Where twitter meets SQL

I am Barath Balasubramanian, the extensibility program manager in the Microsoft Flow team. If you would like to explore integration opportunities with Microsoft Flow, ranging from providing a simple #HREF link to flow.microsoft.com from your application to being able to use the full CRUD/manage operations on Flows via REST APIs from within your application, I am your man. This blog post is for an advanced user scenario of connecting to a SQL server by creating a flow from scratch. Make sure you read the getting started blog here first.

Today, I am going to walk you through creating a Flow that will capture tweets, every time a specific #hashtag is tweeted, we then add an entry into a SQL server table with that tweet information. This is a powerful scenario when compared to posting a message on Slack or Yammer when a tweet arrives because having this data in SQL lets you mine the data at a later time for market sentiment about the #hashtag you care about most.

Here are the simple steps to get this going

1. Go to https://flow.microsoft.com and select My flows

2. Select create new flow button

3. Add a trigger for when a new tweet appears

4. Sign in to Twitter

5. Add a #hashtag string e.g. #Azure. Create a connection to Twitter

6. Add an action for Insert row into a SQL Server. Learn how to quickly get started with SQL Azure databases here.

7. Setup the SQL connection with a connection string like this – "Server=contoso.database.net;Database=db_name;User Id=db_user;Password=db_pass;"

8. Select the table you setup on the SQL server and link values from the tweet to the appropriate column on the SQL table

9. Give a name to the Flow and click Create Flow

10. Once saved, you will enter the testing experience. The UI waits until the trigger event happens. Tweet with the #Azure hashtag or wait for a tweet to happen, when it happens, you will see the run result right away.

That’s it! It is real! You have really created a complex task of inserting a new record into a SQL table, every time someone tweets a #hashtag. Neither did you have to write complex web service code against Twitter developer APIs, nor did you have to create a complex connection to a SQL server with an intermediate API layer between your client and the SQL server. Since I created the Flow for this blog post, I converted it into a template, so can quickly get started with this template. With Microsoft flow, business users can really change the way things are done at a workplace.

Next Steps:

  1. Check out this document on how to extend Microsoft Flows for your scenarios.
  2. Share your scenarios with us on how you would like to use Microsoft Flow.
  3. Contact us to embed Microsoft Flow from right within your applications.