Microsoft quickly innovate, update and release new products and options, which can make staying on prime of changes difficult. Nonetheless, this frequent pace of innovation makes Microsoft applied sciences very exciting. One of many biggest new areas from Microsoft that you’ll read quite a bit about is the Power Platform.
Note: This article has been updated as Flow 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 three Microsoft products: Power BI, PowerApps and Power Automate (previously known as Stream). They provide the means to help people 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 other Microsoft companies). The Power Platform is possible thanks to the Frequent Data Service (or CDS), which is essentially the undermendacity data platform that provides a unified and simplified data schema so that applications and providers can inter-operate.
Why is the Power Platform so necessary?
In this digital age, we are extremely reliant on data – and the quantity of data firms are creating is regularly increasing. While all this data is inevitable, it is useless unless firms gain insights and that means from it – to realize tangible value.
Historically, data evaluation, app creation or automation can be achieved by IT/Development teams. This would require workers to stipulate their necessities and aims, submit these requests to their IT department (and even an external accomplice) after which see whether it was approved and subsequently, wait for it to be built. This could be time-consuming and would use valuable resources internally or be expensive if fulfilled externally. What’re more, those requesting the answer would are likely to have a direct need and waiting for weeks may cause inner delays.
This is why the Power Platform is so exciting. The Power Platform enables data democratisation – the ability for digital information to be accessible to the typical (non-technical) end user. It provides three applied sciences that permit employees 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 potential for the typical worker.
PowerApps is a low-code approach to custom app development, permitting customers to quickly create apps with a ‘point and click’ approach. It permits you to:
Build mobile-pleasant apps quickly and without development knowledge and reducing pressure on busy IT teams
Hook up with and surface data from your corporation applications, resembling Dynamics 365 and Office 365 (and also third-party apps)
Surface key data into a consumer-pleasant app to help data entry – that means users only see the knowledge they need to fulfil a particular task
Power Automate used to be known as Microsoft Flow. This means that you can create automated workflows between your Microsoft services or other third-party applications, which permits employees to avoid carrying out repetitive tasks and save valuable time. It means that you can:
Use pre-constructed automation templates for common automations (within the Stream Gallery)
Create you own automations by connecting numerous applications, comparable 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
Overall it means that you can save time, reduce human error and streamline your processes
Power BI is a enterprise analytics device which lets you easily hook up with data sources, create visuals and acquire enterprise intelligence quickly. It permits you to:
Click and join with Microsoft and third-party cloud companies, as well as on-premise data sources
Easily manipulate data and create visuals, comparable to charts, dashboards, maps and many more – so you can present your data in an easy-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 individual”)
General, permitting you to simply analyse and make sense of complicated 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 – together with third-party apps akin to Google Analytics and Twitter, nonetheless 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 sooner than you ever thought potential” so you may easily extend, customise and integrate these services.
The Power Platform goes to be a big space of investment from Microsoft and as it is still pretty new, we expect that it will probably be frequently updated and improved as the products mature. What’s more, as Microsoft proceed to give attention to bringing all their technologies closer collectively, we are able to count on the Power Platform to be a key player for this – helping join providers like Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure simply with a low-code/no-code approach.
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