PowerApps is one of the simplest, most useful tools available to Microsoft users. It allows you to customize Office 365 and Dynamics 365 with scalable apps that span productivity and business data. You can tailor SharePoint Online with PowerApps, use it with Microsoft Teams, and build applications on Dynamics 365. The possibilities are endless! But many people still don’t know a lot about it, so on December 12th, we hosted a webinar where Chris Cummins did a deeper dive to share more information on the solution.
The first question that has been coming up quite a bit: wait, what happened to InfoPath? InfoPath was a Microsoft software application for designing, distributing, filling, and submitting electronic forms containing structured data. It had a WYSIWYG form designer that allowed for several controls such as text boxes and radio buttons to be created to present data in the data source to the end-users. It also had Outlook and SharePoint Task Integration and provided the ability to create custom actions. However, there hasn’t been a new version since 2013 and frankly, we are living in a bit of a different world now where application developers need new and innovative tools to create the appropriate business solutions.
Chris explored the fact that we are now living in a much more Cloud and Mobile First world. The challenges being faced in business application development are that:
- Business Applications are hard to develop
- It’s tough to keep up with technology changes
- The application has to work across platforms
- There are not enough skilled mobile developers
Additionally, data is stored in multiple disparate locations and it is difficult to connect to and consume that data. From a technical standpoint, we also need to keep that data safe and ensure secure access. For ease of use for the end user we also need to enable Single Sign On.
So, the new Microsoft solution to rise to these challenges is Power Apps! This is enterprise level software enabling the ability to connect, create, and share business apps. Power Apps allows you to connect to the things (or data sources) that you already have, build these apps without having to write code, and publish and use them on the web and mobile devices. It is easy to create and deploy these apps which work on every device and connects to the data everywhere securely. That meets all of the criteria of our challenges listed!
Chris provided a technical and architecture overview and was then able to show a demonstration of how we use Power Apps at Peters for requesting time off. Essentially there is a SharePoint list that manages our time off – our team created a Power App on top of this where they can fill out the request. It easily integrates with our backend systems for workflow and approvals and is very user friendly! You can watch the recap of the webinar and see the demonstration HERE
If you are interested in learning more about how Power Apps can help you improve your business agility, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help! soNo