Businesses across the world are in a period of digital transformation and need application development capabilities that allows them to improve workflows and processes with ease. PowerApps is Microsoft’s latest solution that streamlines app development and addresses the growing demand for fast ways to develop and customise applications. During 2018, PowerApps received many significant updates to solidify its role with other key Microsoft services, such as Flow and Power BI. Using PowerApps your business can create business solutions quickly and easily.
What is PowerApps?
PowerApps is a powerful tool used to create business apps that function on almost all web browsers – Android, iOS and Windows – with a simplified interface for all users.
PowerApps is part of Microsoft’s business application platform, now referred to as Power Platform. PowerApps is natively integrated with workflow engines such as Microsoft Flow to add logic and automate your processes easier. You can also pull data from Dynamics 365 or Office 365 to seamlessly create customised apps that solve problems specific to your business or fulfil a variety of processes that are usually limited to on-premises or dependent on corporate connected PCs.
How does PowerApps work?
Similar to Office 365, PowerApps has a simplified ‘drag-and-drop’ graphical tool for users to create their apps. You can then add controls (text fields), forms, media (photo, video) and screens, you can also connect your mobile app to external data sources and publish your app to the web and across multiple mobile and desktop devices through user-friendly menus.
To get started using PowerApps;
- Install the PowerApps Studio app from the Windows Store
- Login using your Microsoft account credentials
- Choose a pre-built template and choose its layout (phone or tablet). Tablet ensures your app automatically operates within a web browser
- Configure a connection to your desired data source, such as Dropbox or OneDrive
What can you create on PowerApps?
Generally, apps that are developed using PowerApps usually fall into two categories;
Model-Driven Apps are generally used for functions using your business data. These apps can operate on all devices with a responsive design and generally display data dashboards, forms, checklists and charts to benefit user experience.
Canvas Apps tend to follow more specific business processes. You can use Azure Functions to extend your app’s capabilities to the cloud, embed your apps directly into your SaaS tools or website to create an integrated solution, while creating Excel like expressions to add logic and define the business rules that run automated workflows, validate your data and drive processes.
Basically, non-developers can bring together data across solutions and workflows with ease, while experienced programmers can build powerful custom apps on the platform. Using PowerApps allows you to develop and deploy apps that are developed in-house to your team at a faster rate.
Does your business need PowerApps?
Traditionally application development was a difficult task for businesses to complete effectively. Traditional tools often required coding experience, which meant many individuals were unable to develop applications. Utilising PowerApps has a variety of benefits to businesses, such as;
1.Agility of Software Design
Building new apps or editing existing apps can often take time and specific skillsets. However, using PowerApps users can make basic changes to model-driven apps with ease.
Apps that are created using PowerApps are immediately mobile and cloud compatible. Once your app is completed, it is easy to distribute it to smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops.
One of the main key strengths of PowerApps is that it is a Microsoft solution, which means that PowerApps is compatible with other Microsoft solutions. This allows your team to work seamlessly using your application.
In general, PowerApps allows your business to drive digital transformation at a pace that suits your business. Its extensive capabilities ensure that app experts get the most from Microsoft’s integrated business development platform, partnering with a software developer allows you to create apps that target specific business processes.
As it is integrated with Office 365, Teams and SharePoint and is part of the Microsoft Power Platform (Flow and Power BI), PowerApps is best suited to businesses who wish to leverage the Microsoft ecosystem to customise their business platform.
As Microsoft Gold Partners, we are experts in Microsoft Technologies. We have partnered with many businesses across Ireland to boost their business processes utilising Microsoft’s capabilities. To learn more about how PowerApps can benefit your business, contact our team!