Integration is always an interesting thing. Recently I’ve been spending some time with Flow and Logic Apps, building several POCs. This got me thinking about which tool is right for which job.

We’ve had for a long time the built-in processes. They have evolved over time into a very robust tool set. The Workflow is one of the first tools in the system to create automation within Dynamics 365. A workflow can be configured to run in the background, which is the most resource efficient way from a system performance perspective, as it gets scheduled and queued, or immediate. The entire interface has remained pretty much unchanged for many versions, and should be familiar to most system customizers and administrators.

Now, Flow came into play, as the new shiny kid on the block. This had some people wondering, if Flow is the new tool in the toolbox, and it appears to do similar things to dynamics workflows, then what gives?

Oh, and for those more focused on integrations, you might have realized that Logic Apps is somewhat familiar to Flow. Now, really, what gives?

Let’s take a very basic example:

On a Lead creation, create a task to the Lead creator to remind them to work the lead.

I can do it with a workflow:

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Or, I can do it in Flow:

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Or, I can do it in Logic Apps:

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But, what’s the “right” way to do it?

Well, to begin the process, look at the following diagram:

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Basically, first we need to identify if the process resides entirely in your Dynamics tenant. The example we started with does. In such case, most likely you will want to create a workflow. There are of course some exceptions to the rule. One example is the deletion of records. Workflow does not support record delete. Then again, usually records get disabled, not deleted.

Moving outside of “the box”, and starting to interact with other systems, we can start considering other options.

For situations where users have a need to generate records in other systems, like for example add a task in Wunderlist when a Lead is created, Flow is a good option.

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Finally, keep in mind that Flow is built on top of Logic Apps. It shares the same designer and most connectors.

The difference is that, while flow is targeted to business users, Logic Apps is more appropriate to IT professionals, and for business critical processes. Logic Apps supports extensibility through code also, making it an integral part of enterprise type DevOps practices.

For a more detailed description of Workflow see the documentation at:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg328017.aspx

While for a comparison of Flow and Logic Apps see the following article:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/functions-compare-logic-apps-ms-flow-webjobs

Can you think of the most recent process you had to implement? Could it have been done better?

Enjoy!

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