We often get asked by customers when IA-Connect will support Microsoft Power Automate as the Microsoft automation platform wins favour with more and more organisations.
So, when Microsoft invited Ultima Labs to take part in an exclusive Power Platform Virtual Hackathon, as part of their One Commercial Partner (OCP) programme, we jumped at the opportunity. The three-day event enabled us to work closely with Microsoft experts, whose support throughout was invaluable, to focus on accelerating our R&D efforts and subsequently our solution development.
What is IA-Connect?
For those of you who are new to it, IA-Connect integrates with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platforms to add advanced capabilities such as the automation of Citrix or RDS-hosted applications and advanced Java, Mainframe and SAP automation support.
What were we trying to achieve?
Our goal at the start of the hack was to investigate the integration of IA-Connect with Power Automate Desktop, Microsoft’s answer to RPA. This was an obvious target for us given our long history of working with RPA vendors such as Blue Prism and was achieved almost immediately. The bigger challenge would be to fully integrate with Power Automate cloud flows.
Cloud flows can be developed by organisations through a SaaS portal to automate processes which involve cloud-based systems such as Office 365, Salesforce and Concur. Power Automate connects to these external systems using a large library of APIs which are available from the various providers, and this works very well until organisations need to connect to, and to automate, on-premises, legacy or bespoke applications.
This is where IA-Connect comes in. Our aim was to fully integrate with cloud flows to not only enable the automation of on-prem systems, but to empower customers of Power Automate to do this from directly within the cloud flow.
To integrate with Power Automate cloud flows, several custom connectors were created which enabled us to make REST API calls directly from a cloud flow to our IA-Connect Agent, a standalone executable needed for remote application scenarios. This exposed the existing functionality of IA-Connect to cloud flows, enabling over 650 in-built actions to automate SAP, Java applications, UIA applications, Web, mainframe applications (HLLAPI) and Microsoft Office within a remote session.
With our newly created custom connectors, we were able to create a cloud flow for a simple invoice entry process which automated a Java application running on Citrix.
This was the start of something powerful – we had now proved we could leverage all of the advanced functionality of IA-Connect that our existing customers know and love, directly from cloud flows!
With Power Automate and IA-Connect, customers can now create cloud flows which automate cloud services as well as on-premises systems – all from within the same flow. We call these Hybrid Cloud Flows.
To see this in action, check out the video:
IA-Connect support for Microsoft Power Automate is due for general release in June 2021. To find out more about IA-Connect, visit our website - IA-Connect For Microsoft Power Automate | Ultima or contact us for a demo.