Overview of the different types of flows

Power Automate is a service that you can use to automate repetitive tasks to bring efficiencies to any organizations.

You can create cloud flows, desktop flows, or business process flows.

Cloud flows

Create a cloud flow when you want your automation to be triggered either automatically, instantly, or via a schedule.

Flow type Use case Automation target
Automated flows Create an automation that is triggered by an event such as arrival of an email from a specific person, or a mention of your company in social media. Connectors for cloud or on-premises services connect your accounts and enable them to talk to each other.
Instant flows Start an automation with a click of a button. You can automate for repetitive tasks from your Desktop or Mobile devices. For example, instantly send a reminder to the team with a push of a button from your mobile device. Wide range of tasks such as requesting an approval, an action in Teams or SharePoint.
Scheduled flows Schedule an automation such as daily data upload to SharePoint or a database. Tasks that need to be automated on a schedule.

Desktop flows

Desktop flows are used to automate tasks on the Web or the desktop. Using Power Automate Desktop you can automate tasks on the desktop as well as the Web. Alternatively, you can use the two legacy methods of of creating desktop flows: Windows recorder (V1) and Selenium ID.

Business process flows

Business process flows provide a guide for people to get work done. They provide a streamlined user experience that leads people through the processes their organization has defined for interactions that need to be advanced to a conclusion of some kind. This user experience can be tailored so that people with different security roles can have an experience that best suits the work they do.

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