Cloud technology has grown over the past few years, and even more so recently due to COVID-19. With many organizations packing up and working from home, they must be able to keep their business processes streamlined and efficient even when out of the office. Organizations need reliable and consistent ways to give employees and clients the ability to capitalize on this technology and the impact it can have on revenue. This is where Power Platform comes into play.
The best thing about the Power Platform trifecta is that they all seamlessly work together to support and build upon business models and data. PowerApps builds and gives users an easy way to fill forms, present data, and make business processes more streamlined than ever. Power BI presents data in unique, visually pleasing, and dynamic ways that can make the dullest of presentations into a work of art. Power Automate can connect to a variety of databases, including PowerApps and Power BI, and create automated flows that behave as described by the user. Powerful workflow automation with hundreds of unique and efficient functions will have you thinking how you were able to run a business before. User creativity is encouraged with these applications, assuming they fall within the proper format.
PowerApps allows users to create their own applications without the programming part. You can know next to nothing about code and programming and be able to create an application fit for your business model. This easy-to-use interface allows anyone to create an application that can help a business in unique ways that may have not been possible before. From travel request forms to document management processes, PowerApps makes these types of business ideas cleaner, more efficient, and easier to manage than traditional manual processes.
PowerApps uses a similar structure of code and syntax as Microsoft Excel. For those familiar with Excel, sometimes it can be difficult to determine the best line of syntax to deliver the idea you have in mind. However, PowerApps has a great process of helping the user determine the best syntax to use based on properties of the field you are managing. PowerApps splits the properties of fields to make it easier to find errors and make corrections.
The following image is shown on the main PowerApps page when going to create a new application:
PowerApps has been used here to create a way to learn about the program and what you can do with it. For web users, you do have the option of customizing text in a way that is familiar to you as well. As you can see, the interface is easy to view and is highly customizable. Buttons can be placed in lieu of text, colors can be managed, font size can be raised and lowered, and so much more can be done. This allows user to show their creative side and match whatever business model they want to show in the form of an app.
A Power BI report, created by Microsoft as a community sample report, as seen below shows how Power BI can be used to present data in a cool and clean way:
As you can see, this data is taken from OneNote and shown in the form of graphs and charts. Power BI can take data from all sorts of databases, such as SharePoint, PowerApps, APIS, and so many more areas that allow users to show off their data in a fun and unique way. One of the best things about Power BI is it can be completely dynamic. This means a user can select data on the report and tailor the results in the report to the specified selection. If you wanted to see the graphs, just show net sales for “Abbas,” then you can select “Abbas” in the net sales chart and the rest of the report will tailor to that selection. This provides a great way to present data without clutter around it.
Not only does Power BI make a report dynamic, but it also gives a multitude of ways to show the data. Microsoft has their own marketplace for visuals and enhancements that can bring out the true quality of your data. These visuals range from pie charts and bar graphs to meters and even custom visuals you can create yourself. Power BI really listens to the users and bring in the best tools to bring out your best work.
Formerly called “Microsoft Flow,” Power Automate calls upon a multitude of applications as triggers to kick-off “flows.” There are various types of flows you can create that allow businesses to benefit from automated and simple business processes.
Just like the other members of the Power Platform trio, Power Automate integrates with hundreds of databases around the world. It allows for creative control on business practices, such as document management, automated email notifications, manager approvals, and so much more!
Power Automate gives the user an edge at creating an automated process whereas normally you would have to go through a tedious process of sending files and emails constantly. Power Automate removes the middlemen and allows for an easier and less stressful time when dealing with certain business processes.
The following image shows what a simple flow might look like:
Because of the unique functions within Power Automate, it can connect to your O365 profile, Outlook account, and a specified SharePoint site you have access to and create a flow based on actions specified. Since the trigger, which is the first action in a flow, is based on adding a file to a SharePoint library, then whenever a file is added or created in that library, a flow will initiate and follow the path described by the user. In this instance, your email address will be retrieved, and a message will be sent to notify you that a file has been added or created. This is an elegant and simple flow that can make alerting users of new files simple, rather than relying on others to notify someone separately.