A common theme throughout our blogs is the growing adoption of automation for workflow management, for obvious reasons! It’s becoming easier to use, much faster and better than ever. But that doesn’t mean it’s as accessible as it could be. Microsoft’s Power Automate alone has hundreds of connectors, so figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. But we’ve done our homework, so here is our list of the best Standard Power Automate Connectors for 2023.
If you’re using Power Automate, you probably use SharePoint for document management. SharePoint is excellent for collaborative work, especially in this age of remote working.
SharePoint has a great list of Triggers, from When an item is created to When a File is classified by a Microsoft Syntex model, so you can be sure your automations start precisely when you want them to. Used in conjunction with many of the other Connectors in this list, the functionality this connector offers is massive. Using the SharePoint Connector is a no-brainer if you have a business process related to SharePoint.
Example use cases
- Alert someone when a critical file has been modified
- Create an approval workflow that doesn’t rely on a lengthy email chain
- Move a file from one place to another
If you use Microsoft Forms to collect data, using the Microsoft Forms Connector can save you so much time by avoiding manual tasks.
Using the trigger When a new response is submitted, various processes can be sped up without human intervention.
Example use cases
- Create notifications via email or Teams after a form submission
- Convert and save a recipient’s responses in a PDF for easy access
- Collate and extract data from Microsoft Forms for Excel
With over 500 million users, Outlook is one of the most utilised email systems in the world. But for many people, emails are the bane of their working lives. Automating business processes tends to mean fewer emails in your inbox for various reasons; for one, you don’t have to chase up people to do something that’s already been done automatically! But other ways can ease your Outlook usage, such as by using the trigger When a new email arrives.
Arguably, the most efficient and effective users of email systems are those that Inbox Zero. An integral part of this is having automation doing a lot of the heavy lifting (and sorting), so you don’t have to check every time you hear that noise. This is something Power Automate can do for you with the Outlook Connector!
Example use cases
- Save attachments from emails into specific folders
- Set daily reminders when to check your emails
- Block your Outlook calendar for an hour when you need some time for deep work
Approving a piece of work or a document can be an arduous process. The tricky bit isn’t usually the amendments or even creating the document itself. It’s the people admin: asking people for approvals, chasing them up, asking for notes, ensuring their notes have been taken on board, etc.
So by taking away that stress and having an efficient and consistent approval process across your company, Approvals Connector is a game changer.
Example use cases
- Start approval when a new file is added to a specific folder in SharePoint
- Request manager approval for leave request
- Start approval when a response is submitted in Microsoft Forms
Both SharePoint and OneDrive offer an online space to access files. But whilst SharePoint is generally used for document management and communication, OneDrive is a cloud storage system for creating online file backups. So if you want extra protection against data loss, OneDrive is a great way to do it. And by automating your backing-up with the OneDrive for Business Connector, it’s one less thing to worry about.
Example use case
- Copy files between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint
- Send specific files created in OneDrive as email attachments
- Convert a OneDrive file to PDF using Encodian Flowr
The Encodian Flowr Connector is one of the most potent Standard Connectors on the market. So much so that many people question why it’s not a Premium Connector! With over 80 actions available, Flowr offers enhanced document and image management, including format conversion, merging, data extraction, securing, splitting, watermarking, OCR and more. So if you have an administrative task you’d like to automate, Flowr is your one-stop-shop for media manipulation.
Although household names like Sony and Heineken (to name a couple) take advantage of Flowr’s extensive functionality, it’s for more than just Enterprise-level use. Encodian is dedicated to bringing automation to the masses and making it accessible to everyone, even offering a free plan and a generous one-month free trial. So if you’re ready to supercharge Power Automate, the Encodian Flowr Connector is a must-have.
A few of Encodian Flowr’s actions:
- Format conversion, e.g. HTML to Word
- Merge document array to PDF
- OCR PDF documents
- Search and replace text
- Populate Word Document
- Add watermark
- Compress images
- Parse CSV
- Create QR code
- Search text – Regex
For a complete list of Flowr’s Actions, check out our Flowr product page.
If you already have the Encodian Flowr connector, you can also trial Trigr for free. Trigr is a way to centralise flow management and allows admins to push a flow to multiple SharePoint sites, libraries and lists – avoiding the one-to-one challenge with out-of-the-box Power Automate. It also makes automating so much more accessible companywide by allowing end users to trigger your flows simply by clicking a button within SharePoint.
Of course, we also use grouped actions in many of our flows: Control, Variable and Data Operation. So if you want to know more about those, keep an eye out for a future article!
Everyone has to decide which Power Automate Connectors they feel most comfortable with. But this list is a great place to start! And if you still need to use Flowr to supercharge Power Automate, why not start your free trial today?