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How To Use PowerApps
Microsoft’s PowerApps tool is another product that Microsoft offers in the Office 365 suite. It provides exciting opportunities for custom apps to be built, process automation, and efficiency improvements for all businesses. Many times, we are in conversation with clients or organizations about PowerApps.
This article will give you an overview of PowerApps, how to use powerApps? its capabilities, and provide a guideline for clients. This blog is part of our regular series that focuses on the basics of each component of Office 365. Our posts on Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Graph may be of interest to you.
What are PowerApps?
PowerApps allows you to create custom apps using many of the Microsoft and Office 365 features. Apps can be accessed from a mobile device or a browser.
PowerApps is different from other offerings in that it can be used both by developers and by non-technical employees like business analysts. It is possible to create custom apps with PowerApps. Just like its Microsoft cousin Flow, PowerApps is successfully bringing the power.
However, users need to be able to understand and appreciate the data and tools they work with. It will take a while before everyone can create their own apps. You may also need to hire developers to help with more complicated functionality.
Microsoft describes PowerApps as a “suite app, service, connectors, and data platform that provides a rapid development environment apps for business needs.” It can also integrate with other apps. However, its key strength is its ability to build apps based on Office 365 or Microsoft Dynamics 365. An app-based upon PowerApps can bring together different parts of Microsoft’s universe for your users. This includes Excel, SharePoint Online, and Dynamics 365.
You can build your own app and tailor it to your company’s needs.
PowerApps is similar to Flow and other Office 365 automation tools, and it comes with tools and features to help you create apps that don’t require any coding. These include:
- A collection of sample apps you can use as a starting point to customize.
- A library of more than 200 connectors for integrating data and systems, including those from the Office 365 universe.
- Easy drag-and-drop interface to create apps
- Integration with Dynamics and Office 365 tools
- Good support structures, including an active PowerApps group.
Apps that are model-driven and canvas
You can choose to build PowerApps using either the model-driven or canvas approach. The canvas approach is similar to working with a blank canvas. You connect data sources, create workflows, and then create interfaces for your app by using the drag-and-drop interface.
You can even create canvas apps in other tools like SharePoint by leveraging the connected world of Office 365. The canvas approach gives you full control over the app you create from scratch.
The model-driven approach to creating apps was introduced recently. This feature was originally part of Microsoft Dynamics. It uses Microsoft’s Common Data Service to provide information about the forms, data structures, business rules, and other details you have defined.
Then, you can build your app from this. This allows the structure and data to guide the creation of your app. This is especially useful when you rely on complex data stored in Microsoft Dynamics.
What can I do to make PowerApps work for my company?
PowerApps can be used to automate, visualize and report data, collaborate, and many other processes. This could include your customers, field workers, managers, and teams. The use cases can be simple or complex. Both can be used to improve the basics and also to be innovative. PowerApps can also be used on a website, mobile app, or within Office 365 tools like Microsoft Teams.
For inspiration, our popular article different ways to includes a number of ideas that can be achieved with PowerApps, including:
- Field workers can enter data while out on the field. This could include information about log repairs or site inspection results.
- An app called “Know Your Client” is used to do due diligence on potential clients. It covers various criteria and queries various databases.
- Standard documents for building models, such as contracts, that use automation are based on different metadata and criteria.
- A 360-degree appraisal system that can be customized with input from many users.
- A system that allows IT departments to track assets like hardware, mobile devices, and software licenses
- There are many marketing automation tools that can be used to follow up on clients based upon their responses and interactions.
The latest powerful capabilities
Like most of the tools and services within Office 365, Microsoft continues to invest in PowerApps, and the latest announcement is particularly exciting.
PowerApps can tap into Microsoft’s AI/machine learning frameworks with an AI Builder capability to create smarter, more advanced applications. Microsoft, for example, cites the ability of AI to analyze customer feedback and classify it and then take specific actions.
This allows them to improve marketing automation. PowerApps are able to inject AI into PowerApps, allowing workers in a distribution and manufacturing unit to identify and track product items by simply taking a picture. There are also opportunities to integrate blockchain (via Azure Blockchain Services), to create even more specific apps.
Microsoft also announced PowerApps portals, which allow you to create websites for external employees in the same manner as PowerApps. We find this significant because it allows customers to connect their actions on websites to back-end and internal processes, marketing automation, and other functions.
This is an example. You could also create powerful workflows and actions by setting up a customer feedback portal with PowerApps Portals.
PowerApps: Should you take advantage of its power?
PowerApps is a great tool to help you get the most out of your business. PowerApps is a great tool for us and our clients love the results.
PowerApps is a great tool for creating engaging apps that simplify work, improve customer service, and other useful features. You can also expand your capabilities with AI and integrate websites later.