Microsoft Power Automate

Power Automate, formerly Microsoft Flow, is an online tool within the Microsoft 365 applications and add-ins, used for the creation of automated workflows between apps and services to synchronize files, get notifications, and collect data. Examples of automated workflows include:

  • When you receive an Outlook email attachment, save Outlook email attachments in your OneDrive
  • Set up weekly notifications of financial operations and sales insights from a CRM system
  • When you make a new file, copy files between Dropbox and SharePoint
  • When a new event is scheduled, receive an alert on Outlook or Google Calendar based on Eventbrite events
  • When you tweet with a hashtag, instantly save those tweets to a specific SharePoint location.

How It Works

Use Power Automate to create an original multi-step flow, or choose from hundreds of templates, and connect to over 150 data sources (or connectors) to collect data, synchronize files, and receive notifications. Tip: If you are unable to find a particular template, try the Power Automate Cookbook.

Once a workflow is set up in Power Automate, the workflow acts in the background to alert you to specific notifications, upload files, and completed desired automated tasks.

Power Automate workflows depend on when a triggering event occurs. The event may be any of the following:

  • Automated
  • Scheduled
  • Instant (aka Button click)


A power platform environment is a space where a maker stores and manages their apps and related business data. By default, all licensed Northwestern users have access to the Personal Productivity and NU Users External Approved environments. Feinberg users have access to the Personal Productivity and FSM Users environments.

Data protection policies are assigned to each environment to manage the flow of Northwestern’s Microsoft 365 business data to external platforms:

  • Personal Productivity environment: does not allow data to be passed from any Microsoft 365 service (Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, etc) to an external platform (i.e. Google)
  • NU Users External Approved environment: allows data to be passed to an external platform
  • FSM Users environment: does not allow data to be passed from any Microsoft 365 service (Exchange, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, etc) to an external platform (i.e. Google). Data flow exceptions will be reviewed by FSM IT
  • Microsoft Teams Environments:Microsoft Teams environments allows for users to create apps and flows using the Power Apps application from within the Teams desktop client. A Dataverse is automatically provisioned when the app is installed and is uniquely mapped to the team. Capacity limitations within Northwestern’s tenant, require that these Teams environments adhere to specific governance policies managed by Northwestern IT Collaboration Services.  When an environment is created, the person creating the environment will receive a request to provide the business justification within 30 days of its creation. Environments unused after 90 days will be deleted. Support resources for Microsoft Teams environments

NOTE: If you plan to share your app, please contact Collaboration Services for guidance.


Available to

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff



There is no cost to use the standard Power Automate license.



Northwestern offers the Standard Power Automate license which allows for a limited number of app runs executed by the user per month. This license excludes the use of Dataverse/Common Data Services (CDS), custom connectors, and premium connectors which are offered through the Power Automate Premium license.


Power Automate Add-On Licenses

Power Automate Premium (was Power Automate per user)
Provides maker with access to Dataverse and use of premium and custom connectors for building unlimited cloud flows and desktop flows through Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Please refer to this plan description. Available for purchase through iBuyNU via CDW. This license is an annual subscription, renewed in July. Current price is $96.22. Annual prices are prorated for partial year subscriptions.


How to Request Service

  • If you have Shopper access, you may purchase the Power Automate Premium license from iBuyNU.
  • If your team or department has someone who assists with software purchases, you may wish to contact them. Otherwise, click on the Request Service button.


Getting Started

  1. Go to and sign in to Microsoft 365 with your NetID and NetID password, as necessary.
  2. From the Microsoft 365 home page, click All apps.
  3. From your list of available Microsoft 365 apps, select Power Automate.


Support Resources

While Northwestern IT supports the installation of Microsoft 365, support is not offered for individual applications.

Please refer to the Microsoft Power Automate Quick Reference Guide or see the Microsoft and LinkedIn Learning resources listed below for specific information.


Dataverse for Teams Environments

LinkedIn Learning

Request Service


Service ID: 239
Tue 1/10/23 6:51 PM
Fri 9/15/23 1:55 PM