A quick introduction to Microsoft flow: Microsoft flow is a service that can aid you in creating workflows between different apps to synchronize data, get notifications and other productive stuff. To begin this you would need to first signup for Flow. I believe there are 2 versions of flow out there, one is the basic, which is offered if you have an O365 account and other is a premium which is required for certain apps. You can explore those details at this link – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/flow/getting-started. Note that flow is not just restricted Microsoft stack. It does support many more applications, so feel free to explore them. However in this blog post, I will be only focusing on using flow and integrating it with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations.
Using flow, you can setup an excel file to create/update master data records into D365 Finance and Operations. This requires some basic level of technical expertise and can be configured for users so that users can use the same excel sheet, and create them. In this blog post, I will be using a simple example of how to create vendors using flow in D365 Finance and Operations.
After you have signed up for flow, log in to flow. You would usually see something like this.
On the right top corner you see an option – Create from template.
It opens a search bar and you can enter something Dynamics 365 for Operations and it returns the results as you can see below (this is just a subset). Choose the 2nd option in the top row, which says “Move rows from and Excel table to Dynamics AX Online vendors”.
You need to enter a recurrence period for the frequency of importing this file. You can choose the time zone and also the start time.
Create a sample excel file with mandatory fields like Group, Currency, VendorID, Name, Company, and the PartyType.
Note: There are various storage options for saving the excel file. I chose my one drive. You can choose from the list, whichever suits your needs the best.
After that you’d have to assign the D365 for Finance and Operations instance where you want these records to be created. Select the Entity name from the list. This is the same data entities list that you would find in the Data management workspace.
After this, you would have to map the excel template fields with the entity field list as shown below. If there is a constant value that does not change based on the record in the excel file, you can enter that directly as a value as well in here. I mapped the state with keyed in values instead of mapping them to the excel sheet columns.
Update and save the flow. Now based on the recurrence that you have setup, it runs during that time or you also have an option to run it for once using the option “Run now”.
You can monitor the status on the my flows page and it gives the entire run history of this process.
After the pane shows that the run has succeeded, you can go back to D365 for Finance and Operations to verify if the record has been created.
Not just vendors, you can do a variety of imports using the entities that are already published. One cool feature that I stumbled upon is here – > https://dynamicsax-fico.com/2018/02/21/intercompany-free-text-invoicing-in-d365fo-with-ms-flow/
You can see how Ludwig Reinhard was able to address one of the most tricky requirements that consultants usually face regarding intercompany transaction processing using flow. It is pretty interesting on how Microsoft is upping the ante in terms of usability and these kinds of services. I’m pretty sure that there would be more triggers that would be created by Microsoft for D365 for Finance and Operations, which is somewhat restricted right now.
Happy D365ing and will come back with one more interesting piece from D365 for Finance and Operations