An Introduction to Microsoft PowerApps and the Power Platform

Power BI

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Microsoft’s PowerApps first appeared on the scene in 2015, when the product was first released. PowerApps has evolved into a strategic tool that lets businesses of all sizes and from a range of sectors construct scalable business apps with minimal coding and a quick point-and-click approach over the course of four years.

We’d like to give some advice on how customers may take their PowerApps applications to the next level in light of recent PowerApps improvements. The latest PowerApps features, such as data integration via the Common Data Service, external user access via the PowerApps site, and the option to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) to your application via AI Builder, give businesses more tools to help them achieve their goals.

What is PowerApps?

PowerApps is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that allows business users to create, run, and manage applications without having to worry about the complexities of setting up and maintaining their own infrastructure. To put it another way, there is little to no coding required, and the app can be shared across iOS, Android, and Windows devices. To create a data flow from source to destination and transform the data before importing it, you can create custom templates with predefined entities and field mappings.

The beauty of PowerApps is that you can customise your apps to meet your specific business requirements. This allows you to, first, digitalize business processes to make them more efficient, and, second, respond more quickly to changing markets without having to develop a software solution.

Leaders will find PowerApps to be a compelling business case. The tool’s level of accessibility is one of its most appealing features. This makes it easier for employees across your organisation to contribute to the achievement of business goals and to improve automation and optimization.

Microsoft Power Apps overview

Put all your data to work with Common Data Service for Apps

  • Create apps quickly with a standardised data model that includes business logic, security, and integration.
  • Extend to meet your specific requirements and integrate with other apps and services.
  • With rich metadata, store data in standard and custom entities.
  • Create PowerApps apps and automate Flows using data from CDS.
  • The Common Data Model (CDM) is a set of schemas (entities, attributes, and relationships) that represent business concepts and activities within a set of well-defined semantics.
  • A fully managed, enterprise-grade datastore is included with PowerApps.

Cloud and on-premises connectivity through PowerApps

  • Over 230 cloud services, files, databases, and web APIs are built-in.
  • The On-Premises Data Gateway provides seamless hybrid connectivity to on-premises systems.
  • Create custom connectors quickly with a tried-and-true platform.
  • Custom code can be used to extend applications.
  • Create user-friendly custom controls and connectors.
  • Use Azure Machine Learning, Cognitive Services, Bing APIs, custom code, or any other service to create advanced client or server logic.
  • Integrate with Microsoft services such as Power BI embed, Microsoft Flow, Microsoft SharePoint, Azure Blob Storage, Azure AD B2C, and Azure Application insights to enrich your portal with rich content and give your customers a personalised experience.

The Power Platform

What is the Power Platform, and how does it work? It lives up to its name in many ways. Power Platform combines PowerApps, Power BI, and Microsoft to create a powerful tool for the modern workplace. All three elements work together to give business users the ability to create custom business apps, automate workflows to increase productivity, and analyse data for valuable insights, regardless of their technical knowledge.

Using the connector library and Common Data Services, Power Platform allows you to put your data to work by connecting to various business systems.

It’s critical to use all three tools—PowerApps, Power BI, and Microsoft Flow—at the same time for the innovative and efficient enterprise looking to get the most out of the Power Platform. Let’s take a closer look at each of these tools and the advantages they provide for your business:

1. Integrate your data with PowerApps

Are you ready to transform your business app into a productivity app? You can use the Data Integrator to pull data from a variety of sources into Common Data Service, where it can be standardised to ensure that your app is scalable, compliant, and tailored to your specific business requirements. You can, for example, take Salesforce data and integrate it into an app that your sales reps use. You’ll be able to extend your apps at this point to not only store data but also model processes and business logic.

2. Employ Power BI

Through insightful visualisations, Power BI helps you turn your data into a strategic asset, allowing you to make quick business decisions. Power BI, as one of the key components of the Power Platform, is available to external users who have access to the Power Portal. Users can access Power BI embedded dashboards and reports, as well as create Power BI data flows, thanks to its seamless integration with PowerApps. Data flows are enabled by various form factors, and business rules can be built around them.

3. Automate tasks across apps with Microsoft Flow

Microsoft Flow is the third tool in the Power Platform, and it integrates seamlessly with PowerApps. It allows businesses to create and automate workflows and tasks across multiple applications and services. You can stream workflows across multiple apps and transform traditionally repetitive and time-consuming tasks and processes into automated, multistep workflows using this tool in conjunction with PowerApps.

Why Addend Analytic?

With the help of a PowerApps partner, you can ensure that your app is everything you need and more, capable of being deployed across your organisation, pulling data from internal and external applications, and providing analytics-based insights to help you take your data to the next level.

To help you create PowerApps tailored to your business, Addend Analytic offers expertise in data integration and analytics, a solid understanding of data architecture, experience in building enterprise-grade applications, and a deep industry partnership with Microsoft. We handle the entire process from start to finish, including requirements gathering and UI design, and we use Common Data Service to map disparate data sources across your organisation.

To learn more about how you can use PowerApps and the Power Platform in your organisation, contact one of our solution experts today.