Using Power Automate with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

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Category: Stories Post Date: 31.05.2021

Microsoft Dynamics 365 belongs to the next generation of CRM and ERP applications. This unique app helps companies improve the quality of financial operations, marketing, customer service, and sales throughout. The platform allows you to work with processes that can run in multiple applications. With a comprehensive cloud offering, companies can improve productivity, engage customers, and protect data in a better, more progressive way. The platform is versatile and efficient in large part due to Power Automate, a service that helps create automated workflow algorithms between frequently used applications for file synchronization, receiving notifications, collecting data, and other purposes. In this article, i-Neti experts reveal the nuances of a solution that will help boost your business.

What is Power Automate?

Microsoft Power Automate is a flexible, easy-to-integrate platform with an extensive range of services and applications that help easily make autonomous the following aspects:

  • Business processes;
  • Overdue tasks notifications;
  • Scheduled data transfer;
  • Connection to up to 300 data sources or any commonly available API.

The platform is user-friendly and relatively easy to manage. In version 10 of Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations, fifteen events (from Procure to Pay to Quote to Cash) are available right out of the box. These tools can be a powerful addition to self-service-specific events and improved cloud integration.

The Ultimate Benefits of Power Automate

Power Automate Dynamics 365 fills a niche commonly ignored by workflow software vendors. Microsoft primarily focuses on employees and company departments where people wish to set up internal automated solutions in the workspace without the strict need to turn to the IT department. A prime example of this is Twitter engagement monitoring, which is often used by PR and marketing departments. In such cases, Power Automate enables you to eliminate shadow IT infrastructure and avoid security threats. In addition, the platform offers many other benefits.

Daily tasking automation

With Power Automate D365, you can enable a template so that users receive emails addressed to them with high priority.

Performance boost

Power Automate is great for saving time and ultimately becoming more efficient at work. Excluding many repetitive tasks encourages employees to work faster and improve overall business efficiency.

Simple integration with third-party solutions

Power Automate in D365FO connects and automates tasks across hundreds of applications, both in the Microsoft ecosystem and from external sources. It easily integrates with both completely new and long-term demanded solutions ─ Twitter, Outlook, Dynamics 365, Power BI, Word, Teams, Planner, Asana, Excel, Mailchimp, Adobe Sign, SharePoint, DocuSign, Google Drive, Eventbrite, FreshBooks, Trello, etc.
power automate apps
Source

Pre-built templates

An extensive library of workflow templates allows you to solve a wide range of tasks, implement time-efficient workflows based on approvals, notifications, performance, social media, and more.

Easy to access and share business intelligence

All you need to do is launch Power Automate, navigate to “My flows”, specify the flow that you want to share, select “Additional commands”, and then “Share”. You only need the name, email address of the person or group that you want to add as the owner of the flow.

Option to create custom connectors

The great connectivity to external solutions like Salesforce, Dropbox, or Facebook is impressive, many of which you can get only by purchasing the premium plan. They are usually employed as triggers, but this depends on the workflow scenario so they can also be used to exchange data.

Variety of plans

Microsoft Power Automate offers a single-user plan to run unlimited flows (within service limits) for $15/month. The second plan allows for capacity-reserved streams that serve teams, a department, or an entire organization, without having to license each end-user. Pricing starts at $500 per month for 5 streams.

Higher satisfaction rates at fewer human factor risks

Smoothing out cumbersome, time-consuming tasks allows employees to focus on the things that matter and require more attention. As a result, it can increase job satisfaction and heighten a sense of accomplishment.  In addition, automation lowers the risks of errors due to the human factor, so you can be sure that tasks are performed to the highest standards.

Less time for decision-making

By automating the responses to interruption requests, document approval processes, sales opportunities, and more, you can save time in decision-making.

All-around availability

The mobile app allows team members to create, run, and test automated workflows outside the office.

