Microsoft PowerApps – What You Need To Know

PowerApps

Microsoft PowerApps is the latest technology offered by Microsoft that aims at empowering employees by allowing them to connect business data and build the apps they need for day-to-day functions without having any programming skills or the need to write a single line of code.

Microsoft PowerApps is gaining a lot of traction these days. In fact in just a few months since Microsoft announced the general availability of PowerApps; the technology has seen tremendous growth. Subsequent to Gartner’s recent report revealing that the market demand for mobile app development services is expected to grow at least five times faster than internal IT organizations’ capacity to deliver them; organisations are supposedly  turning to Microsoft PowerApps to build custom business applications.

With PowerApps, Microsoft aims to accelerate how businesses develop mobile applications. For the benefit of non-technical users; PowerApps comes with a number of pre-built app templates catering to the specific business processes including but not limited to timesheets, accounting, client/employee engagement surveys, asset management and more. It also provides some connected apps for users who wish to connect to the Office 365, Salesforce, Trello and Wunderlist. Finally, Microsoft has developed and released a set of app-building video courses are available for users who wish to build their app from scratch and/or create their own environment / database.

PowerApps offers a free version that allows users to create apps that can integrate with a maximum of two cloud data sources. The paid versions on the other hand allows users to take integrate with unlimited number of cloud data sources as well as take advantage of on premise data systems.

Benefits to businesses

PowerApps helps every member of the organisation. While employees have the ability to create apps using simple drag-and-drop function by connecting to cloud services such as Office 365, Dynamics 365, SharePoint, OneDrive, Dropbox, and Salesforce or on-premises systems such as SQL Server, SAP and Oracle databases; software developers and IT administrators can use PowerApps to build APIs and/or data connectors to existing organisational solutions as well as manage data accessibility and security according to the corporate guidelines.

Some of the crucial benefits organisations are experiencing with PowerApps include:

  • Business apps delivered faster

Learning PowerApps is easier than learning a coding language due to which users can build new mobile applications and/or perform modifications to existing applications with relative ease. Moreover, PowerApps provides a large number of out-of-the-box connections to commonly used SaaS services in addition to offering pre-built templates catering to everyday business requirements. All of these factors greatly reduce the time required to build test and release a mobile app for company use.

  • Mobile and Cloud Readiness

Research proves that organisations are greatly lacking in mobility of business apps. This may be either because the company makes-do with legacy systems or their existing systems are not mobile-ready. The apps created using PowerApps are instantly mobile and cloud compatible. It is also comparatively easy to share and distribute this app as it does not require users to publish the app to an app-store. As such PowerApps enable organisations to speed-up their mobile and cloud roadmap.

  • Significant cost savings

With PowerApps organisations are able to get their applications developed in-house; reducing the need to pay an external agency for development, testing and deployment of basic business-applications. Organisations are also seeing a faster ROI by using PowerApps instead of external app developers.

Conclusion

With the mobile app market expected to be worth more than $63 billion by 2020; it is time for enterprises to provide their employees with mobile-ready solutions for their day-to-day activities. PowerApps enables users to develop simple mobile and web applications, integrating with various data sources and streamlining basic business functions.

However, not everything can be achieved with simple drag-and-drop functions. When organisational needs extend beyond the basic functions and require integrating custom data sources; creating cross-platform solutions and deploying applications for background processing scenarios; coding know-how is a welcome prerequisite. Organisations need to clearly define and distinguish between using PowerApps and engaging a qualified software developer.

With over 10 years of developing and deploying mobile applications; Empower CS can create mobile applications for your unique business requirements using scalable Microsoft technologies. Need to discuss your business goals or develop a mobile-ready application? Contact us right away. We will be happy to answer them!