Microsoft Power Apps is a low-code or no-code platform that enables organizations to build high-quality mobile apps with excellent user experience in no time. Building apps the traditional way often costs an excessive amount of time and money. But with Microsoft Power Apps, even an average user with no coding experience can create these in a matter of hours or days. How long it takes you to build an app depends on how complex it will be.
What is Power Apps?
Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, and connectors. It also serves as a data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for business needs. These Apps works on both browsers and mobile devices. It enables end-users to create custom apps without writing any code.
Power Apps also provides a comprehensive platform for professional developers to create complex business workflows. It allows your team to connect with the data stored in Microsoft Dataverse or various other sources like SharePoint, Dynamics 365, MS SQL, etc. Power Apps are created and launched rapidly, unlike traditional apps, thus allowing companies to respond quickly to changing needs.
Power Apps – A Part of the Microsoft Power Platform
The Power Platform comprises four Microsoft products: Power Automate, Power BI, Power Virtual Agent, and Power Apps. These tools are used in business automation, data analysis, and in conjunction with Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365.
The main difference between Power Apps and the Power Platform is that the latter encompasses the four elements of products. These elements are used in automating and increasing the efficiency of business operations.
Four Major Components of Power Apps
Power Apps offers three different ways to create apps:
- Canvas Apps
- Model-driven Apps
The fourth component of these Apps is Microsoft Dataverse; it allows you to store and model business data. It’s a platform used for building Dynamics 365 apps. Moreover, Microsoft Dataverse enables you to store and manage data securely within an array of standard and custom tables. You can also add columns to the tables whenever you want to.
As the name indicates, Canvas Apps lets you create a highly tailored interface with the power of a blank canvas. All you need to do is simply drag and drop the elements onto the canvas and connect it to the data source of your choice. There are over 200 connectors available to connect with your power app.
A platform on which Dynamics 365 apps are natively built, model-driven apps start with the data model. It refers to a design approach that focuses on including components like views, forms, charts, and dashboards to tables. You do this by using an app designer tool.
Moreover, you can manage both the core business data and business processes. It automatically generates a user interface that is responsive across devices.
You can create external-facing websites with these Apps as well. It allows users outside the organization to sign in with a wide variety of identities like LinkedIn, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google or enterprise providers such as Azure AD B2C and Okta.
One of the major advantages of using Portal Apps is to allow the end users to browse your content anonymously, which is useful when you engage with external customers and partners.
Which Types of Apps to Make with Power Apps?
These Apps is targeted at all types of businesses. It allows you to build tailor-made applications according to your own unique needs. This applies to all – small, medium, or large – businesses. And it holds regardless of the sector in which your company operates.
Model-driven apps are built on top of the data present within Microsoft Dataverse. The user interface is built automatically depending on the data model. These apps are suitable when dealing with complex workflows and business logic or tracking activities associated with the data.
If you are looking for a tailor-made UI based on user requirements, or your app requires integration spanning multiple systems by using connectors, it would be best to go for a Canvas app. Since Power Apps is a low-code/no-code platform, it is not ideal for large-scale mobile apps with complex algorithms.
The Power Apps platform is more suitable for creating applications that improve efficiency in collecting daily data. This data includes meeting captures, timesheets, asset or inventory management, budget tracker, onboarding tasks, etc.
How Easy is it to Learn Power Apps?
These Apps are very easy to learn. It requires no software to be installed, and no environment setup is needed – it is all browser-based. You can learn to create and publish a power app in a matter of hours. The Designer is easy to use and gives a PowerPoint or Excel-like layout.
The beauty of Power Apps is that you don’t need to be a professional app developer to build these apps. A simple drag-and-drop feature inside the canvas with easy data connections makes it a fun exercise. Using Power Apps to build applications is no problem if you are already familiar with how to create formulas inside an Excel sheet. That is because the Power Apps Builder Tool uses similar logic to let you make interactive and engaging applications.
However, you need to hire a professional developer or onboard a tech partner to build large applications with Power Apps. These large applications require data connections outside Microsoft Dataverse or SharePoint (Azure or MS SQL), with complex business logic and workflows.
At Xavor, we have a team of Microsoft-certified Power Apps developers who can help take your vision forward and achieve your business goals. We provide free consultancy to understand your business objectives and recommend the best possible solution free of charge.
Do you wish to learn more about how to build enterprise mobile apps and automate your business processes quickly? Get in touch with one of our experts. Contact us at [email protected]. We would love to help you build your enterprise-grade mobile app!