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How to create a flow from scratch

  Microsoft Flow Logo

Microsoft Flow is a trigger-based system for creating automated workflows. There are many templates, but if they are not right for you, you can create a whole new flow from scratch.

You need a free or paid plan to use Flow ahead and log in if you have not already done so. Go to the Office 365 App Launcher (the nine dots in the upper left corner) and click Flow to start it.

 The O365 App Launcher and the Flow Tile

Step 1: Creating a New Flow

The title page takes you directly to the templates, but we'll create a flow from scratch Then in the menu on the left side on "My Flows".

 The Page Menu with

If you have never created a flow, this page is empty. Otherwise, it contains all previously created flows. Click New> Create from Empty to start a new flow from scratch.

 The option New> Create from Empty option "width =" 426 "height =" 201 "src =" /pagespeed_static/1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif "onload =" pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this); " onerror = "this.orror = null; pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this);

but we start from scratch, so click the "Create from blank" button.


Button Step Two: Select a Trigger

At this point, you must select a trigger to start your flow. You can search for a particular service or select one from the list. Click the down arrow below the two rows of icons to see all available services.

 Options for finding and expanding the trigger function

We will set up a simple flow that sends an e-mail when a file is changed to a specific folder in OneDrive. This is useful if you have shared a folder with someone and want to know when he makes changes to the folder. To set up this flow, we must select a trigger action, which is a OneDrive file. First, click the OneDrive service.

 The OneDrive Icon

Make sure you click on the right OneDrive. There is "OneDrive" (included with free and personal Office 365 subscriptions). and "OneDrive for Business" (included in the business plans). If you click the OneDrive service, you'll need to sign in to Office 365 again to make sure you're still you. After logging in, a list of OneDrive triggers will be displayed. We're looking for the trigger "When a file is changed" pointing down.


Click "When a file changes" to open the options for that trigger. The only option required is to select the folder that contains the files you want to monitor and click the folder icon.


field The OneDrive is displayed in a dialog box The file structure starts with "Root". You can select this option if you want to be notified when a file is changed in OneDrive. You can also click the arrow next to Root to browse your OneDrive folder structure and select the folder you want to monitor

 The OneDrive Root Folder and Browse Folders arrow

We have selected our / how-to-geek folder.

Step three: Select an action to perform

That is, the trigger has been sorted, now we must select an action to execute. Click on "New step" to reopen the options.


We would like to send an email when an item in the How-To Geek folder changes, you must select the Outlook.com service. There are many services to choose from (and annoyingly, they are not in alphabetical order). Enter "Outlook" as the filter term and select the Outlook.com service.

 Find Outlook and select Outlook .com

Select the "Send Email" action.


. The options "Send E-mail" appear. You can begin to see the river take shape, with a trigger on top and actions below.


Add the e-mail address to which you want to send the e-mail in the To field. When you click in the Subject field, On the right is a "Dynamic Content" window, so you have the option to add a subject line to the email based on the changed file, and we want the subject line to read "[file name] has been changed" where "[file name] "is replaced by the name of the file by clicking" File Name "in the" Dynamic Content "section.


" file name "appears in the" Subject "line Add the text "has been changed" (not forgetting to insert a space before the word "a")

 The field

We want to do it The file is also easy to find. In the "Body" line, change again to the "Dynamic content" area and click on "File path", to add the file to the body. The flow is now complete, then click Save.

 The field body with dynamic content and the Save button

Step 4: Test the flow

The next step is to test the flow. Click on the test option in the upper right corner.

 The test option

In the "Test Flow" section that opens, click on "I run the trigger" and click on "Save & Test."

 The options for the testflow and save button width = "329" height = "243" src = "/pagespeed_static/1.JiBnMqyl6S.gif" onload = "pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this);" onerror = "this.onerror = null; pagespeed.lazyLoadImages.loadIfVisibleAndMaybeBeacon (this);

Now go to the folder you are monitoring in OneDrive and set the folder you are monitoring a change to a file (you can in the OneDrive web app or OneDrive on your computer.) Save the change and return to the tab where Flow is open, and a message will indicate that the flow was successful.

When you check your e-mail, an e-mail Mail notification with the subject line and filename sent to you and text you added and the body the file path.

 Successful Mail

Of course, this is a simple process, but you can add multiple triggers and actions across a wide range of services and usage variables, set approval criteria, and forward data to specific security groups in Office 365 and more. Microsoft regularly adds new features. Many of these features are intended for business users (and are only available in business plans), but many are available and useful to the home user.

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