When I first started looking at Microsoft Flow, the previous name of Microsoft Power Automate, I recognized the high value and potential uses within my organization. Almost innumerable Connectors to 3rd party applications, “sensing” / triggers for many of the applications participating. Huge potential, and won’t “break the bank” with a 15 USD price per user/month which contains all of the “Premium Connectors.”
I started automating processes for both personal and business. I upped my social media game, for example, sending a mobile notification to myself when there was a potentially interesting tweet. Or, if there was an RSS feed containing keywords I was monitoring, I sent myself an email with the news article. My client had needs around Microsoft Azure DevOps (ADO) that it was not capable of doing “out of the box,” so I took on those automated workflows with ease.
Venture using New Business Model with msflowsdk
Then I thought it would be great to commercialize some of these workflows. However, there were several technical limitations I came to realize. First, to execute one of these workflows manually, you would have to execute it from within the MS Power Automate web or mobile application. The user must be logged in with your Power Automate credentials to execute “your” workflow manually. As a Power Automate user, you could “Share” Power Automate flows with other Power Automate users. Unfortunately, that would require your web app customers to have Power Automate accounts paying as much as 15 USD per month. We would have to think in terms of a generic “Production” application user, potentially shared with all external, commercial users.
Using “Generic” Test User for MS Power Automate
- Limit the user’s access who does have access to your Microsoft Power Automate workflows. As micro as possible to granularize the permissions, such as execute XYZ Power Automate Flow without permission to read/see ALL the Power Automate Workflows, At the moment, that doesn’t seem possible (TBD). I need to recheck in Azure Portal and client app registration.
- Does my approach to commercializing MS Power Automate apps even supported from a Microsoft business perspective? I don’t know yet. I read the article: Types of Power Automate licenses and need to reread this document.
- Need the ability to grant “Execute” access to specific MS Power Automate workflow users without the ability to create or read any workflows of their own, limited Power Automate, User License?
Create an Azure AD User For Each Customer
- Technical seamless implementation would be required to add Azure AD users who have paid a commercial fee for the Web app powered by Power Automate, or I embed advertisements into the Azure, Power Automate, Custom Web App.
The Experiment – SMS Delay
Wouldn’t it be fun to send a text message with a delay, enter a text message, and parameterize the delay in N minutes? How fast could I write the app across multiple platforms, desktop, and mobile? The backend and mid-tier would probably be the longest aspect of the development of this app. You probably need to put it in a responsive Web App to resize it to fit the platform. But the N tiers of the stack, how fast can I develop that? Less than an hour using Power Automate.
Power Automate Workflow
This Power Automate Workflow has three steps in the workflow: the “Manual Trigger,” the “Delay,” and leveraging the Twilio Action – Send Text Message (SMS), which happens not to be a “Premium” connector.
Front End Code to Integrate
Give SMS-Delay a Try
Would you like to try out this Power Automate manual workflow? Please provide ANY login you would like to use for Azure AD authentication, and the user must have access to Microsoft Power Automate FREE license. Once you provide the user name to me, I will update Azure AD to include your permissions to the app and then send you a note to give the app a try: SMS Delay Application (rosemansolutions.com)
To Be Continued
For the next steps, I’d like to…
- Solve the riddle of the Power Automate authentication
- Create this and many other applications using the MS Flow SDK
Anonymous Authentication or Limited Authentication
Limiting the authentication, using very granular controls of Power Automate which may or may not yet be implemented. Have a limited Power Automate user with grant permissions ONLY to execute a specific workflow.
Is it possible to execute a Power Automate workflow with anonymous credentials and not necessarily have a Power Automate user account?