May 22, 2019
At Microsoft Build 2019, Microsoft’s annual developer conference, the company showcased new technologies for developers to create intelligent and productive solutions. Announcements included new collaboration and productivity services across apps and the web, as well as AI capabilities in Microsoft 365 to further address the changing nature of work.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, outlined Microsoft’s vision and highlighted a collection of cloud products for business intelligence, app development and app connectivity. These products are known as the Power Platform. Introduced back in 2018, the Power Platform is bringing business process automation benefits to all types of organizations.
So, what is the Power Platform? It consists of three tools: Power BI, PowerApps and Flow.
- Power BI – Power BI allows users to create powerful graphical images and reports from a wide variety of data sources. Power BI offers a click and drop interface that anyone can use. Creating reports like this with little, or no code empowers managers and employees closest to the data to create exactly what is needed for each specific situation.
- PowerApps – PowerApps provides the way to act on the data that Power BI provides. Non-developers can create sophisticated apps by using pre-built app templates. These templates act as a starting point for many common development scenarios. Once the right template is found, users can customize the app to use the right data, the right inputs, and the right logic.
- Flow – Microsoft Flow provides a way to generate automated actions and responses based upon the gathered data. Using a similar drag and drop interface, a user can create a workflow that checks a spreadsheet that holds due date information, evaluates it against today’s date, and sends out an email with the information required. Microsoft Flow has hundreds of connectors, making it possible to have data from one system show up in another.
Microsoft’s CEO still sees Azure, Microsoft 365 (including Windows 10, Office 365 and security tools) and gaming as growth drivers and strong platforms for outside app developers. The Power Platform is the newest addition to the ever-growing platform opportunity and provides more customization to help stay on top of the constant changes we find in technology. The Power Platform has been described as a service, and remains the perfect companion to the Azure Platform, which provides the underlying infrastructure. These tools are useful for many people and are not limited to tech savvy developers. The Power Platform is Microsoft’s long-term promise that these three applications will work together for years to come.
Microsoft also announced the following Power Platform upgrades in June:
- PowerApps Component Framework – Enables developers to build reusable components into their apps.
- Power BI Embedded: Now offers AI through a drag and drop experience, as well as support for paginated reports. This helps to streamline the packaging, development, and testing of app types and entities, forms, views, plugins, and other dependencies.
- PowerApps Quality Checkers – Identifies performance, stability, and usability risks in PowerApps by pinpointing errors, run-time performance issues, and accessibility guidance at the code level. It analyzes related components and offers links to documentation that explains how to rectify outstanding bugs.
For those who are interested, Microsoft’s Power Platform is further detailed here.
Convverge is committed to helping you implement, extend and configure the business apps you need that leverage the Microsoft Power Platform.