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Microsoft releases a new IFTTT language for wider use

News Analysis
Jul 11, 20162 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoft

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

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.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.