Microsoft releases a new IFTTT language for wider use

Conditional Action Programmer (CAP) simplifies repetitive non-business actions by automatically processing if/then-style tasks on your behalf

Microsoft releases a new IFTTT language for wider use
Credit: Johannes Hemmerlein

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
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • RSS feeds
  • HTTP
  • Office 365 email
  • OneDrive for Business
  • Pocket
  • SMS
  • Stocks
  • Weather

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.

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