Most have heard about the power app, but do you know it? How does it work, what it does and what it doesn’t? How do you find it if you use it already, tough or easy?

Well, we are not here to flood you with lots of questions on Power Apps. Let’s put it forward in a simple way. 

Released in January 2017, the term Power Apps started buzzing worldwide. 

Put simply, not widely known like other Microsoft products, Power apps is preferred for its matchless usage for building custom apps personalized to your systems and data to attain your teams’ expectations. This suite enables developers to craft professional apps that can be offered with AI to make them creative, efficient, and intelligent. 

In this article, you will learn about power apps, their platform, the process of developing power apps, usage instructions, and more. 

Keep reading to know more. 

What is Power Apps? A Microsoft Low Code Platform as a Service

Power Apps, crafted by Microsoft, allows you to craft business apps based on your data. Mainly, it permits you to build an app that suits the best with your database, with no need for any development or programming skills. You can link your custom apps to your Microsoft solutions or other IT tools that you already use in your business. 

A Platform as a Service, Power Apps allows mobile app development that runs on iOS, Android, Windows (Modern Apps), and almost any Internet Browser. 

Power Apps is also referred to as a mobile app. Yes, you read it right. 

In the past, mobile app development included app development for every operating system to run on, like Windows, Android, and iOS. Obviously, it increases your development work, development cost, and development resources three times that you need to develop business apps. 

Power Apps is like a container that eases the usage of mobile apps across various platforms. 

In other words, a suite of apps, connectors, and services along with a data platform is the power apps that offers a speedy development environment to craft custom applications for your business needs. 

Also, it’s a service for developing and using custom business applications that link your data and work across the mobile and web without spending time and money on custom software development. 

Microsoft Power Platform

microsoft power platform

The parent company, Microsoft Power Platform, is a platform that combines all the programs that automatically rebuild your association with digital tools, like Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI. 

In brief, Microsoft Power Platform is a line of app development, business intelligence, and app connectivity software apps. 

Moreover, Power Platform innovates and eases low-code app development and automation for business analysts, professional developers, and IT admins.

1. Power BI

Power BI

It’s widely known for making informed, intelligent business decisions by providing data-driven insights to everyone.

Following the exact definition, Power BI is a collection of software services, connectors, and apps that perform together to convert your nonessential data sources into visually unique, logical, and interactive insights. 

Your data can be a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses or an Excel spreadsheet. 

Additionally, Power BI facilitates easy connection to your data sources, discover, and visualize what’s essential and share that with everyone or anyone you want. 

Power BI includes various elements that perform together; 

  • Power BI Desktop, a windows desktop app.
  • Power BI service, an online SaaS (Software as a Service) service.
  • Power BI mobile apps for Android, Windows, and iOS devices. 

2. Power Automate

Power Automate

It assists in boosting business productivity by facilitating everyone to automate organizational processes.

With Power Automate, you can:

  • Automate your business processes.
  • Move your business data between the systems as scheduled.
  • Send automatic reminders for the due jobs.
  • Connect to 500+ data sources or publically available API.
  • Also, it permits automating the tasks on your local computer, such as data computation in Excel.

Once you automate repetitive manual tasks using Power Automate, you can save time by recording and visualizing your end-to-end processes with a process advisor, offering guided recommendations for crafting flows and deep insights that demand the guesswork. Furthermore, with Power Automate, you can make your automation smarter with AI Builder, process forms quickly using document automation, detect images and text, process approvals, etc. 

Be it a business user or IT professional; you can create automated processes using the low-code or no-code platform of Power Automate. 

3. Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents

Now you can respond quickly to your customer and employee requirements in multiple languages across mobile apps and sites using smart conversational bots developed with Power Virtual Agents with no coding.

With Power Virtual Agents, you can build, test, and publish bots rapidly using AI, automation, and a low-code, collaborative graphical interface with no training needed. 

Additionally, you can deploy bolds with ultimate security using central administration, in-built security roles, and easy management across environments to maintain governance and compliance. 

Furthermore, Power Virtual Agents help automatically track crucial KPIs, recognize future bot topics, and allow self-learning AI with natural language processing (NLP) to constantly enhance your bots. 

4. Power Apps

Power Apps

Now, you can turn your ideas into organizational solutions using Power Apps by allowing everyone to develop custom apps that resolve business challenges. 

Moreover, you can raise agility across your organization by building low-code apps faster that modernize the processes. 

Power Apps strengthen your team by allowing your team to develop and launch your apps right away utilizing pre-built templates, quick deployment, and simple drag-and-drop; next, roll out the constant improvement as required. 

Additionally, such apps help build apps packed with advanced functionality previously available to only professional developers, embracing pre-built AI components. 

Furthermore, it offers professional developers the tools to smoothly extend the app capabilities with custom connectors and Azure Functions to on-premises or proprietary systems. 

