Simple automation in Windows 10 and Office 365 can be achieved with an online workflow service called Microsoft Power Automate. Here is an example.
Long before Microsoft Windows 10, experienced users took advantage of operating system scripting languages to perform repetitive tasks. With the necessary know-how, a little planning and light coding, a user could automate mundane tasks and free up their time for greater efforts.
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Script languages still exist, of course, but modern systems have taken a step forward and made automation even simpler. For Windows 10 or Office 365 users, simple automation can be better achieved with an online workflow service known as Microsoft Power Automate.
This tutorial shows you how to create and run an automated notification task using Microsoft Power Automate.
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Create simple notifications with Microsoft Power Automate
For the record, Power Automate is the renowned name of Microsoft Flow. Power Automate works the same way as Flow and even uses the same website. You will need a Microsoft account or an Office 365 subscription to connect to the website.
When you sign in, you’ll see a full list of templates that you can use to automate common tasks involving Windows 10 and Office 365 apps and features, as shown in Figure A.
As an example, we will create an automated notification to alert us by email when a certain item is available on Amazon. However, with specific modifications to the website you work with, this method can be applied to any item.
Click the Create item in the left navigation bar to begin. From the Leaving White section, illustrated in Figure B, click the Scheduled Flow icon.
On the next screen, shown in Figure C, give your notification applet a descriptive name and start filling in the parameters of your automated process. Our example will run every 30 minutes from 5 p.m. Click the Create button when you are ready to continue.
On the next screen, click on the New step button to display the configuration screen indicated in Figure D. As you can see, there are dozens of potential actions available. In most cases, the easiest way to find what you are looking for is to find it.
We are looking for HTTP, then click the HTTP button. Click the first icon in the HTTP list to display the automation script entry page for our notification. We will use the Get function to retrieve a specific URL, as shown in Figure E. Click Save when done.
Click New Step and add a condition as shown in Figure F. Click the Choose a value box and click the Body icon. Choose the value you want to track, which will likely be different for each website. For our example, we follow the “currently unavailable”. indicator. (Drop the quotes but keep the period.)
If the body contains the phrase “currently unavailable”, we don’t want our Power Automate script to do anything. However, if this sentence is missing, we would like Power Automate to notify us by email. Click the “If not” box, then search for notifications. Select Send me an email notification from the list, as shown in Figure G. Add the subject and body of your choice.
Once you’ve set up notifications, click the Save button at the top of the screen.
Many possibilities in Microsoft Power Automate
As you can see, Microsoft Power Automate offers dozens of automation possibilities. If you have a repetitive task involving Windows 10 or Office 365, you may want to take a few minutes to create an automated routine using Power Automate.