Microsoft Power Platform: everything you need to know
What is Power Platform, and what is it for?
Microsoft Power Platform is an enterprise application SaaS platform that helps support and extend Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure, as well as third-party services and applications. Microsoft Power Platform delivers low-code automation, practical data-driven applications, and customizable business logic that can improve business processes, systems, and workflows. In addition to low-code automation intended for end users to create their applications, professional developers can use code to extend the platform’s capabilities further.
Its goal is generally to optimize operations by automating routine tasks and to provide a range of solutions that enable an organization’s digital transformation.
It can address scenarios and use cases that typically arise within business units. However, the scope can also be extended to the entire organization, or as part of architectures combined with other services, usually in the cloud.
According to the August 2022 Total Economic Impact™ study released by Forrester, companies that bet on premium features of Microsoft Power Platform obtain an ROI of 140% in three years. In addition, consulting firm Gartner named Microsoft a leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant ™ for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms.
Virtues of Power Platform solutions
- Solutions developed with low-code
- Time To Market
- Integrated security
- Mobility capabilities
- Ability to use a proprietary information system but extensible to other data sources
- Integration with most commercial tools
- Ability to include AI models
- ALM (Application Lifecycle Management). Through solutions, it is possible to package and publish developments, facilitating the software lifecycle. Integration with Azure DevOps.
How Power Platform works: tools
The tools that make up Power Platform cover all the parts that make up any software architecture, data, business and service processes, and user interfaces.
Depending on the idiosyncrasy of the project, the necessary tools can be used to integrate with most cloud services, on-premises systems, custom or legacy solutions, or most commercial enterprise products.
These tools are the following:
As an information system or database, it stores the data used by business applications. Specifically, they are stored in standardized tables, although custom tables can be created. These tables are easy to manage and secure.
User interfaces in the app and web versions since they adapt to any device and browser. As part of the Power Platform ecosystem, writing code or having extensive knowledge of code to create and launch an app is optional. Power Apps has artificial intelligence and a connection to Dataverse to facilitate the creation, and it can also integrate with other enterprise technologies such as Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365.
There are two types of Power Apps:
- Canvas, whose most notable features are:
- Absolute control of the design.
- Ability to connect to hundreds of products or services through specific connectors.
- Ability to take advantage of mobile device features such as camera, microphone, or GPS.
- Model Driven
- Fully adaptive or responsive design.
- Uses Dataverse as the primary source of information.
To create secure corporate websites with low code.
- Fully responsive design.
- Uses Dataverse as a source of information.
- Gives visibility of information to people outside the organization or anonymous so that it can function as an extranet.
Power Automate is a powerful flow engine with three different types:
- Cloud flows:
- High capacity for integration through connectors with other commercial products or services and the rest of the platform’s tools.
- Ability to orchestrate complex processes.
- Can be triggered automatically, instantaneously, or programmatically.
- RPA (Robotic Process Automation) flows:
- Desktop process automation capability on Windows VMs, mainly focused on custom or legacy solutions or manual web actions, such as web scraping.
- The execution of desktop flows can be attended to or unattended.
- Business process flows:
- They guide users to perform their work, directing them through defined processes to reach a desired outcome.
- Reduce the need for user training and provide a visual indicator that specifies where they are in the business process.
Power Virtual Agents
Tool for creating chatbots, which can be published on multiple platforms or services, such as:
- Microsoft Teams
- Power Pages
- Web applications
- Mobile or custom applications
- Any channel compatible with Azure Bot Framework
Business intelligence tool:
- Powerful dashboards and reports
- It can combine data from multiple sources
- Transformation, modeling, and visualization capabilities
- Cloud Publishing
With this add-on, it is possible to quickly provide Power Platform with artificial intelligence capabilities. AI Builder provides step-by-step instructions, templates, and pre-designed components, which helps people with less technical knowledge to develop these tools.
There are multiple AI models available that can be used directly or by performing a simple pre-training process. Among the most prominent are:
- Invoice processing
- Text detection in images
- Object detection in images
- Language detection and translation
- Text and image classification
- Sentiment analysis
Why should you bet on the Power Platform?
As we have seen in this article, the low-code Microsoft Power Platform enables us as users to automate business processes, create custom applications and analyze business data, which allows us in our company to streamline our processes, increase productivity and make data-driven decisions in addition to integrate with other Microsoft and third-party products and services seamlessly.
Plain Concepts can help you implement Power Platform projects globally in your company. We offer a governance and adoption model on the use of the platform, as well as guidance and development of process automation and operations within the organization.
We also offer our specialized services in consulting and developing low-code and pro-code projects on the platform to help you implement departmental and functional use cases with automation tools and create corporate applications and document management processes. We also offer you the possibility to extend the standard functionality of the platform and integrate Power Platform tools with other corporate services from Azure and M365 and providers such as ServiceNow, Google, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, or JIRA, among others.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you want more about Microsoft 365 or need help with your project.