 Features of PowerApps

  • Apps developed using Power Apps offer rich business logic and workflow power to convert your manual business operations into automated digital processes.
  • Also, apps that you build using power apps hold a responsive design and can run smoothly on mobile devices and in browsers. 
  • Such apps democratize the business-app-development experience by allowing users to craft custom, feature-rich business applications without writing any code. 
  • Moreover, Power Apps offers an extensible platform that enables pro developers programmatically interact with metadata and data, apply the business logic, craft custom connectors, and integrate with the external data. 

Pricing of Power Apps

You can develop Power Apps for free by simply signing in to Power Apps. You can start with a 3-day free trial. 

Pay-as-you-go-plan
  • The businesses that need the agility to pay only when the user runs an app monthly.
  • It charges $10 per active user/month/app.
Subscription Plans
  • The businesses that require predictable user-based licensing that allows licensed users to run unlimited apps or one app at a time. 
  • It charges $5 per user/app/month and $20 per user/month.

What Purpose Do Microsoft Power Apps Serve?

Power Apps appears to be like a personalized application generator for its users. It was crafted keeping your data and needs in mind to emerge with custom solutions you want. Moreover, Microsoft Power Apps saves you time that you waste in searching for one app to meet your business requirements. 

Power Apps facilitates you to craft a tool that can adapt to the nature and size of your team. If you want to set up a personalized warehouse management system for the products you sell, Power Apps will ease your life. Moreover, if you have varied locations for your offices or warehouses, it works across platforms on smartphones, computers, or tablets. 

Let’s take the case. Suppose you have a broad customer base with various sources of leads; it may be hard to share the data with your team. Here Power Apps comes in, and it facilitates you to craft an app that your employees can access data related to your customers. 

You get the power to make decisions from Power Apps while running your business, and your entire data stays connected, and the credit goes to the Microsoft Power Platform solution. 

Whatever be your requirements, you can develop applications that may accurately showcase your data with no fret of missing anything.

On top of all, Power Apps eases your employees’ jobs with proper app implementation. 

For example, each task that needs to be automated can be fused into one app that can be easily set up. It provides evident productivity profits with fewer error risks. 

Convert Your App Idea Into Reality

Let’s Build A New App Together

How To Build An App With Microsoft Power Apps

The hassle-free way to develop an app with Power Apps is to start from the data source. 

Step 1: Select Your PowerApps Environment

There are four environments or tools where you can perform within Power Apps, and each holds its roles and capabilities. 

Select Your PowerApps Environment

Power Apps Website

power apps website

Here you can start your Power Apps service journey. Here you can build a new app and manage current ones.

Power Apps Studio

Here you can design and adapt the app you develop to meet your business needs. 

PowerApps Admin Center

It offers you the strength to craft and handle environments, user roles, and DLP (Data Loss Prevention) strategies. 

Step 2: Choose Your Power Apps Application Type

You can develop two types of apps with Power Apps:

Choose Your Power Apps Application Type
types of power apps

Model-driven apps

Such apps are developed on the top of Common Data Services that assist quickly developing processes, forms, and business rules. They focus on heavier apps that need to be used multiple hours at a time. 

Canvas apps

Such apps enable you to organize quickly and freely interface by placing fields and controls in a “pixel-perfect” user experience. The primary target here is to append your creativity and business knowledge to your app design. 

Canvas apps focus on lightweight apps or also disposable apps that you can design and use in minutes.

When performing with model-driven apps, you are offered enough layout, mostly picked as the components you append to the app. On the contrary, the designer controls the app’s layout in the canvas app development. 

Step 3: Choose Your Storage Type

Choose Your Power Apps Application Type

Power Platform and Power Apps focus on a place where data is the king and the basis of any business process. That’s why picking the correct data sources is pretty impactful while designing an app.

Data source stores data and creates a connection to import them into your app. 

Some of the usual data sources, Excel spreadsheets, and Sharepoint lists are available. Power Apps share connectors with Logic and Flow apps. 

The best thing about the platform is that it offers connectors to Microsoft world: SQL Server, Office 365, Azure, and more, and also towards external data sources, such as Dropbox, Salesforce, and Google Drive. 

Here, the connector is Power Apps that can offer actions, data tables, or both. 

You should be aware of the fact that the data sources you choose will lay an impact on licenses required to develop and execute an app. 

Step 4: Connect Your App to an On-Premises or Online Data Source

Connect Your App to an On-Premises or Online Data Sources

Power Apps can natively link with cloud data sources as crafted in the cloud. Also, it can connect with on-premises data sources. If you want to make that happen, you need to configure an on-premises data gateway shared between various cloud apps, such as all the Power Platform (Power Apps, Flow, Power BI), Azure Logic Apps, and Azure Analysis Services. 

While writing, the gateway supports the below data sources: Filesystem, Informix, SharePoint, DB2, SQL Server, and Oracle. 

What Doesn’t It Do?

