A Quick Review of Microsoft Power Platform

Microsoft Power Platform offers various products including Power BI, Apps, Automate, and Virtual Agents. These products help to develop and build complex business solutions, analyze and draw data visualizations. Furthermore, they are also adept in automating business processes and develop virtual agents for communications.

The Power Platform products provide a platform that doesn’t require any code to build the applications. They have the simplest GUI making it super convenient for users in business or developers. Hence, it removes the need for IT in the organization.

Products under Microsoft Power Platform

  • Microsoft Power BI – Analyze data from different data sources;
  • Power Apps – Organization uses power apps to build mobile applications for the internal use of the organization;
  • Microsoft Power Automate – They help to reduce manual tasks by designing automated workflows;
  • Power Virtual Agent – These agents are used to help develop flexible chatbots to communicate with customers.

Power BI

Microsoft offers Power BI as the self-service business analytics tool. It is a vital part of the power platform along with the other bunch of tools in the bundle. Its offerings begin with the desktop version to the Power BI version that is hosted on the cloud. Power BI connects a wide range of data by designing interactive reports, dashboards, and stories. These reports and stories enjoy the support of compelling visualizations.

Power BI helps the user to connect to various heterogeneous sources of data. This is necessary to collect relevant data into the Power BI data model. Next, the users can then modify, shape, and convert the data according to the needs of the report. Later, the transformed data offers visuals in the form of graphs and charts to provide the necessary insights. Finally, these visualizations support different scenarios such as forecasts, storytelling, what-if analysis, and predictions among others.

Power Apps

It is an intuitive platform that helps organizations to build mobile applications for their internal purposes. Power Apps is a cool platform that offers drag and drops features to design apps. The user can create different controls to the user interface like text boxes and choice fields among others. It also allows users to use the media features such as videos, cameras, etc to build a modern mobile application. Additionally, there is a feature to connect to various data sources using the Power Apps. However, you need to publish the app in the organization after the development part is complete.

Microsoft Power Platform provides Power Apps in the form of platform-as-a-service (PaaS). This service helps the users to develop apps that can run on any of the modern web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox. And work well on native mobile apps such as Android, iOS, or Windows.

However, Power Apps can build mobile apps only for the internal workings of the organization. They do not help to develop apps for the customers of the world. This power platform doesn’t allow you to code. Hence, developers cannot tweak the underlying HTML codes or disturb the UI elements.

Power Automate

Microsoft Flow is changed to Power Automate in the recent past. This Power Platform helps businesses to automate workflow within the organization without writing any code. Modern businesses are looking forward to getting rid of manual tasks. Hence, they want to work in a faster and automated environment in the future.

These tasks include the automating of simple leave policies or sending out an email once a task is finished. Power Automate is available in several pre-designed templates from which you can choose a workflow and start working. Users can pick a template or build a workflow right from scratch. You can broadly classify the workflows in the following categories:

  • Automated Workflow – these workflows are based on triggers. It starts when an action is complete. E.g.: send a mail when a task is complete.
  • Button Workflow – these workflows are activated by the trigger of a button.
  • Scheduled Workflow – As the name suggests, they are triggered as per schedules or at regular intervals throughout the day.

Power Virtual Agents

The latest addition to the Microsoft Power Platform is the Virtual Agents. Microsoft offers bot-building features for their business users through this platform. With the help of Virtual Agents, users can build a virtual chatbot from scratch without having to write a single piece of code. You can implement the necessary logic and integration at the GUI of the Power Virtual Agent’s portal.

This platform is capable of handling the entire development lifecycle of a virtual chatbot. It helps right from the beginning of dialog creation to the deployment of the virtual agent to a channel. The channel can be Teams, Skype, or Slack among others. You can also additionally integrate Virtual Agent with the other tools of the Power Platform like Power Automate. These virtual agents are capable of triggering a workflow based on the reply from the customers.

Conclusion

We just saw the quick overview of the different tools in the Microsoft Power Platform. In a nutshell, this platform offers 4 main tools under the umbrella. Users can leverage Microsoft Power Apps to build business solutions, while they can automate particular business processes using Microsoft Power Automate. Microsoft Power BI takes care of analyzing the data and builds visualizations from various sources of data. Finally, Microsoft Power Virtual Agents helps to build a virtual chatbot for communications, without having to write even a single line of code.

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