What is Microsoft PowerApps? Top 8 benefits of PowerApps

Need to make your own customizable business app but don’t want to pay the exorbitant prices for fancy app developers? Microsoft PowerApps to the rescue! 

We will walk you through what exactly Microsoft PowerApps is, what it can do and how your organisations can greatly benefit from using it.

What is Microsoft PowerApps?

Microsoft PowerApps is a platform and suite of services that provides an application development environment that enables organisations to easily build, develop and integrate custom apps to accommodate business needs. It is one of the core tools within Microsoft’s Power Platform and is Microsoft’s entryway into low code development platforms.

Low code development platforms aim to provide non-professional ‘citizen’ developers a way to create business solution apps that significantly minimizes the overall amount of coding required. A Forrester report recently recognized Microsoft PowerApps as a top leader in low code development platforms and rated it the strongest in terms of strategy. 

Microsoft PowerApps comes built to integrate with different Microsoft tools – from fellow Power Platform tools such as Power Automate and Power BI to your general Office365 applications – and an extensive list of external data sources. This means whatever apps you create can be completely integrated into your current workflows.

Do you want to build a custom timesheet to document, analyse and optimise your team’s productivity. No problem! You can easily make your own app with little to no coding experience suited to your specific needs, easily integrate it with your payment, cost and resource management applications with PowerApps Connectors, enable smart analysis with Power BI and automate reporting needs with Power Automate

Types of PowerApps

There are three main types of Power Apps you can create:

Canvas Apps

Just like working with a blank canvas, users can start building a custom app from scratch by easily dragging and dropping elements onto the app canvas. The typical process starts with integrating a data-source, adding workflows and creating a user interface design. These are suited for users trying to build apps with the most flexibility and customizability. 

Model-Driven Apps

Model-driven apps are automatically generated and designed by PowerApps itself according to the data set it is connected to. Model-driven apps will often recommend users pre-made interface components based on the data sets to simplify app layout generation. These are suited for users who want to produce end-to-end solutions with complex business logic and build responsive app designs that can automatically fit to any screen size.

Portal Apps

These are external-facing web portals that enable both internal and external users to interact securely with data in the Common Data Service. This allows for effective management of data by controlling content viewing and sharing restrictions and capabilities. This means that your data can be securely shared through other commercial login providers like LinkedIn and Microsoft Account. 

Top 8 Benefits of PowerApps for your organisation

1. Streamlines development

Traditionally, businesses would have to wait for their desired apps to be developed by their team of developers. As the demand for customized apps increases, this waitlist only gets longer and longer and teams may not have the patience to wait until they are completed. This leads to ineffective processes and practices continuing on legacy systems and old applications. With PowerApps, new apps can be developed and distributed directly within the team or department that need it, how they want it and when they need it.

2. Fuss-free app creation process

Talking about coding and app development to non-programmers can be intimidating. PowerApps low-to-no coding UI means that making an application can be done easily by dragging and dropping elements into a page. The app creation process is more straightforward than ever and citizen development is championed through extensive online communities where people can share how they build amazing apps with each other. Building effective apps no longer required extensive knowledge of coding or experience as a programmer.

3. Extensive integrative capabilities

One of the biggest challenges of developing apps for non-professional programmers is connecting data. With PowerApps connectors, this is no longer a problem as it can easily connect to external data sources from within the Microsoft ecosystem such as Excel and Microsoft Projects to pretty much every common data source from Oracle to LinkedIn and many more. Have a look at the hundreds of connectors here.

4. Improves cost efficiency

Say goodbye to expensive programmer teams with exorbitant development costs. With access to its easy app creation UI starting as low as $7 per month, developing optimized apps has never been cheaper or more accessible. Even better, PowerApps for Office 365 includes business-level software subscriptions with free ad-on basic apps with its standard connectors.

5. Upgrades security

PowerApps give you complete control of your applications through the administration centre, giving employees extensive user control options to easily manage data and permits. Additionally, each application is automatically linked to Microsoft’s active directory domain service (ADDS), which ensures all users and devices are properly authenticated and are subject to their respective security policies. That means all levels of accessibility and visibility of data can be easily tracked and controlled.

6. Enhances business speed & performance

Building an app to fulfill all your needs is a tough task. With its easy app creation processes, PowerApps significantly reduces the time-consuming elements of traditional app development processes and allows apps to be made faster than ever. More apps and more data means more intuitive and optimized updates that in turn improve overall business performance.

7. Boosts mobility and accessibility

Though modern programming is already quite accessible and mobile, it typically is still confined to a laptop or desktop computer. PowerApps takes mobility to the next level as users can develop apps on the road and even on their mobile devices. With its interface built specifically for both mobile and desktop set-ups, PowerApps allow users to keep making apps and accessing their data no matter where they are.

8. Elevates overall business productivity

By being able to create applications and automate processes that cover your specific needs, teams cut down wasted time from performing manual tasks and can optimise their time towards more value-adding activities. The integrative capabilities of PowerApps also means that your cost and time savings are not limited to singular apps, but can be experienced throughout your entire workflow, meaning an overall improvement in productivity.

Tap into the Power of PowerApps with pmo365

Our PPM experts are PowerApp Geniuses. At pmo365, we’re all about making the right solution catered specifically to your needs. So make sure to book in a chat with our PPM experts to see how we can take your PPM activities to the next level. If you want to learn more about PowerApps and the amazing Microsoft Power Platforms apps, make sure to check our comprehensive guide to Microsoft Power Platform.

What is Microsoft PowerApps?

Microsoft PowerApps is a platform and suite of services that provides an application development environment that enables organisations to easily build, develop and integrate custom apps to accommodate business needs. It is one of the core tools within Microsoft’s Power Platform and is Microsoft’s entryway into low code development platforms.

Benefits of Microsoft PowerApps

Top 8 Benefits of PowerApps for your organisation
1. Streamlines development
2. Fuss-free app creation process
3. Extensive integrative capabilities
4. Improves cost efficiency
5. Upgrades security
6. Enhances business speed & performance
7. Boosts mobility and accessibility
8. Elevates overall business productivity

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