Everything you need to know about power apps

CUNY School of Professional Studies | CUNY SPS - Management

Every business has daily monotonous tasks that take too much time and too little thought-power to accomplish. Processes such as forms and workflows, project and process management, and data visualisation are vital to running your business, but they take up precious people power.

Microsoft’s Power Apps can either eliminate or speed up these tasks through interconnected applications.

Developing an internal web app has never been easier or more cost-effective – you can create custom apps to streamline your work processes in minutes with ease.

What is Power Apps?

Power Apps is a Microsoft cloud service that allows non-developers create, share, and integrate custom apps to the cloud. Power Apps provides a set of pre-built templates for common business scenarios, such as dashboards, reporting, and data entry.

Power Apps Microsoft enables users to easily share their applications with their organisation, or even publish them via AppSource, for all their customers to see and use. Data can also be integrated from other business tools like Office 365 and Salesforce into the apps you build.

When using Power Apps to build your customised apps, you can connect to your data stored either in the underlying data program (Microsoft Dataverse) or in various online, on-premises data sources, like SQL Server and SharePoint.

Power Apps lets you automate your manual processes, streamlining them into apps. Apps built using the platform are designed to run on all devices with responsive design, meaning they fit on all screen sizes.

In short, Power Apps makes it simple to build custom apps without having to write any code.

Using Power Apps to build a custom app

While Microsoft does offer a free 30-day trial, not all the Power Apps features are available through this offer. You will require Microsoft 365 Enterprise E1 or above to utilise Power Apps. The different features of Power Apps are outlined on Microsoft’s licensing levels page.

Next, while you do not need to write code to build your app, you do need to write formulas to describe your logic. You can use Excel formulas, which are familiar for most Microsoft users and easy to learn for beginners.

There are three methods in using Power Apps to develop your application: canvas, portal, or model. 

The canvas approach means you can add data sources and such to your web app. You also create workflows and interfaces for your project in the drag-and-drop interface. It’s relatively easy to use and relies on a lot of pre-written code.

With the model-driven approach, you gain a lot of help from Microsoft’s Common Data Service – a prebuilt platform with all the data from your forms set up and ready to go so you can start designing your app. This type of approach is very useful when you are relying on complex underlying data for your app.

The Power Apps portal Studio has various options for you to add and configure web pages, components, lists, and forms when creating and customising your app. However, editing this way will temporarily cause poor portal performance because of the multiple background processes.

a working table in office, some hands indicates on the laptop

Is Power Apps right for my business?

Power Apps creates applications and websites for internal use that can automate and streamline many repetitive and tedious tasks. The platform’s apps have been proven to increase business automation and process efficiencies by an average of 15%.

Lengthy, time-consuming processes such as employee onboarding, expense reporting, client and intake forms, and much more, can be automated and free up your time so you can focus on more important things.

Power Apps can be utilised as a mobile app, website, or through a Microsoft 365 platform like Teams. This means that building your custom app can be done from any location, on any device.

AI Builder allows Power Apps to develop more advanced, intelligent apps by tapping into Microsoft’s AI and machine learning frameworks. For example, AI can analyse and categorise your customer feedback and then take the appropriate actions to help you automate your marketing.

Power Apps with AI has also helped workers in a manufacturing and distribution unit identify and track product items just through taking a photo.

The possibilities are limitless and the results are obvious: Power Apps will revolutionise the way you work, streamline daily tasks, and free up time so your employees can focus on revenue-generating projects.

Get help from the Power Apps experts

If you’re ready to start developing interconnected tasks to take on the brunt of monotonous tasks but aren’t sure where to start, ask the experts.

Talk to the Power Apps engineers at RODIN today about designing and building your customised app. They will help bring your dreams to reality so you can power your business towards success.

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