Getting started with the Excel add-in for Microsoft Flow
A couple of weeks back, the Microsoft Flow team announced the Excel add-in for Microsoft Flow. This add-in will give you the ability to build and run Flows from Excel.
I think it's incredible how many people still keep Excel workbooks up-to-date while there are a lot of other options available that might be more suitable for them. Of course, a lot of people can dream Excel, because they have used it for years and years. But what I think is, most people don't look at other options because they believe it's too big of a job to transform their Excel workbooks into different solutions.
And that's where the Excel add-in for Microsoft Flow comes in! With the Excel add-in, you can quickly build Flows that will improve your productivity like never before. Here are just some simple scenarios that you can light up with this add-in:
- Send newsletters with contact details you keep up to date in your Excel workbooks
- Enter data from Excel into different data sources like SQL, SharePoint, Dynamics CRM, etc. You can even put some intelligence in between, like sentiment analysis or tagging.
In the blog post, Stephen Siciliano from the Microsoft Flow team explains how to install the add-in, so make sure to check that out. The great thing about Excel add-ins is that you can use it on both Windows and MacOS. Since I'm a MacOS user, I'm thrilled with the fact that I can also use it on my device.
There are some things you have to keep in mind while creating Flows for Excel:
- To get started, you can use one of the templates that are already available for you. They might not do what you want, but they will help you get started, and sometimes it's easier to expand an existing Flow than to create a new one
- Make sure you add tables to your Excel workbooks because without those Microsoft Flow will not work as well with the "For a selected row" action
The bigger picture: integrating Microsoft Flow everywhere...
What's interesting to me is that the Microsoft Flow team is integrating Microsoft Flow almost everywhere. They already did this in SharePoint, Dynamics 365, OneDrive, Teams and now also in Excel and Outlook. These integrations tell me Microsoft Flow is here to stay! Microsoft is taking such a big bet on this, that the usage will grow and more and more people will get to know Flow.
For now, the add-in is still in preview, so if you see something that doesn't work correctly, make sure to give feedback the Flow team. You can use one of the following forums for that: