Airflow vs Microsoft Power Automate

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!


+ 1
Microsoft Power Automate

+ 1
Add tool

Airflow vs Microsoft Power Automate: What are the differences?


Airflow and Microsoft Power Automate are both powerful workflow automation tools that enable businesses to automate and schedule tasks. However, there are some key differences between the two platforms that make them suitable for different use cases. In this article, we will discuss the major differences between Airflow and Microsoft Power Automate.

  1. Programming and Flexibility: Airflow is a developer-friendly platform that allows users to create complex workflows using code. It provides a Python-based interface for defining and managing workflows, making it highly customizable and flexible. On the other hand, Microsoft Power Automate focuses on a no-code/low-code approach, allowing users to build workflows through a visual interface with pre-built connectors and actions. This makes it easier for non-technical users to create simple automation tasks without the need for coding skills.

  2. Scalability and Performance: Airflow is designed to handle large-scale workflows with distributed execution across multiple worker nodes. It offers built-in support for task parallelism, which allows for scalable and efficient execution of tasks. Microsoft Power Automate, on the other hand, is more suited for smaller-scale workflows and is hosted on the Microsoft cloud platform. While it can handle a considerable amount of workload, it may not be as suitable for complex and high-performance scenarios.

  3. Integration and Ecosystem: Airflow provides a wide range of connectors and integrations with popular systems and services, allowing users to easily interact with various data sources and systems. It also has a large and active open-source community, which contributes to the development of additional plugins and extensions. On the other hand, Microsoft Power Automate has native integration with Microsoft products and services, such as Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and Dynamics 365. It also provides a marketplace where users can find additional connectors and templates created by Microsoft and third-party developers.

  4. Monitoring and Alerting: Airflow offers a comprehensive web-based user interface for monitoring and managing workflows. It provides built-in tools for tracking task progress, viewing logs, and managing dependencies. Users can also set up email and Slack notifications for task completion or failure. On the other hand, Microsoft Power Automate provides a more simplified monitoring and alerting system. Users can track the status of their flows through the Power Automate portal and receive notifications via email or mobile app when a flow fails or succeeds.

  5. Cost and Licensing: Airflow is an open-source project and is available for free. However, setting up and managing a scalable Airflow environment may require infrastructure resources and technical expertise. Microsoft Power Automate offers different pricing plans, including a free plan with limited features and usage, as well as premium plans with additional functionalities and enterprise support. The costs associated with using Microsoft Power Automate will depend on the specific plan and usage requirements of the organization.

  6. Deployment and Hosting: Airflow can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, giving users more flexibility in choosing their hosting environment. It can run on popular cloud platforms like AWS and Google Cloud, as well as on-premises infrastructure. Microsoft Power Automate is a cloud-based platform hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud, which means that users do not need to manage the underlying infrastructure. This can be advantageous for organizations looking for a hassle-free deployment and management experience.

In summary, Airflow and Microsoft Power Automate differ in terms of programming flexibility, scalability, integration ecosystem, monitoring capabilities, cost, and deployment options. Airflow is more suitable for developers and complex workflows, while Microsoft Power Automate caters to non-technical users and simpler automation tasks with its no-code/low-code approach.

Advice on Airflow and Microsoft Power Automate
Needs advice
Apache SparkApache Spark

I am so confused. I need a tool that will allow me to go to about 10 different URLs to get a list of objects. Those object lists will be hundreds or thousands in length. I then need to get detailed data lists about each object. Those detailed data lists can have hundreds of elements that could be map/reduced somehow. My batch process dies sometimes halfway through which means hours of processing gone, i.e. time wasted. I need something like a directed graph that will keep results of successful data collection and allow me either pragmatically or manually to retry the failed ones some way (0 - forever) times. I want it to then process all the ones that have succeeded or been effectively ignored and load the data store with the aggregation of some couple thousand data-points. I know hitting this many endpoints is not a good practice but I can't put collectors on all the endpoints or anything like that. It is pretty much the only way to get the data.

See more
Replies (1)
Gilroy Gordon
Solution Architect at IGonics Limited · | 2 upvotes · 264.8K views

For a non-streaming approach:

You could consider using more checkpoints throughout your spark jobs. Furthermore, you could consider separating your workload into multiple jobs with an intermittent data store (suggesting cassandra or you may choose based on your choice and availability) to store results , perform aggregations and store results of those.

Spark Job 1 - Fetch Data From 10 URLs and store data and metadata in a data store (cassandra) Spark Job 2..n - Check data store for unprocessed items and continue the aggregation

Alternatively for a streaming approach: Treating your data as stream might be useful also. Spark Streaming allows you to utilize a checkpoint interval -

See more
Get Advice from developers at your company using StackShare Enterprise. Sign up for StackShare Enterprise.
Learn More
Pros of Airflow
Pros of Microsoft Power Automate
  • 51
  • 14
    Task Dependency Management
  • 12
    Beautiful UI
  • 12
    Cluster of workers
  • 10
  • 6
    Open source
  • 5
    Complex workflows
  • 5
  • 3
    Good api
  • 3
    Apache project
  • 3
    Custom operators
  • 2
    Be the first to leave a pro

    Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

    Cons of Airflow
    Cons of Microsoft Power Automate
    • 2
      Observability is not great when the DAGs exceed 250
    • 2
      Running it on kubernetes cluster relatively complex
    • 2
      Open source - provides minimum or no support
    • 1
      Logical separation of DAGs is not straight forward
      Be the first to leave a con

      Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

      What is Airflow?

      Use Airflow to author workflows as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) of tasks. The Airflow scheduler executes your tasks on an array of workers while following the specified dependencies. Rich command lines utilities makes performing complex surgeries on DAGs a snap. The rich user interface makes it easy to visualize pipelines running in production, monitor progress and troubleshoot issues when needed.

      What is Microsoft Power Automate?

      Microsoft Power Automate is a cloud-first, comprehensive automation platform, powered by low-code and AI. Modernize business processes, integrate operations at scale, and maintain visibility and control with enterprise-grade governance.

      Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

      Jobs that mention Airflow and Microsoft Power Automate as a desired skillset
      What companies use Airflow?
      What companies use Microsoft Power Automate?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Airflow or Microsoft Power Automate.
      Sign up for StackShare EnterpriseLearn More

      Sign up to get full access to all the companiesMake informed product decisions

      What tools integrate with Airflow?
      What tools integrate with Microsoft Power Automate?

      Sign up to get full access to all the tool integrationsMake informed product decisions

      Blog Posts

      What are some alternatives to Airflow and Microsoft Power Automate?
      It is a Python module that helps you build complex pipelines of batch jobs. It handles dependency resolution, workflow management, visualization etc. It also comes with Hadoop support built in.
      Apache NiFi
      An easy to use, powerful, and reliable system to process and distribute data. It supports powerful and scalable directed graphs of data routing, transformation, and system mediation logic.
      In a nutshell Jenkins CI is the leading open-source continuous integration server. Built with Java, it provides over 300 plugins to support building and testing virtually any project.
      AWS Step Functions
      AWS Step Functions makes it easy to coordinate the components of distributed applications and microservices using visual workflows. Building applications from individual components that each perform a discrete function lets you scale and change applications quickly.
      Pachyderm is an open source MapReduce engine that uses Docker containers for distributed computations.
      See all alternatives