Power Automate (formerly known as flow) is a low-code automation tool that lives in Microsoft’s Power Platform. You can essentially break a “flow” down into 3 parts: Triggers, Actions, & Connections.
Triggers are what get your flow running. There are 3 basic ways this can happen, and this is often used to define what kind of flow you’ve created. Conditional or automated flows are triggered when some condition or action happens. A common use is to create a conditional flow to trigger some logic when a row in a database is created, modified, or deleted. Scheduled flows required no external source to run – they simply run on a fixed schedule. Finally, instant flows can only be triggered on-demand or by user interaction. This is commonly done using a button in a canvas app, or from within a business process flow in a model-app experience.
Actions are everything else in power automate. An action could be “create a record in Dataverse” or “”post a tweet to twitter.” There’s also a set of actions called controls. It can be helpful to separate these in your mind from actions. Controls are things like conditions, apply to each, do until, etc. They are called controls, because they don’t actually interact outside of the flow – they control other actions.
Connections are arguably the most important aspect of any flow. Connections provide the schema/formatting for API calls/responses and take care of authentication. Flow then presents this connection in a user-friendly drag and drop style flow builder. Every step of your flow (with the exception of controls) has a connection. Most connections have a few triggers and actions available. For example, a connection to twitter might include a trigger like “When a user is mentioned in a tweet,” or an action like “post a tweet.”