Microsoft is a company distinguished by the high frequency of implementing subsequent innovative changes, updates and new products. On the one hand, this translates into a growing number of technological solutions that are able to meet various needs of companies, but on the other hand, it makes it difficult to track subsequent changes.
Therefore, we try to keep you informed about what is happening in the world of Microsoft. Today we share with you information about one of the most interesting and fastest-developed Microsoft products, which is the Power Platform.
What is Power Platform?
Power Platform is the collective term for three Microsoft products: Power Apps, Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow), and Power BI. They provide tools that allow you to easily modify, automate and analyze data and its flow – they can be used together with Office 365, Dynamics 365, as well as other Microsoft services and solutions of external suppliers.
Power Platform is based on Dataverse (formerly Common Data Service), which is the underlying data platform that provides a unified and simplified data flow diagram so that different Microsoft applications and services can easily connect and collaborate.
What makes Power Platform interesting?
Due to the enormous technological advances that have taken place over the past decade – the business world is incomparably more data-dependent than ever, and this trend continues to accelerate. However, the data itself is useless if the company does not have the tools to work on it properly.
The Power Platform provides three technologies that allow employees a huge range of possibilities when it comes to working with data – including adapting these tools to their specific needs without the need or with the limited need of programming.
Of course, most advanced or custom Power Platform solutions still require the support of a developer, but even then the amount of programming is limited. This translates primarily into a significant reduction in the implementation time, lower costs when using external resources, or reducing the load on internal IT resources.
PowerApps, Power Automate & Power BI
The idea behind Power Apps is the process of creating applications in a way that does not take many months of programmers’ work. Power Apps gives users the ability to create applications without writing code or with the limited need of using additional code in case of more sophisticated solutions. As we have mentioned above.
Applications created with PowerApps, or Power Platform in general, can be used on various devices – Android or iOS phone, laptop, tablet, desktop computer, or as a web application.
Security is also an important component of the Power Apps service and the entire Power Platform platform. Power Apps offers high-end security, the ability to enable multi-factor authentication, the ability to modify permissions and accesses in the company, which can be managed through Azure Active Directory.
PowerApps has the functionality of the activity log, additional security to avoid data loss, and the ability to manage data from the administrator panel, which gives the person responsible for administering the central access to managing applications throughout the organization from one place.
A key advantage that applies to all applications within the Power Platform is the possibility of two-way integration of data with existing systems. This means, inter alia, the ability to use data in Dynamics 365 from the level of an application created with PowerApps and vice versa.
- Creating applications adapted to mobile devices – quickly and without the need to involve significant IT resources,
- Integration and mutual sharing of data from business applications such as Dynamics 365, Office 365, and others,
- High level of data security, additional tools to avoid data loss.
Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow)
Power Automate, formerly known as Microsoft Flow, enables process automation to eliminate or reduce employees’ everyday lives – simple, repetitive tasks, and thus eliminate the human errors that accompany them. Power Automate is a powerful workflow automation tool that allows you to connect different systems with each other and use the data contained in them.
Power Automate enables the automation and construction of business processes in existing applications. Starting from simple automation of uncomplicated processes, and ending with very advanced, multi-branch scenarios based on different reactions to specific user behavior.
A good example of a simple process that can be automated with Power Automate would be, for example, the use of this tool to support the application approval process combined with notifications of approval or rejection of an application – on various platforms, on which individuals in the organization work.
Power Automate translates into a series of various functionalities. Some of them are natively integrated with Microsoft Cloud applications, and others can be integrated, for example, via Microsoft Dataverse. You can also create custom workflows or applications via the Power Platform.
Power Automate highlihts:
- Ready-to-use automation templates for typical processes (using Flow Gallery),
- Create your own automations by combining various applications such as Outlook, SharePoint Dynamics 365 or non-Microsoft applications such as Twitter, Gmail, Asana or MailChimp etc.
- Set up alerts, automatic e-mails, notifications and much more – no programming required,
- Save time, reduce the amount of human errors and overally streamline your processes.
The Power BI service allows you to view interactive dashboards in real-time and provides insights in the form of a single window. With Power BI, you can get a deep view into your company – no matter where your data is located, so the intention is to combine and consolidate that data to give you a more complete insight into your business.
Thanks to a deeper insight into what is happening in the organization, it enables the improvement of the decision-making process based on data and their analysis. There are currently over 275 different types of data sources that can be connected to the Power Platform.
There are various data sources within Power BI, such as a SQL database, Dynamics framework, or data from file servers such as Excel. All these sources can be combined to obtain the so-called big picture.
Power BI navigation dashboards are not limited to downloading data from Microsoft tools. As Microsoft provides multiple data connectors, the Power Platform can integrate with other cloud-based solutions as well. In addition, it is also possible to connect to older applications if they have the REST API.
Power BI highlights:
- Integration with cloud services from Microsoft and other companies within just a few clicks,
- Easy and convenient work on data, creating visualizations, charts, dashboards, maps and many other functionalities that allow you to present data in an easy-to-understand format,
- The ability to easily analyze and understand even very complex data.
How does Power Platform fit into Microsoft’s strategy?
Power Platform connects a wide range of different data sources – Office 365, Dynamics 365, but also third-party applications, such as Google Analytics or Twitter. Microsoft presents Power Platform as a way to unlock the full potential of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 in a simpler and faster way than ever before. Power Platform also enables easy and quick expansion of the range of available functionalities within the Microsoft environment.
According to the announcements of Microsoft – Power Platform will be an area of large investments in the coming years. You can expect regular updates, changes, and further improvements. It seems that the Power Platform is to be one of the key elements that will bind the entire Microsoft environment – Office 365 / Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure into one ecosystem.
How to get access to the Power Platform?
Contact us – we will advise you on how to purchase a Power Platform license, we will help you implement this solution in your company and we will adapt it to the needs of the organization. Write to us using the contact form by clicking HERE or call +48 61 624 24 98.