Perhaps not as well-known as other Microsoft software, Power Apps nevertheless positions itself as a remarkable utility for developing custom apps, personalized to your data and your systems to meet your teams’ expectations. This suite allows developers to create professional applications that can be equipped with AI to make them efficient, creative and intelligent.
What is Power Apps?
According to Microsoft, Power Apps is part of the Power Platform suite of services, connectors, apps, and data platform for rapid app development. Although Power Apps was launched in 2015, it only became generally available in January 2017. It enables users – both technical and non-technical – to create, manage and share custom apps that easily connect to data. From Excel, Dynamics 365, and SharePoint to Power Automate – Power Apps encourages Microsoft collaboration and mass uses of its tools. It works seamlessly alongside other Microsoft products to increase business efficiencies and allow users to build new capabilities without technical experience.
Power Apps has three different types which are used for development:
- Canvas Apps: Like working from a blank canvas, users start with the data source, add workflows, and then finally create the design. This approach offers more flexibility than model-driven apps.
- Model-Driven Apps: With model-driven apps, much of the layout is controlled by the data connected and information entered into the app – what you feed in generally decides the outcome. This approach is more commonly used if the app you’re designing requires complex business logic.
- Portals: This is for creating web portals (websites) that can be shared both internally and externally, allowing users to interact securely with data stored in the Common Data Service.
Microsoft Power Apps makes sure that you no longer waste time searching for the one app that meets your business needs. It was designed with your needs and your data in mind, so that you can create the custom solutions you need. The question now is are you getting the most out of your Power Apps? Here’s how it can boost productivity and efficiency in your organization.
- Integrate with Microsoft tools
This means that developers can leverage data from Microsoft applications (e.g., Dynamics 365, SharePoint, Excel, etc.) and other third-party services. There are a range of connectors available for Power Apps and there is scope to connect seamlessly with other platforms.
- Build your own apps and solutions
Despite its capabilities, it is often used to build and test simple solutions and then discarded when the need for a more complex solution arises. With Power Apps, organizations can build custom apps and APIs and publish and deploy them using the same standards that power the Internet. Organizations can create apps that provide them with a more user-friendly and efficient way to perform their day-to-day tasks.
- Streamline IT operations
One of the biggest benefits of developing apps with Power Apps is that developers can share code across platforms, which is a huge help when trying to maintain various versions of apps, across various platforms, and across various OS at the same time. This allows IT teams to automate and manage tasks while providing insights into the business’ operations. But the feature that best exemplifies PowerApps’ value to organizations is its runtime model. It’s a relatively new approach to application development that lets you develop and deploy apps without setting up a Cloud-first environment.
- Enhance security
Power Apps leverages the Common Data Service (CDS) which uses a role-based security model. For users, this means that security roles can be established using a certain set of access permissions, ensuring that employees only see the data appropriate for their job role.
- Solve business challenges
When an off-the-shelf solution isn’t available, Microsoft Power Apps can provide a bespoke solution to solve these business challenges:
- Employee expenses: An app that allows your employees to enter details of any expenses and attach photographs of receipts for easy tracking
- Event registration: An app which enables attendees to register and check-in so you can automatically collect and transfer their details in your database
- Lead capture for field sales: An app that empowers your salespeople in the field to capture leads in real time as opposed to waiting till they’re back in the office
- Staff holiday allowance: An app that enables approval or rejection of employees request for vacation time or rest days
- Mobile ready
Cluttered interfaces that work perfectly on a 24” screen can be worthless on an iPhone or Android device. Power Apps allows you to develop for a phone form factor right in the same interface so you can always be sure that the great new app you are building will work for your road warriors.
- Easy-to-use data storage technology
Unlike costly, confusing, and difficult to manage data storage systems of the past, PowerApps – utilizing the enterprise’s existing infrastructure so that the organization can regain control of its data storage and management. It provides a platform for users to store and manage their files, with the option to move files between different systems and even back to their original systems, all with the click of a button.
- No coding required
The low-code approach to app development enables anyone to build an app, even without technical experience. Although it’s worth noting that there’s actually quite a learning curve for those who want to build their own apps, so unless you’re a developer you should ideally work with your Microsoft Partner to design and build anything but the simplest applications.
Do You Need Microsoft PowerApps Training for PowerApps?
ClinkIT Solutions is a 6x Gold Microsoft Partner and is more than equipped to help your organization get the most out of PowerApps. Talk to us today to see how our Power Apps development solutions can help you solve some of your biggest business challenges.