Exports are used to extract data from an application or system. Exports can run standalone, or in the context of a Flow.
Standalone Exports are useful for integrations where user actions (like clicking a button) need to invoke an external application's API in real-time and return the results immediately. Standalone exports are especially useful for applications that need to integrate with more than one other applications, and/or applications where the development environment is less than ideal and writing native API client code would be counter productive. Celigo uses standalone Exports extensively in it's spreadsheet and email sync products.
Exports running in the context of a Flow will execute asynchronously and automatically break exported data down into one or more pages and then stream those pages to one or more imports.