The new “Send a copy” feature in Microsoft Flow


In January 2019, Microsoft announced the new Send a copy feature in Microsoft Flow. With Send a copy, you can quickly and easily share a copy of your flow with others in your Office 365 tenant. You can Send a copy of your flow from two different locations:

The options menu on your My flows page:
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Or from the flow properties page:
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Once you select Send a copy, a configuration pane displays. You can customize the title of your flow, add a description for it, and specify the name(s), email address(s), or security group(s) you want to share with. Remember: You can only send a flow to others in your same Office 365 tenant. You cannot use Send a copy to share flows across tenants.

Once you’ve finished entering all your flow copy details, click Send.
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The recipient(s) will receive an email indicating a flow has been shared with them. The user(s) can also go to the Shared with me tab on their flow template gallery to see and use their copy of the flow.
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Once the recipient(s) creates a new flow from the template that was shared with them, they’ll be able to customize it. IMPORTANT: No link is retained between the original flow and the version that is shared. The flows operate independently and can be customized at will.

So how well does the feature work?
Save a copy provides a quick and easy method for sharing flows between users. It’s relatively easy to use (both for the sharer and the recipient), and I love the new Shared with me template gallery tab in Microsoft Flow.

But at its core, the Save a copy feature is a one-time content push. Copied flows do not remain connected, and sharing only happens unidirectionally. A user you shared a flow with cannot, for example, iterate on your flow and dynamically share their updates with you. They can Save a copy of the updated flow and send it to you, but you’ll need to create a new instance of the flow to see the changes made.

The Save a copy feature also doesn’t allow for flow template browsing. Users are unaware of flows their co-workers have created; they can only see flows that have been manually shared with them. If you’re looking for a more robust method for sharing flow templates internally, check out my series on driving Microsoft Flow adoption with the creation of an internal organization-level template gallery. (Credits to Daniel Glenn for partnering with me on this solution.)

The bottom line:
Save a copy provides a quick and easy way to share flows with individuals or security groups. While there are limitations for its use (e.g. it’s a content “push” instead of a browse-and-reuse option), it can be used to create one-off flows in only a few clicks.

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