Many people that have SharePoint 2103 or 2016 on-prem environments have asked if they can use Flow and if so, how. The short answer is “yes!” The long answer is “Yes! But not right now if you are a government agency because it isn’t ready for .mil or .gov email addresses and also we will need to figure out how to make it comply and work within your security rules and regulations.” One great thing is that if the data gateway for Flow is created, it can also be used for Power BI, PowerApps, Azure Logic Apps, and Azure Analysis Services.
Since I was getting so many questions on how setting up Flow with an on- prem environment would work, I decided to set up a SharePoint 2016 environment using a CloudShare account so I could test it out myself. I will preface the rest of this post by saying that I in no way consider myself a server admin and have only been given server level access on a few occasions. This was my first time setting up a SharePoint environment ever (shout out to my friend Stephen Heister who helped me when I got stuck on this part).
Setting up the SharePoint environment was the biggest challenge for me, creating the data gateway for Flow was fairly simple. I was able to follow instructions provided by Microsoft without any hiccups. I will say that my environment was configured very basic without any unique security restrictions. The TCP 443 outbound port was open and I had no firewall, or proxy blocking connections. If this was not the case the data gateway may have been a lot harder to create. Here are the steps, but I would recommend checking out the official Flow Documentation with instructions at the link provided above for more detail.
- Download the gateway-installation wizard and install it on a machine on the same network as the environment on-prem. Get to the installation wizard by clicking the cog within Flow and selecting Gateways. You will then be provided a link to Install a Gateway. Prerequisites: .NET 4.5 Framework, 64-bit version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 or later. Recommended: 8 Core CPU, 8 GB Memory, 64 bit version of Windows 2012 R2 or later.
- Install data gateway on a machine on the same network as the on-premise SharePoint 2013 or 2016 environment. The machine must always be connected to the internet. SharePoint Gateways support HTTP traffic but not HTTPS traffic. You can also connect with SQL Server, Oracle, Informix, Filesystem, and DB2 on-premise.
- Configure and register the new Gateway . Choose a recovery key and document * If you get an error try using Local System Account instead of the NT Service\PBIEgwService
- Restart the Gateway either using Powershell commands or within the Gateway. The gateway creates an outbound connection to Azure Service Bus. It communicates on outbound ports: TCP 443 (default), 5671, 5672, 9350 thru 9354. The gateway doesn’t require inbound ports.
- Sign into Flow and create the Data connection with the gateway.