Power Apps was crafted for business mobile app usage means for internal use. You don’t need to share Power Apps with everyone worldwide as these are not for consumer consumption, chiefly because of the licensing model and technical limitations that arise while sharing with external users.

In Power Apps, no-code is its top trait that won’t allow in-house developers to add any custom JavaScript or HTML or do any hack-things to the primary device. 

It’s simple: Power Apps can’t access external things, same goes with your developers and users. 

It may sound like a limitation, but it’s a good thing. By restricting rogue code from Power Apps, you can make the platform maintain ease of use and stability for an extended period. If you want a custom business logic that you can’t get from Power Apps, you can connect Power Apps to any custom REST API to get the best from both. 

Well, you may find Power Apps functionality not meeting your needs for what you want to do with your mobile apps. But, as this is a cloud-oriented service, you can stay relaxed as Microsoft will release new features and updates regularly and enhancements. 

Do I Have Power Apps? Is It Tough To Create And Use Apps?

You have Power Apps if you have an Office 365 Enterprise E1 or subscription above that.

Simple Power Apps ease the development of apps, whereas the complex ones hold a steep learning curve. 

In HTML, C#. or JavaScript, you don’t need to have coding experience. But, a written formula is required to describe your logic.

However, Power Apps formulas were designed using Excel formulas to offer business users ease in crafting logic formulas.

Who is Power Apps for?

Power Apps prove to be useful for app developers, creators, users, admin, and more. Let’s get deeper to know better.

1. Power Apps for app makers/creators

You can craft three types of apps using power apps:

  • Canvas,
  • Model-driven, and
  • Portal

To build an application, you start with:

Power Apps Studio

It is the app designer who is best for developing canvas apps. The app designer crafts apps that look more like creating a slide deck in Microsoft PowerPoint. 

App Designer

It is used for model-driven apps that allow you to define the sitemap and append components to develop a model-driven app. 

Power Apps portals Studio

A WYSIWYG design tool, Power Apps portals Studio, helps add and configure components, webpages, lists, and forms. 

2. Power Apps for app users

The apps you develop or someone else and share with you can run on mobile devices or browsers. 

3. Power Apps for admins

Power Apps admins craft and manage environments, view and get real-time Dataverse, support, and self-help recommendations for Power Automate and Power Apps using the Power Platform admin center.

4. Power Apps for developers

Developers are application makers who hold the caliber to write code to expand business app development and customization. They can use code to create metadata and data and use Azure functions, workflow extensions, and plug-ins to apply server-side logic. Also, they use JavaScript to apply client-side logic, webhooks, and virtual entities to integrate with external data, craft custom connectors, and embed apps into your site experiences to craft integrated solutions. 

How To Integrate Power Apps With Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Integrate Power Apps With Microsoft Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 apps (like Dynamic 365 Sales, Dynamic 365 Marketing, and Dynamics 365 Customer Service) use the underlying Dataverse platform (It allows you to store and manage data securely that business apps use, which holds data within a set of tables) that Power Apps use to store and secure data. It allows you to develop apps using Dataverse and Power Apps directly against your business data already in use within Dynamic 365, with no need for integration. 

On the opposite edge, if you are already using Microsoft Dynamics 365 and thinking if you can integrate Power Apps with your system, it’s not a tough job.

Your database is already securely populated and in place as you use Microsoft Dynamics 365. The integration is not required to develop an app from Power Aide; you already use data stored in Microsoft Dynamics 365. As the underlying data platform is the same, everything takes place as naturally as it can be. 

As Power Apps includes 200+ connectors, you can integrate easily. You can craft the layout you want; you need to drag and drag and drop the item you need from a task manager in Outlook or any other compound list in the database. 

Furthermore, the intuitive design of Power Apps offers a data connection. The setup is done to ease your adaptation with all the parameters of your app with no development knowledge. 

You can effortlessly customize your app by editing data in Microsoft Dynamics 365 through Power Apps. Besides being developed as per your needs, the apps are crafted according to your business growth and development.  

The integration of Power Apps into your companies will prove to be innovative for your employees. Power apps offer robust tools for their routine jobs, making them more accessible and more efficient. It develops a sense of competence and trust in teams, and Power Apps allows continuous enhancement of working modes. 

How Can We Help You?

Power Apps provide immense, actually endless possibilities for sure. 

We can help you find out how the Power Apps can fulfill your business requirements like speed up the app creation, Microsoft and other 3rd-party service integrations, cross-platform access, ease of deployment, and more. Emizentech is a leading Microsoft Power Apps development service provider which is always available to help you build custom and scalable apps.

Conclusion

So, with Microsoft Power Apps, you can develop and share low-code apps that modernize the processes and resolve tricky issues. Also, you can facilitate your team to develop the apps they want with advanced functionality that was just available to professional developers earlier. 

So, time to innovate quickly for rapid results with the power of Power Apps. 

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!