Power Platform Explained in 5 Minutes

Microsoft is adept at rapid innovations, and updates, and releases new products and solutions very frequently. These frequent inventions are what make Microsoft technologies interesting and exciting. The latest area of development is the Power Platform and you will be reading about it a lot.

The Power Platform

The term “Power Platform” is a collective for four products of Microsoft: The Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, and the Power Virtual Agents. This platform helps people to easily manipulate, surface, automate, and analyze data. It is used with Office 365, Dynamics 365, third-party apps, and other Microsoft services.

Common Data Service is the underlying data platform that provides a simplified and unified data scheme. This makes the Power Platform’s applications and services to inter-operate.

Why is the Power Platform important?

We are completely dependent on data in this digital era. Furthermore, the organizations are pumping out enormous quantities of data day after day. While all of this data is necessary, it becomes useless if there is no streamlined process attached to it. Companies need to gain insights and meaning from all the data to squeeze out a tangible value.

History says that automation, analysis, and app creation are usually handled by the IT/Development teams. Firstly, the older process requires the staff to outline their needs and requirements. Next, they wait for the approval of the IT department (or an external source) after submitting their requests. Finally, they can see the product structure if it meets the approval criteria. This is a time-consuming process that uses valuable internal resources or spends the money to source externally. The ones requesting the solutions might need immediate help or keep waiting for weeks leading to internal delays.

This is where the Power Platform makes a dramatic entrance. It is so exciting because it enables data democratization. Data democratization is the method of helping non-technical folks to understand and access digital information. The technologies from the Power Platform help staff with no coding experience to create solutions for their data problems.

However, Power Platform doesn’t allow the flexibilities and intricacies of custom coding. But it provides a simple method for non-technical users to create, automate, and analyze their data in ways never before.

Power Apps

It is a low-code approach to personalized app development. This platform allows users to build applications from scratch using a point-and-click method. Power Apps helps you to:

  • Create mobile-friendly apps on the go without any technical background. This decreases the pressure on any busy IT team;
  • Connect and bring out the data from other business applications like Office 365, Dynamics 365, and other third-party apps;
  • Surface key data into a user-friendly app. This process helps data entry for users who need to see only information that is necessary for completing a specific task.

Power Automate

Previously and famously known as the Microsoft Flow, Power Automate helps to automate processes as the name suggests. This platform helps you automate workflows that remove tedious and repetitive tasks for the staff. Furthermore, it saves valuable time and allows you to:

  • Pick pre-built automation templates for simple and common automation;
  • Build automation workflows by connecting various applications – Outlook, SharePoint Dynamics 365 or other non-Microsoft apps like Twitter, Asana, Gmail, MailChimp, etc;
  • Streamline the process, saves time, and reduce the overall human error;
  • Set up triggers; push notifications, automated emails with no coding, and within seconds.

Power BI

Power BI is a Microsoft tool for business analytics that helps you to connect to different data sources. Next, it allows you to create data visualization to build business intelligence immediately. Power BI helps to:

  • Connect with Microsoft, third-party cloud services, and in-house data sources;
  • Simply manipulate data and build data visualizations in charts, dashboards, charts, and others. Overall this platform helps you to present data in a simple and easy-to-digest format;
  • Type query in natural language to get data results;

Does Power Platform fit the overall Microsoft Strategy?

Power Platform not only connects the Microsoft applications but connects to a wider range of data sources. That includes platforms like Google Analytics and Twitter. However, it is extremely powerful while working with the likes of Office 365 or Dynamics 365.

Microsoft calls out to Power Platform to unleash the true potential of Office and Dynamics faster than ever before. Furthermore, it allows you to customize, extend, and integrate these powerhouses. Power Platform is a huge investment area from Microsoft but it is still fairly new. However, there are high expectations for regular updates and improvements as the products mature.

Microsoft’s main goals are to integrate the different technologies closer to one another.  Power Platform will play a key role in connecting the various services – Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure in an easy low-code/no-code approach.

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