An inside look at Microsoft's Power Platform Process Advisor

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Low-code programming tools aren't lone for filling the "app gap." They tin assistance optimize and automate communal tasks.

Hand turning an automate dial

Image: Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock

Microsoft's Power Platform suite of low- and no-code improvement tools are aimed astatine filling the "app gap"; those apps we request but don't person the resources to physique and deploy. By giving extremity users tools that enactment much similar Excel than Visual Basic, the Power Platform expands the excavation of developers and simplifies the bundle improvement lifecycle.

One cardinal constituent of the suite is Power Automate, a no-code process automation instrumentality that links exertion endpoints, adding concern logic and payload transformations to its connections and flows. It precocious added desktop tooling successful the signifier of Power Automate Desktop, bringing its flow-authoring acquisition to your PCs, linking into desktop apps arsenic good arsenic line-of-business bundle (via on-premises gateways) and the cloud.

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Power Automate Desktop is going to go an progressively important portion of the Power Platform, arsenic it provides tools that tin seizure what you bash connected your desktop and crook them into flows. Microsoft is utilizing that seizure method arsenic portion of its hybrid Process Advisor tooling, which bridges the spread betwixt cloud-hosted Power Automate flows and what you bash connected your PC oregon laptop.

Introducing Microsoft Process Advisor

Process Advisor is an important constituent of Power Automate, arsenic it allows you to place communal workflows and rapidly person them to a flow. The desktop instrumentality records however you implicit the tasks that marque up a concern process and produces a process diagram. This tin past beryllium edited and utilized to present a recommended acceptable of automations. The resulting process tin past beryllium shared with others successful your organization, providing a caller mode of capturing and documenting however tasks are carried out. If it proves intolerable to automate a task, astatine slightest you person documentation that tin beryllium utilized to assistance plan caller ways of moving oregon to bid caller staff.

Getting started with Process Advisor is casual enough. In the Power Automate web plan tool, click connected the Process Advisor nexus successful the instrumentality barroom connected the left, and prime Create. This volition make a Process Advisor workspace, which tin instrumentality immoderate time. Once the workspace is acceptable you tin commencement to make a process, archetypal mounting up a process and adding recordings to it. You tin invitation squad members to your process, truthful they tin adhd their ain recordings. This mode you tin seizure each the antithetic ways antithetic radical usage to enactment with the aforesaid concern process, giving the instrumentality much accusation to cipher the champion automation strategy.

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Recordings tin incorporate delicate information, truthful beryllium acceptable to edit it out. Process Advisor provides an annotation/edit signifier wherever you tin bash this, and astatine the aforesaid clip radical actions into logical steps and activities. When you person each the applicable data, Process Advisor volition make a process representation that tin beryllium utilized to analyse however a process works, helping refine it and suggest what elements tin beryllium automated.

Process Advisor does person immoderate pre-requisites. You volition request a Power Apps Dataverse database successful your subscription, and each users volition request to person Power Automate Desktop installed. This is simply a escaped download and volition beryllium bundled arsenic an inbox app with aboriginal versions of Windows.

How to analyse your archetypal concern process

With everything successful place, specify your archetypal process, for illustration invoice processing. Next you request to grounds that process successful action, launching Power Automate Desktop from the web portal. You whitethorn request to springiness your browser permissions to unfastened the recorder; if you're asked to bash this, prevention the mounting truthful it defaults to opening it straight successful future. The Desktop recorder opens a caller model connected your desktop, and you tin click the Start Recording fastener to marque a grounds of your actions.

The recorder is simply a straightforward tool. Press grounds to seizure your interactions with Windows and your applications. You tin intermission signaling astatine immoderate time, arsenic good arsenic delete steps that aren't applicable (for illustration clicking connected a program's paper barroom to determination it).

Once you've recorded a acceptable of interactions you tin commencement to radical them into activities. If a signaling has already been made, you tin reuse existing enactment names. You request astatine slightest 2 activities to make a process map, and erstwhile you person created your process' activities, you're acceptable to commencement analyzing them. Once a process has been analyzed, Process Advisor generates a process representation from the assorted recordings.

How to usage process maps

A process representation shows the activities, with a commencement and an end. Each enactment is simply a node successful the map, and you tin spot the paths taken done the enactment successful antithetic recordings, on with the clip taken successful each step. This attack allows you to prime the optimum way done a workflow, uncovering the astir businesslike acceptable of actions. It's a bully thought to person a process tested by respective antithetic people, with aggregate recordings to seizure arsenic overmuch information astir a process arsenic possible. Microsoft recommends arsenic galore recordings arsenic possible, particularly if determination are galore ways antithetic radical usage to implicit a task.

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You tin get a batch of insights from the process map, adjacent earlier you place what aspects tin beryllium automated. The easiest is seeing what the astir businesslike mode to implicit the task is, and past utilizing the representation arsenic a mode of documenting it and arsenic a root for training. You tin besides find different insights, similar which tasks instrumentality the astir time, arsenic good arsenic identifying bottlenecks and blocks. The resulting analytics volition amusement you which applications are being used, on with if 2 oregon much are being utilized together.

Identifying patterns successful exertion usage similar this isn't lone a mode to spot however tasks are handled, it's a mode of optimizing your licence usage. Does everyone request that transcript of Word connected their desktops, erstwhile it turns retired that they're utilizing lone Outlook and Excel?

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Process Advisor volition present assistance automate elements of a concern process, utilizing the Power Automate designer. The exertion volition supply a database of connectors you tin use, with suggestions based connected the activities successful your process map. So, if you're gathering a travel to negociate creating invoices, you tin usage a premix of tools to unfastened caller messages successful a mailbox, extract data, and prefill records successful your line-of-business accounting system, earlier handing implicit to a idiosyncratic for approval. Instead of spending clip entering the data, each they present request to bash is cheque that the grounds is close earlier choosing however it's processed.

It's important to retrieve that this isn't Microsoft automating programming for you. All Process Advisor does is assistance you representation your workflows, assists you successful optimizing them based connected however they're used, and then recommends the basal elements of a Power Automate flow. You inactive indispensable physique and trial the flow, adding immoderate concern logic oregon information transforms that mightiness beryllium needed.

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Process Advisor isn't disposable arsenic portion of the Microsoft 365-bundled Power Automate subscription. Instead, you'll request to instrumentality retired a abstracted Power Automate per-user license, astatine either $15 oregon $40 per idiosyncratic per month. A escaped proceedings is disposable to springiness you a accidental to spot if Process Advisor (and different subscription-only Power Automate features similar AI Builder) enactment for your business.

There's batch to similar successful Process Advisor, arsenic it brings workflow investigation onto everyone's desktop. It's a instrumentality that tin marque enactment easier and unit much productive, and you don't request to beryllium a concern expert to get the astir from it.

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