Microsoft has announced new service availability and Custom API support for its business application platform, Flow. The three new services include Basecamp 3, Blogger, and PagerDuty. Custom API support allows users to create "flows" to virtually any HTTP endpoint that supports JSON. The goal of Microsoft Flow, including the new support, remains to automate businesses by connecting apps across devices and platforms.
For those unfamiliar with Flow, think about a Microsoft version of Zapier. Unlike many Microsoft business tools, Flow has specifically targeted third party applications that sync on Microsoft infrastructure to achieve the goal of automating business activity. For example, users can auto-archive email attachments about a certain product to a SharePoint library. Or, users can follow up on sales leads from Salesforce and utilize delays and additional queries through MailChimp. Microsoft also provides use case examples of operations, IT, marketing, and HR. Accordingly, the more business apps with integration ability, the more likely Microsoft will be to attract users. So, expect more announcements like the Basecamp, Blogger, PagerDuty, and Custom API additions.
With the Custom API support, Microsoft has empowered developers to bring their own apps into the Microsoft Flow environment. HTTP/JSON support should open up the platform to most modern apps with an API. Additionally, the Custom APIs support API key authentication. The APIs can authenticate against any OAuth 2.0 supported app.
Microsoft Flow, along with its brethren PowerApps and Power BI, mark Microsoft's play to be the sole business platform in the next generation of business apps. The market share Microsoft enjoyed with in the Microsoft-Office driven business environment could be repeated in the app economy if Microsoft's tools create demand. To learn more, check out Microsoft's entire business application platform.