Introduction to PowerApps: Business Applications Everywhere

Since 2014 (and even before then) it has been clear that Microsoft’s approach to providing a customisable forms experience for Office 365 was no longer oriented around InfoPath.  InfoPath had been their key offering in this area since they first introduced it as part of the Office 2003 family.  In the intervening years, Microsoft has not been to clear on its long term strategy for replacing the product which goes out of support officially in 2023.  However, that position has changed now with Microsoft officially badging PowerApps as the successor to InfoPath.  But what is PowerApps?

PowerApps is a suite of services, connectors and a data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to allow you to build custom applications (Apps) for your business needs.

PowerApps - Design rapid applications for multiple device types

PowerApps - Design rapid applications for multiple device types

Microsoft announced the public preview of PowerApps in April 2016. Six months later in October 2016, they announced the general availability of the PowerApps platform.

You can implement PowerApps that integrate with data from many sources including a vast array of Software as a Service (SaaS) data sources such as Microsoft’s Office 365 services or SalesForce and on-premises data sources including your own custom databases.

Apps built using the PowerApps platform can provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities to transform manual business processes quickly into digital, automated processes.

The way we work today is different from just a few years ago. Today we work on many devices; mobile phones, tablets or laptops. Work happens everywhere from a meeting room to an aeroplane.  PowerApps provides us with a flexible environment and responsive design surface enabling the creation of applications which can be easily accessible from the multitude of devices you need to use to get your work done.

Apart from this, PowerApps provides the flexibility to create business applications within a few clicks. We don’t need to have the highly skilled staff or developers to create a simple application.  The PowerApps platform provides a fast and consistent user experience to the end users, developers and administrators.

Here are a few advantages of PowerApps for employees, developers and IT professionals.

PowerApps for Employees

  • You can quickly create an App using Out of the box templates.

  • Built-in connectors allow you to connect data from many systems.

  • Document sharing is easy and you can share PowerApps across your entire organisation as simply as sharing a document.

PowerApps for IT Professionals or developers

  • Reduces development time and costs

  • Produces easy to create native mobile apps.

  • Supports governance of corporate policy by controlling data access over Apps.

PowerApps can dramatically accelerate how business Apps are built, reducing the time to create a solution from weeks (or months) to minutes and empowering a new breed of App creators. It balances functionality for both IT service enablers and business users. 

There are limitations to scenarios for which we would recommend the use of PowerApps and we have summarised our ‘Golden Rules’ in a recent blog post.

Here at Cielo Costa, we have highly qualified experts, advisers, architects and developers who specialise in PowerApps. They can understand your challenges and suggest to you the best, most suitable approach to move forward and help you to get to grips with PowerApps. 

Contact us for more information on how we can help you with your PowerApps journey.