Limitations of Power Automate 

The more difficult the task, the more difficult it is to implement. An example would be a multi-department approval scenario that contains a set of criteria for selecting approvers. If complex bi-directional integration with systems such as SAP is required, Power Automate is not the best choice. The scenario and business model should be analyzed before implementation. Here is a list of major restrictions:

  1. Supports only sequential workflows. You cannot go back one step. Loops can be used to traverse, but this is additional work.
  2. No more than 250 actions per work process.
  3. Workflow backups are only kept for 30 days. While Microsoft has announced to soon raise the limit to 90 days, it may not be enough for mission-critical business processes.
  4. Execution of processes without warning. This is not suitable for long-term operations.
  5. Inability to change the workflow after launch.
  6. Inaccessibility of customization forms. For this reason, Power Automate is usually combined with Microsoft PowerApps, but this increases costs.
  7. Lack of certain features like WDL, JSON file generation, etc., making complex business scenarios impossible.
  8. Complicated licensing control when used by many employees.

RPA as a New Power Automate Capability

With process automation in robotics, you can free your team from time-consuming, routine tasks. Power Automate will quickly and easily create a flow and submit a response, add it to a spreadsheet, email it for approval, then add a contact to Salesforce or Dynamics 365. And this simplification of the process works with data in Twitter, Microsoft Teams, Excel, and more. Hundreds of services in all. You can easily automate processes even if they don’t have an API by using RPA to create desktop flows. Let’s say you are a clinic running an outdated system. Each time a patient’s enrollment ends, you have to fill in many data and detail fields in your patient tracking system. A wide margin for errors and a huge waste of time! With Power Automate, you can simply create a desktop, record every action, preview it, and make edits. You can easily integrate legacy software with modern applications and services without a large upfront investment. You can safely scale and design any process with hundreds of pre-builds. From the simplest tasks to the most difficult ones! Moreover, RPA is now available for Windows 10 users.

How to Use Power Automate to Extract Data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations provides support for file-based integration cases via two API approaches:

  1. Data Management Framework Package API.
  2. Recurrent Integration API.

Both scripts support data import and export. Both are asynchronous because when these APIs are called, the data is imported or exported in batch. However, calls to these APIs are always synchronous. For instance, the ExportToPackage API call allows you to plan and schedule a data package importing task. The scheduling task returns quickly (synchronously) and is implemented later in the batch (asynchronously). Let’s take a look at how to use Power Automate and the Data Management Pack REST API to retrieve data from Dynamics 365 Finance.

  1. The flow is started manually. However, it can also be automated based on certain events.
  2. The pull request for “Customer Groups” is sent from Power Automate to Dynamics 365 Finance. The entity is customizable, you can also use other entities.
  3. The data project run job is scheduled and run in Dynamics 365 Finance.
  4. After executing the data project, all that remains is to get the package URL, extract the required file, and save it to Onedrive (or another storage service).

At this stage, information can be obtained and viewed, or transmitted to other systems. Source Also, the global chemical company Hexion uses the Microsoft Power Platform to automate and, hence, optimize many essential, core business aspects.

Cases of using Power Automate with D365FO workflows

According to Microsoft official figures, Power Automate is currently used in 81 large companies, including banks, retailers involved in manufacturing, insurance, and healthcare. For instance, Illimity, the first cloud bank in Italy, uses an open modular architecture. One of their major services is employee discounts on loans, but the application and approval process used to run slow and inefficient. The company employed Microsoft Power Automate to simplify, streamline, and automate the process, saving 15 hours per month and smoothly handling 15 requests per month. When DriveTime, a used car dealer, wanted to simplify and automate buying based on intuition, it used Microsoft Power Apps and an Azure SQL Database. With the Online Buyer web app, DriveTime inspectors and shoppers can eliminate guesswork, save time, and turn hard-earned business knowledge into an accurate and repeatable buying process.

Conclusion

Whether Power Automate is suitable for your specific workflow depends on the specific application. Either way, it’s a lightweight, easy-to-use, and cloud-friendly tool. It is perfect for implementing simple customizations that often require triggered interaction through external solutions. It also works well when relatively simple notifications are required. If you want to support extensive business logic in the background and need professional advice, i-Neti specialists are ready to provide it. Contact us, and very soon you will be convinced by your own experience how simple, convenient, and useful your business solutions can be!

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