Last month Microsoft introduced Flow, a service that allows you to create conditional connections between its business services. It supported both Microsoft products, such as Office, Office 365 and SharePoint, and non-Microsoft services, such as Twitter, Slack, Google Drive and Dropbox, letting you build conditional actions.
For example, you could have a text alert generated when you received an email, automatically pull tweets into an Office app or get Slack notifications when a file is uploaded to a Dropbox folder.
All of these were for business apps. Now Microsoft has a new language in the IF This Then That (IFTTT) mold for consumer and other non-business uses. Conditional Action Programmer (CAP) can do similar actions based on events, but it can do mundane things like send you a text when a stock makes a big move or remind you to get your car washed.
There's no programming involved here. You select from a list of actions and then connect a reaction. So, anyone can use it, but you are on rails, as it were, limited to the actions and reactions Microsoft supports.
It does support a fair number of services out of the box, though.
- Date and time
- RSS feeds
- Office 365 email
- OneDrive for Business
And the list is likely to grow, since there is a feedback mechanism where users can tell Microsoft what other services they'd like to see integrated. Given Microsoft is in a much more listening state of mind these days, I expect more services to be added.
When you sign up, Microsoft requires you to sign a disclaimer that mentions some data "may be retained by Microsoft for up to 1 year for product improvement purposes." Well, at least they are telling you up front.