Power Platform 101
Microsoft’s Power Platform provides the tools for organizations to better manage and analyze their data. Understanding the components of the Power Platform and how to best utilize them could be a critical differentiator for your business since for one very simple reason: organizations that harness their data – to gain insights which are then used to drive intelligent business decisions – will outperform those that don't.
It’s easy to recognize that there aren’t enough programmers, data scientists, and tech professionals to go around. Microsoft’s goal was to build a platform targeting these technology experts and the millions of other frontline workers who have never been equipped with the proper tools to do more with the data they work with every day.
The guiding vision was a framework called the “Triple-A Loop” – a closed-loop system allowing users to gain insights from data (Analyze) used to drive intelligent business processes via apps they build (Act) and processes they automate (Automate). The Microsoft Power Platform implements this vision via three cloud-based services: Power BI, PowerApps, and Power Automate.
PowerApps is a low-code application development platform – allowing anyone to build web and mobile applications without writing code. The natural connection between Power BI and PowerApps makes it effortless to put insights in the hands of maintenance workers, teachers, and others on the frontline. Tailored insights and task-specific applications can increase their productivity and make their work less tedious.
Like Power BI, PowerApps connects to hundreds of business systems and databases, making it easy to connect workers with the existing processes and data that drive the business. The data captured in PowerApps can make its way right back to those same systems for further analysis in Power BI, creating a closed-loop process for continuous improvement.
Additionally, PowerApps comes with a built-in, fully-managed, enterprise-grade datastore called the Common Data Service (CDS) for those applications that generate data not destined for a legacy system. Power BI and Power Automate have deep connections to CDS, making it that much easier to gain more value from the data stored there.
Extending the Power Platform via connectors to other Microsoft products allows you to leverage those investments for an even greater return.
Here is a brief rundown of the four applications included in the Power Platform:
- Build highly customized task- and role-based canvas apps with data from one or multiple sources
- Generate immersive model-driven apps, starting from your data model and business processes
- Consume fully accessible apps across web and mobile, embedded, or standalone, on any device
- Connect to all your data and get a consolidated view across your business through a single pane of glass
- Create ad-hoc analysis, live dashboards, and interactive reports that are easy to consume on the web and across mobile devices
- Build intelligent apps by infusing insights from your data and drive action with the power of the Power platform
- Automate and model business processes across your apps and services
- From simple automation to advanced scenarios with branches, loops, and more
- Trigger actions, grant approvals, and get notifications right where you work
- Automate legacy, on-prem, and cloud-based applications and services
Power Virtual Agent
- Enable subject matter experts to easily create powerful virtual agents using a guided, no-code graphical interface—all without the need for data scientists or developers.
- Enable the virtual agent to act on the customer’s behalf. Easily integrate your virtual agent with hundreds of services and systems out of the box or create custom workflows.
- Keep an eye on how your virtual agent is performing by using conversational metrics and dashboards. Get in-depth AI-driven insights to improve bot performance.
Want to learn how?