Microsoft Power Apps – Embrace Speed with Low-code
Do you want to streamline your workflows, optimize resources while providing a seamless experience to your users? Are you ready to embrace a low-code application development platform for agility and cost savings? According to Gartner, around 50% of medium and large organizations will adopt low-code application platforms by 2023. Low-code application development platforms are the future, don’t miss the new wave for faster app development and best business performance.
A no-code solution from the Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Power Apps enables business users to build apps and modernize workflows to transform business processes. You need not be a tech expert in using Microsoft Power Apps, and any business user can build web, mobile and multi-channel applications in minutes, all with the best user experience, design, and responsive tech stack. Let us, deep-dive, into the solution.
Microsoft Power Apps – Key Differentiators to Deliver Business Value
What do you think are the key requirements for applications in this digital world? Responsive design, seamless data connections, workflow automation, and code simplicity seem to be acclaimed requirements in the application development landscape. A low-code application development platform, Power Apps leverages Microsoft Power Automate, Canvas apps, AI-Builder, and Microsoft Dataverse to enable any business user to build feature-rich and custom business applications at scale rapidly. What are these components?
Canvas apps – Best fit for simple task-based process, with simple drag and drop interface. Customizable interface with preformatted design elements, templates, and interactions; Users can customize forms, display, UI for scaling across devices. In short, you can leverage your earlier apps or the sample apps found in the Microsoft Power Apps according to your business needs.
Model-driven apps – Are you dealing with applications customized on your CRM or ERP systems? Does it involve complex workflows, and it can’t be simple drag and drop? Microsoft Power Apps has an option for model-driven apps to drive your interactions through business logic and workflows rather than a user interface. These apps have an interface based on the data models and interaction components with the data and workflow in the application.
Microsoft Dataverse – Microsoft Power Apps share the same data backend with other Microsoft services like Dynamics 365. You can custom-build applications from the data in Dynamics 365 and create reusable business rules and logic. Also, Dataverse is easy to manage, secure and it has rich metadata that can be directly used in Microsoft Power Apps.
Microsoft Power Automate (Microsoft Flow) – It doesn’t make an app if you have simple UI, drag and drop actions, and data connectors. It would be best to have workflows and triggers to perform actions according to app purpose and business needs. You can trigger defined flow or custom flow from Power Automate, a low-code automation solution in the Microsoft Power Platform to create or modify existing entities. Users can trigger another action based on pre-defined rules or after certain conditions in the previous action to automate the logic in the application and send notifications accordingly.
AI-Builder – Though it is an optional add-on with Power Apps, it has significant advantages to leverage artificial intelligence without any data scientists. AI-builder has a few pre-built AI models that can be used right away for a few common use cases. It also supports custom AI models that can be built and trained by developers without much effort. Bringing in AI without much technical expertise is another advantage in Microsoft Power Apps.
Portals – You can create impactful external websites for all the stakeholders using Power Apps Portals. Enhance your self-service capabilities to meet the demand of suppliers, employees, partners, and customers through these easy-to-use, customizable portals. Our recent blog has more info about the self-service capabilities in Microsoft Power Platform.
Top 5 Reasons to Leverage Microsoft Power Apps for your Business
- Easy integration with connectors – The hard part of app developers is connecting to the backend data; the drag and drop interface makes the front-end easy. Microsoft Power Apps integrates with over 400 connectors, and the most used are Office 365, SQL Server, Dynamics 365. Connecting to Twitter and saving specific tweets to SharePoint is amazingly easy with the connector’s library. You can select Twitter from the connector library and select the appropriate functions that you need to perform on the next screen. It is so simple, and you can create the app in minutes.
- Accelerated time to value – Take Waterfall or Agile development approaches; it takes a lot of time to witness the minimum viable product. But with Microsoft Power Apps, users don’t need any experience, and they can witness the app in hours. Modifying the application or any changes in the version can also be updated in a few hours.
- Platform agnostic – The Microsoft Power Apps applications run on Android, iOS, and Windows. If you want to access the web version from any modern web browser, the platform takes care of the differences. Power Apps adopt the latest responsive techniques to scale rapidly in this mobile-centric world.
- Reusable components – Users can create a custom Component Library if they want the replica in other apps or future versions. Be it canvas apps or model-driven apps; you can speed up development and bring consistency across the applications by utilizing the component library. Whenever the components are updated, it notifies the developers to adjust their applications according to the versioning.
- Security and Governance – Security and Governance controls are inherited from the Microsoft Power Platform via Office 365 or Azure controls and your business authentication configuration. The applications are administered via the admin center of the Power Platform to get the necessary support and controls when needed. Permissions and access are granted at app-level, form-level, and field-level to enable multi-step security.
Microsoft Power Apps – A Few Common Use Cases
Microsoft Power Apps addresses many common challenges that businesses face in their processes and systems. A few capabilities that offer more functionality for many companies:
Employee Onboarding – Power Apps can interact with and connect to data from other Microsoft services; you can use the pre-defined templates to create onboarding tasks and workflows for common orientation activities like payroll, assets, and policy guides.
Helpdesk – The most common support needed from various departments in a business is primarily unorganized. Be it IT service or HR issues or Finance issues or other operations support – Power Apps has pre-built flows; actions and you can customize them too as per your need. All you need is your organizational structure, and you can create the app in minutes.
Quality Checks/Inspections – Power Apps integrates with camera-enabled devices so that you can build apps for image processing functionalities. Manufacturers, Retailers, Mining, and Construction companies can capture the images of products/work sites for quality checks and inspection. Image integration has many more use cases like facial recognition, text recognition, and resource management.
Invoice Processing – Multiple workflows and text recognition capabilities need to be enabled to process invoices in minimal time. Business users can leverage Power Apps forms & interface to design the front-end, AI-Builder capabilities to extract data as and when required, and Power Automate for any workflow automation. A complex process can be made simple with all the capabilities from the Power Platforms rather than individual parts.
Fundraising – Leveraging a model-driven approach, you can design fundraising applications with complex entities like campaigns, donors, recipients, and users. In this case, the entities depend on each other and leverage data from the underlying CRM or database.
Why do you need a Microsoft Partner?
Power Apps proves to be a more accessible interface for your custom apps, unlike traditional app development. Low-code app development improves productivity and improves agility; besides these advantages, you need a strong development strategy to align with your challenges and goals. A partner like us can help you with:
- Cost savings by identifying familiar challenges and developing plans accordingly in your app development process.
- Draft a future state and create efficient and scalable apps for your stakeholders.
- Leverage other Microsoft solutions like Power BI and Power Virtual Agents, Azure to add more value to your business.
- Democratize your app development with deep industry knowledge and strong domain expertise.
Do you want to witness significant RoI in your app development? A partner like Saxon can mitigate your app development risks with substantial returns in the long term.
Start your conversation with our experts for more information.
Khalil Sheikh is the Executive Vice President of Solutions and strategy at Saxon. Under his leadership, Saxon is building ROI driven Data Science AI/ML and recommendation engines for its fortune 1000 customers. Khalil has extensive experience in the Software & IT services industry and in turning around businesses through actionable business intelligence leveraging AI. With more than 28 years of experience across the industry verticals, he has led several successful Data Science & digital transformation journeys for ISV’s and enterprises. He led CTO/CIO forums in the valley and is known for fostering creativity, collaboration, and diversity.