Microsoft quickly innovate, replace and launch new products and solutions, which can make staying on prime of changes difficult. However, this frequent tempo of innovation makes Microsoft applied sciences very exciting. One of many biggest new areas from Microsoft that you will read loads about is the Power Platform.
Note: This article has been up to date as Circulation has been re-branded as Power Automate. Some visuals stay branded as Flow.
What is the Power Platform?
The ‘Power Platform’ is a collective term for three Microsoft products: Power BI, PowerApps and Power Automate (beforehand known as Circulate). They provide the means to help folks simply manipulate, surface, automate and analyse data and can be used with Office 365 and Dynamics 365 (as well as different third-party apps and different Microsoft services). The Power Platform is feasible thanks to the Common Data Service (or CDS), which is essentially the underlying data platform that provides a unified and simplified data schema so that applications and companies can inter-operate.
Why is the Power Platform so essential?
In this digital age, we are extremely reliant on data – and the amount of data companies are creating is frequently increasing. While all this data is inevitable, it is useless unless firms gain insights and that means from it - to gain tangible value.
Historically, data evaluation, app creation or automation could be achieved by IT/Development teams. This would require employees to outline their requirements and aims, submit these requests to their IT department (or even an exterior companion) after which see whether or not it was approved and subsequently, wait for it to be built. This would be time-consuming and would use valuable resources internally or be pricey if fulfilled externally. What're more, these requesting the solution would are likely to have a right away need and waiting for weeks could cause inside delays.
This is why the Power Platform is so exciting. The Power Platform enables data democratisation – the ability for digital data to be accessible to the everyday (non-technical) end user. It provides three technologies that enable workers to do more with their data themselves without coding knowledge. While it doesn’t allow the intricacies and flexibility of customized coding, it does provide a easy methodology for many customers to be able to create, automate or analyse their data in ways which have never been doable for the common worker.
PowerApps is a low-code approach to custom app development, allowing users to quickly create apps with a ‘point and click’ approach. It means that you can:
Build mobile-pleasant apps quickly and without development knowledge and reducing pressure on busy IT teams
Connect with and surface data from your enterprise applications, equivalent to Dynamics 365 and Office 365 (and in addition third-party apps)
Surface key data right into a user-friendly app to assist data entry – which means users only see the information they need to fulfil a selected task
Power Automate was known as Microsoft Flow. This permits you to create automated workflows between your Microsoft services or different third-party applications, which allows workers to avoid carrying out repetitive tasks and save valuable time. It lets you:
Use pre-constructed automation templates for common automations (within the Stream Gallery)
Create you own automations by connecting varied applications, corresponding to Outlook, SharePoint Dynamics 365 or non-Microsoft apps like Twitter, Asana, Gmail, MailChimp etc.
Set up triggers, alerts, automated emails, push notifications and much more – with no coding and in minutes
Total it allows you to save time, reduce human error and streamline your processes
Power BI is a business analytics software which lets you simply hook up with data sources, create visuals and acquire business intelligence quickly. It means that you can:
Click and connect with Microsoft and third-party cloud providers, as well as on-premise data sources
Simply manipulate data and create visuals, resembling charts, dashboards, maps and lots of more – so you may present your data in a simple-to-digest format
Use natural language to query data and get results (i.e. "show me our sales pipeline for 2018 by month, by sales particular person")
Overall, permitting you to simply analyse and make sense of advanced data to enable continuous improvement
How does the Power Platform fit with the wider Microsoft strategy?
The Power Platform connects to a wide range of data sources – together with third-party apps reminiscent of Google Analytics and Twitter, however it is extremely highly effective when working with Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Microsoft pitch the Power Platform as a way to "unlock the potential of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 quicker than you ever thought possible" so you can simply extend, customise and integrate these services.
The Power Platform goes to be a big area of funding from Microsoft and as it continues to be fairly new, we anticipate that it will be recurrently updated and improved because the products mature. What’s more, as Microsoft continue to focus on bringing all their applied sciences closer together, we will anticipate the Power Platform to be a key player for this – helping connect services like Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure easily with a low-code/no-code approach.
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