Microsoft is continuously releasing solutions and updates to existing products, that can make staying on top of the tools that are available through the O365 platform a difficult endeavor. One of the most widely marketed solutions that Microsoft has been trumpeting is called the Power Platform and is made up of PowerApps, Power BI, and Flow. In order to market these products, Microsoft has been focusing on the robust functionality that is available to the end user to create solutions that fill business needs. This post will dive into what the Power Platform actually is as well as how it can benefit businesses.
The Power Platform Applications
The Power Platform consists of 3 main applications:
- Power BI (Analyze your data) – Power BI is an O365 service focused on business analytics and intelligence. The tool allows the user to create live visualizations of data and KPIs through the dashboard and reporting features.
- PowerApps (Act on your data) – PowerApps is a powerful platform from Microsoft that allows end users to create intuitive applications through a blank canvas, with little to no code necessary for common use cases.
- Flow (Automate your data) – Flow is a workflow automation tools that allows an end user to connect and move data between various O365 and 3rd party services.
Each of these three services uses Microsoft’s Common Data Service (CDS) behind the scenes to store business data safely and securely in the Azure cloud.
All three Power Platform services integrate with each other, as well as 3rd party systems. For example, a button inside of a PowerApps application could trigger a Flow, that could make a change to data inside of a SharePoint list, that in turns updates a Power BI report. The modern workplace runs on information, and the Power Platform is Microsoft’s way of driving vital information to the business user that they can then act and iterate on
Benefits of the Power Platform
Since Flow, Power BI, and PowerApps are built to work closely together, everyone in the organization can build custom applications and workflows, or analyze data, regardless of their expertise. Some of the other benefits of the Power Platform include:
- Rapid enhancements to the software since Microsoft is focusing on it heavily
- The Power Platform provides a foundation for users to work with their data in any necessary to solve business problems
- Strict governance settings allow administrators to restrict access only to users who should be seeing particular content
- PowerApps, Flow, and Power BI are all mobile friendly for those who work on the go
Open Data Initiative
The true strength of the Power Platform lies in its connection to the Open Data Initiative, which allows users and developers to connect to data normally beyond the scope of Microsoft services. The modern business needs to be able to access all of its information, without certain data simply stagnating on a server somewhere. The Power Platform services have connectors to many of the most commonly used business applications, allowing the combinations of activities that are automated and acted on, to be nearly endless.
We are just beginning to scratch the surface of what the Power Platform can do. Send us a message or leave us a comment to let us know your thoughts or chat about O365!