Microsoft rapidly innovate, update and release new products and options, which can make staying on high of modifications difficult. However, this frequent tempo of innovation makes Microsoft technologies very exciting. One of many biggest new areas from Microsoft that you'll read loads about is the Power Platform.
Note: This article has been updated as Movement has been re-branded as Power Automate. Some visuals remain branded as Flow.
What's the Power Platform?
The ‘Power Platform’ is a collective term for 3 Microsoft products: Power BI, PowerApps and Power Automate (beforehand known as Movement). They provide the means to assist individuals simply manipulate, surface, automate and analyse data and can be used with Office 365 and Dynamics 365 (as well as other third-party apps and different Microsoft companies). The Power Platform is feasible thanks to the Frequent Data Service (or CDS), which is essentially the underlying data platform that provides a unified and simplified data schema so that applications and providers 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 corporations are creating is continually increasing. While all this data is inevitable, it is useless unless firms gain insights and meaning from it - to achieve tangible value.
Historically, data analysis, app creation or automation can be achieved by IT/Development teams. This would require employees to stipulate their requirements and goals, submit these requests to their IT division (or even an external companion) after which see whether it was approved and subsequently, wait for it to be built. This can be time-consuming and would use valuable resources internally or be expensive if fulfilled externally. What're more, these requesting the solution would are inclined to have a direct want and waiting for weeks might cause inside delays.
This is why the Power Platform is so exciting. The Power Platform enables data democratisation – the ability for digital info to be accessible to the typical (non-technical) finish user. It provides three applied sciences that allow workers to do more with their data themselves without coding knowledge. While it doesn’t permit the intricacies and flexibility of custom coding, it does provide a easy methodology for most users 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, permitting users to quickly create apps with a ‘level and click’ approach. It allows you to:
Build mobile-pleasant apps quickly and without development knowledge and reducing pressure on busy IT groups
Connect to and surface data from your corporation applications, corresponding to Dynamics 365 and Office 365 (and also third-party apps)
Surface key data into a consumer-pleasant app to assist data entry – meaning customers only see the knowledge they should fulfil a specific task
Power Automate was once known as Microsoft Flow. This lets you create automated workflows between your Microsoft services or different third-party applications, which permits employees to avoid finishing up repetitive tasks and save valuable time. It lets you:
Use pre-built automation templates for frequent automations (within the Circulation Gallery)
Create you own automations by connecting varied applications, reminiscent of Outlook, SharePoint Dynamics 365 or non-Microsoft apps like Twitter, Asana, Gmail, MailChimp etc.
Arrange triggers, alerts, automated emails, push notifications and far more – with no coding and in minutes
Overall it permits you to save time, reduce human error and streamline your processes
Power BI is a enterprise analytics tool which lets you easily connect with data sources, create visuals and achieve enterprise 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, similar to charts, dashboards, maps and lots of more – so you can present your data in a straightforward-to-digest format
Use natural language to question data and get results (i.e. "show me our sales pipeline for 2018 by month, by sales individual")
Total, allowing you to easily analyse and make sense of complex data to enable continual improvement
How does the Power Platform fit with the wider Microsoft strategy?
The Power Platform connects to a wide range of data sources – including third-party apps akin to Google Analytics and Twitter, nonetheless it is extraordinarily 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 sooner than you ever thought doable" so you possibly can easily prolong, customise and integrate these services.
The Power Platform goes to be a big area of investment from Microsoft and as it is still pretty new, we anticipate that it can be often updated and improved because the products mature. What’s more, as Microsoft proceed to focus on bringing all their technologies closer together, we can anticipate the Power Platform to be a key player for this – serving to join providers like Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure simply with a low-code/no-code approach.
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