @ArtsyPowerApper and figured out a simpler method.

First upload a file, then copy the entire trigger body JSON.

Next, after the validation steps we had in the initial handler flow - we add a Parse JSON.

Use the trigger body JSON to create the schema.

By telling SharePoint to give us files updated in that library in the last 10 seconds, we fetch the changed items directly.


In my tests - I have tried 5 seconds and it seems good enough, but I extended it to 10 seconds in case there’s an large upload or delay.

Short cut method has a small risk of firing an event twice on the same item if it was somehow updated rapidly twice.

Also, unlike the complete Get Changes method, we can’t see System Update, Deletion, Rename, Permission Update events. So this method is only good for Item/File Created and Updated events.

But the steps is far simpler with a Parse JSON and one Get Files (with an OData filter)