One of the most valuable apps within the Microsoft stack is Power Apps, a flexible solution that allows developers and power users to create simple custom mobile or web apps across the digital workplace, mainly utilising Microsoft 365 tools.
At Content Formula our highly experienced team of Power App consultants and Microsoft certified developers: advise, build and implement bespoke apps that can help improve specific processes right across the enterprise; collectively.
Microsoft itself defines Power Apps as a low-code solution that can “enable everyone to rapidly build and share low-code apps” where non-IT professionals can use “prebuilt templates, drag-and-drop simplicity, and quick deployment.”
Power Apps (formerly known as PowerApps) is part of the Power Platform, Microsoft’s suite of applications that also encompasses Power BI, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents and Power Pages. The latter was originally part of Power Apps. The Power Platform was launched in 2018 and is a mature solution that is used to deliver automation, data visualisation, chatbots, portals and also apps. Power Apps is often used in conjunction with other apps within the Power Platform, particularly workflows created with Power Automate.
Power Apps does not come with Microsoft 365 licenses as standard and comes with a range of licensing options including per app and per user plans.
While Power Apps is heavily used, many digital workplace teams could be making more out of it, and there are also some common questions that get asked. On this page we’re going to explore what Power Apps is, some of its key benefits, the key features, and the typical use cases you can use PowerApps for.
Power Apps delivers multiple benefits to organisations and digital workplace teams.
Build custom apps without the usual pitfalls
Power Apps allows you to create and deliver individual custom apps which are wrapped around your specific business processes rather than apps which are generic, while avoiding all the usual pitfalls associated with customisation.Because apps are custom to the way employees throughout your business actually work, it means you can generate extra value and get high adoption across a wide range of use cases. Apps can also be tweaked and improved to reflect changes in the way people work.
Highly flexible and scalable
Power Apps is extremely flexible and very scalable, so you can create apps to suit every part of your business, whether used by thousands of employees or just a team of five.You can create apps that are also used by customers and partners. The connectors available means you can integrate hundreds of different systems, and you can even build your own connectors. Overall, Power Apps almost certainly can be used to create an app that will add value to your business.
Involve power users and citizen developers 365
Power Apps can involve power users and citizen developers throughout your business, and can be the focus point – along with other parts of the Power Platform – for a citizen development initiative or programme.
The advantages of involving power users are that they know their local processes extremely well so can ensure each app truly meets business needs; they can also then suggest further apps to use, while also being a champion to drive adoption within their local team or department.
Extend automation to every line of business
In many organisations, the prioritisation for automation and process improvement tends to be for the larger processes that impact the most employees.
However, because Power Apps can easily produce simple apps that can make a significant difference at the department and team level, it can drive efficiency and raise productivity across parts of the business that sometimes can get neglected by mainstream software development.
Supporting innovation and transformation
Using Power Apps and the Power Platform in general can extend the overall adoption and functionality of the digital workplace, particularly when it is based on Microsoft 365, as it can integrate apps with SharePoint or Teams.Collectively, the output from Power Apps can help drive tangible results that can support innovation and even digital transformation.
Rapid development platform
Power Apps can act as a rapid development platform with the ability to create apps at both speed and scale, above and beyond the normal traditional output from an application development team.This is due to the low code no code approach and out-of-the-box connectors that make it very quick to create apps. Power Apps can also be used by non-IT professionals, adding additional capacity to an application development team.
Because you can build a whole set of custom apps, it means that you can reduce costs either by retiring legacy applications or having to purchase new software.
Costs are also effectively reduced through the time savings and efficiencies gained produced by apps which streamline specific processes.
Web and mobile apps
Power Apps can create both web and mobile apps, meaning that it can be good to support processes and engagement involving frontline staff, who often need to access apps on their mobile device.
Find out more about Power App services.
Request a call back with one of our Power App experts, for a free consultation.
Canvas apps and model-driven apps
Power Apps offers two low-code choices to build apps. Canvas apps are built from scratch, using the authoring canvas described below. Model-driven apps are built by modelling your data and then letting Power Apps work out the layout for you. Both methods are powerful and rapid ways to build new apps and can be used by non-IT professionals.
Power Apps comes with an easy-to-use authoring canvas with drag-and-drop that supports low-code development. The canvas provides an intuitive graphical interface that means its easy for non-technical power users to create new custom apps from scratch, for example adding connectors and configuring your layout.
Power Apps comes with a massive library of connectors that allow Power Apps to integrate with a wide variety of Microsoft applications as well as non-Microsoft applications too; these are built by Microsoft but also other providers, although everything is verified by Microsoft. Connectors come as standard and premium – with the latter incurring an additional cost. There are also opportunities to build custom connectors – something which Content Formula often helps client with.
Tight integration the Power Platform and Microsoft applications
Power Apps has very tight integration with the rest of the Power Platform and other Microsoft 365 applications, helping to deliver apps which utilise your other investments in Microsoft products. Power Apps can also be used with Microsoft Dynamics.
Access to the Dataverse
A Power Apps license gives you access to the Dataverse, an Azure-based data storage environment which is essentially a relational database. The Dataverse allows you to store, surface, update, query and manage data across Microsoft applications, including the Power Platform. This ensures data remains consistent across apps which leverage other Microsoft applications.
At Content Formula we can help you leverage the potential of the Power Apps to bring together your organisations processes, data, and people. Our tried and tested agile methodology ensures that we completely understand your business environment and objectives before designing and deploying the right solution.
Our experienced team of Microsoft certfied developers can help you design and implement unique solutions and integrations harnessing the power of Microsoft Power Platform technology.
Discovery and strategy
Through our discovery process, we help you identify opportunities where technology solutions can help add value to your business, and suggest priority areas that will create maximum impact and return on investment.
We then formulate a comprehensive strategy and approach that is aligned to your specific business needs, digital workplace requirements and top-line objectives.
Power Apps strategy
Power Platform strategy
Business automation and process improvement
Build and integrations
Our experienced team of Microsoft certified developers will work with you to scope and design a new and effective Power Apps solution to meet your business needs.
Custom Power Apps solutions
Are you looking to use Power Apps to create a specific business solution or app? Often digital workplace teams have specific process workflows or apps in mind that they wish to implement. We can help design and develop your apps, using Power Apps and the wider Power Platform.
Power Apps connector development
Implementation and training
We can help you implement your technology solutions, often on an ongoing basis to support continuous improvement. Our role can differ, we can either complete the technical configuration and development, or work with your IT function as technical advisors to support your inhouse operations.
Power Apps implementation
We can support you in your implementation project, covering everything from the set-up, to integrating it with other business processes and systems.
Power Apps Training
We can provide training to both IT and non-IT resources on how to use Power Apps, and customise this to your particular needs. For example, it could even be part of a “citizen development” programme.
Need technical advice on elements of Power Apps? Our technical experts are on hand to help.