Power Automate & Dynamics 365 Workflow Which/When to use?

microsoft flow

Have you ever noticed the above message when creating a new workflow in Dynamics 365? Did you ask yourself when and why I should use Microsoft Flow (Power Automate)?

In this post, I am going to list the main key differences between Microsoft Power Automate and native workflows to give you a heads-up on when to use each of them.

First, let`s start by answering the main question, what makes up Power Automate?

  • Starts with an event or trigger, this can be (manual, on schedule, or event-driven).
  • Can have conditional logic (If then else, Case)
  • Data flows between triggers and actions to subsequent actions.
  • Performs any number of actions

power automate trigger

At first glance, you may say all the above already exist in
Dynamics 365 workflows, so

How to decide if you should use Dynamics 365 Workflow or Power Automate?

First,

  • Workflows are limited to Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM application only
  • Power Automate can span across multiple web-based services or applications at the same time.

These services include Microsoft services like Dynamics 365, Teams, Planner, SharePoint, Office, OneDrive, OneNote, and others, as well as many third-party services, like Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, GoToMeeting. So, for example, you’ll be able to

  • Automatically create a record like a lead in CRM based on a tweet in Twitter
  • Automatically Send a notification in Microsoft teams to notify your team with a new d365 opportunity or project that got created
  • Power Automate has 230+ pre-built connectors you can easily use to connect your apps together and create an effective flow between them.

power automate connectors

Think about how in just a few steps, you can automatically save email attachments to Microsoft SharePoint, send requests for approvals to managers, or even sync data between various applications.

Not only that, but it also provides an additional advantage to build up your custom connectors to connect to your service.

  • Using Power Automate, you can delete records.
  • As you may know, Dialogues are being depreciated,” Task Flows” are the replacement of dialogues.
  • Another difference that I’m really excited about is that Power Automate has prebuilt workflow Templates that you can use instead of creating the workflow from scratch. All the time I’ve been working with Workflows, I really wanted a copy workflow option that can be used with a different entity.

workflow templates

Power Automate Limitations

  • Dynamics 365 Workflow can be synchronous (real-time) or asynchronous (background). This means that when a change happens in Dynamics that triggers a workflow, the workflow will trigger immediately or seconds after the triggering change.
  • Power Automate is quick, but not as quick as workflow. So always use workflow if your business process requires immediate To be precise, there is a limit of 100k actions per 5 minutes.
  • Power Automate is Microsoft’s online service, which means all the above capabilities you cannot use If you are working on Microsoft Dynamics on-premise.

 

The following table summarizes the comparison of capabilities of Power Automate and the Classic Workflow.

Capability Power Automate Classic Workflow
Modeling Conditional branching   Yes Yes
Looping   Yes No
Wait conditions on fields   No Yes
Parallel branch   Yes No
Out-of-box connectors to external systems (trigger and perform actions in external services)   Yes No
Composition Dynamic content   Yes Yes
Access to pre-image of event data   No Yes
Run child workflows   No Yes
Run Common Data Service actions (including custom)   No Yes
Run custom workflow activities   No Yes
Group steps to run in a transaction   Yes No
Approval workflows   Yes No
Execution Trigger on field changes   Yes Yes
Trigger conditionally on field values (For example, on a certain date in a date field)   No No
Trigger on multiple Common Data Service entity events   No Yes
Run on-demand   Yes Yes
Run-as scopes
(for example, organization, business unit, user)
  Yes Yes
Run on a schedule   Yes No
Run synchronously (real-time)   No Yes
History Auditing   Yes Yes
Run analytics   Yes No
Authoring and portability Solution support   Yes Yes
Modern designer   Yes No
AI-assisted authoring   Yes No

 

Note: Microsoft is continuously adding new capabilities to Power Automate. To stay updated about upcoming flow capabilities. For more information on this, please visit the following link:

What's new and planned for Power Automate

Cost & Plans

All Dynamics 365 users can use Power Automate. If you wish to review Microsoft licensing information, click on the link below:

Flow pricing

Conclusion

Even now, there are still some limitations of using Power Automate with Dynamics 365 CRM, but it still can replicate most of the processes that are handled by workflows and more as you read above.

In the end, you need to look at your process from an end-to-end perspective. If it is all contained within Dynamics 365, then using Dynamics Workflow is the better option; But, if it includes any other system or service, then you should choose Power Automate.

I hope this blog helps! Feel free to leave your comments below!

Thank You 😊

References

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-automate/replace-workflows-with-flows

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/April19/microsoft-flow/planned-features

https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/

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