Microsoft Power Automate Desktop
 
What is Power Automate Desktop?
 
Power Automate Desktop is a new no-code tool for automating repetitive tasks from Microsoft.

Like Power Automate, Power Automate Desktop is a robotic process automation (RPA) solution. It allows you to create multi-step workflows for everything from simple-but-tedious tasks like copying data from Excel to complex business processes. The desktop app broadens Power Automate’s capabilities by bridging the gap between legacy systems without APIs and modern applications that expect them, allowing you to create automation workflows for desktop processes in addition to web-based ones.

Product History & Future
 
Microsoft first launched Power Automate Desktop in September 2020. The solution was based on a low-code desktop solution they acquired with Softmotive's RPA platform that spring.
 
As of March 2021 the app is now free to Windows 10 users for download and Microsoft has announced plans to eventually make it fully built in to Windows 10.
Features worth knowing about...
  • Desktop and web flow recording: Organically design workflows with desktop and web recording. This app allows you to record UI actions (such as keyboard and mouse actions) in real time to generate a desktop flow.
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop builder: The new visual designer makes the process of creating flows easy to use, organize, and edit. 
  • Over 400 pre-built actions: Get started faster using a helpful catalogue with hundreds of pre-built actions. The wide range of actions allow you to connect to a variety of systems including SAP, websites, on-premise applications, and even legacy systems.
  • Automated error handling: This smart and incredibly useful feature enables you to proactively manage common error scenarios with automated logic. For example, if you lose internet, rather than stopping, you can tell a process to try to run again and even set how many times you want it to retry before stopping. You can also tell it to send you a notification when an error occurs.
  • Centralized logs & monitoring: Should a more complex error occur, you will appreciate centralized flow monitoring. Review automatically saved, centralized logs that are accessible from the cloud and any machine you sign into. The logs include detailed information for every execution run, plus screenshots of errors for improved troubleshooting.
  • Modernizing legacy systems: The most exciting feature is the ability to connect applications that lack APIs. Power Automate Desktop is a great program for anyone who would like to integrate an on-premise app with their cloud Dynamics 365 or Power Platform ecosystem.
Putting Power Automate Desktop to Use
 
Wondering how this product might be used at your company? Here are a couple possible applications to get your imagination flowing and demonstrate how Desktop can be used to save time and boost efficiency.
 
Automate repetitive and tedious manual processes like copying data: 
Create a desktop flow that reads excel files straight from your email, selects certain columns of data and copies them into another application.
 
Connect applications and services that don't have APIs:
Send data from a legacy client registration application to Common Data Service by recording the steps in your import process using Power Automate Desktop.
Interested in learning more about Power Automate Desktop? Take a closer look at Microsoft’s documentation or get in touch with one of our experts.
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