We have heard about the Microsoft Power platform numerous times in the past few years, and how it helps businesses simplify work management, automation, and reporting challenges that we have all had in the past few decades. Microsoft, with the Power Platform, gave us a set of low-code solutions to help solve those challenges faster. The Power Platform does not require and sacrifice of functionality or design and helps companies stay competitive in the digital era. Now, nearly five years after its original release, numerous enhancements have been added. GreenData is here to answer the WHAT, the WHY, and the HOW of the Power Platform, and more specifically, Power Apps.
What is Power Apps?
Power Apps is a low-code platform for rapid business application development, integrated with the rest of your business apps.
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Power Apps, like every other platform, has its pros and cons. What we cannot overlook is how it makes application development and maintenance accessible to non-technical resources. This is accomplished through a drag and drop interface and a myriad of Excel-like functions that are used in place of program coding. At the time of this article, there are over 560 connectors available in Power Apps. Connectors allow your business applications to connect with your data sources with a single click, enabling you to seamlessly interact with your data like never before in a corporate environment.
Why use Power Apps?
Most businesses eventually face the Build vs Buy dilemma when trying to resolve a business issue with technology. If you decide to build a custom solution in-house, chances are that you are dedicating your resources to creating a solution that fits your needs because the off-the-shelf ones do not accommodate your unique business processes. Alternatively, you could buy an existing solution because you have found a good match between something out there that meets your needs. Before making any decision, you need to ask:
How extendable are each of the alternatives? Can the solution easily evolve along with the business, or will it become outdated in a few years?
Power Apps offers a hybrid answer to the Build vs Buy dilemma. It offers an easy-to-use platform that can be leveraged to rapidly fulfill your ever-evolving needs. Microsoft is making it possible to digitize nearly any business process, no matter how small or big it may be, all in a fraction of the cost of building or buying.
In addition, as part of the Microsoft Power Platform, the long-term evolution of Dynamics 365 Power Apps comes with a pre-existing data model. This means that you get to start building your applications from an existing database schema, thus not having to reinvent the wheel. This is not tens but hundreds of preexisting tables that can be used as-is or extended with custom ones.
If you are already using other tools for parts of your process, Power Apps can come in to extend your tools and data. There is an infinite number of use cases and applications that can be created, all with this single platform. Within Power Apps, it is easy to create form-like interfaces that allow you to quickly capture information on the fly, or complex tools that help you stay on top of your work. Some examples are project management logs, resource demand management, accruals, hardware inventory, and more.
Power Apps: Meeting Minutes Log
Power Apps: Project Decisions Log
Power Apps: Resource Demand Management
How to get the most out of Power Apps
With over 3 years of experience in Power Apps here at GreenData, we believe that the days of monstrous, one-size-fits-all apps are over. Instead, every part of the business could break down their needs and solve them on a single, flexible platform. There are multiple stakeholders in most business processes, and it is evident that all stakeholders cannot all benefit equally from the function of a single app. Instead, businesses should strive for refined user interfaces and experiences that are tailored to each intended user. These solutions are designed with the needs and functionality of each stakeholder in mind. After all, this is what human-centric design is all about. And that is exactly what Power Apps is offering, a platform to create flagship apps with the ability to easily create connected and tailored experiences.
Power Apps is the tool of choice for data-driven enterprises, as, through its vast application and use cases, it makes data available at your fingertips. Its flexibility, integration, and ease of use make it a good choice, not only for companies already within the Microsoft business ecosystem but for all corporations out there that are looking to digitize business processes and have the Build Vs Buy dilemma.
Are you considering using Power Apps in your organization? Do you have alternatives in mind? We can help!