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"Empower your business with Power Apps - Build, automate, and innovate like never before"
Do you want to upgrade any outdated or inefficient business processes? Do you still circulate data on paper or even in a shared Excel workbook? Do you wish to be able to carry out these business operations using various devices, such as PCs or smartphones? Power Apps are then necessary.
Power Apps is a no-code/low-code platform for creating apps that is based on ideas that are comparable to formulas found in an Excel worksheet, such SUM and TEXT. Power Apps can be used to create both straightforward business solutions, like car inspection forms and status reports, and sophisticated business solutions, such purchasing procedures and inventory management. You can use your current abilities to design an app if you can think of one that will address a business issue. Power Apps offers advanced functionality and the capacity for seasoned developers to construct complicated apps with ease, despite the fact that this module is targeted at business customers with no background in computer science and coding.
When modernising a paper-based process, there are probably systems in your organisation that have data that you can use. You have options with Power Apps. You can easily connect to data using the underlying data service and app platform, Microsoft Dataverse, or a variety of online and on-premises data sources, thanks to hundreds of connectors. Among the most common data sources are:
Canvas apps are a great option when you want to build an app from a blank canvas. You start by choosing the screen size: tablet or mobile, then you have a blank screen from which to build. You can interact with data in your app by adding data sources. Drag and drop various controls and add the desired functionality by writing Excel style formulas. Canvas apps provide you complete flexibility when building your apps.
Model-driven apps build from data in Microsoft Dataverse. Power Apps will build you a great looking, fully functional app to act upon and interact with this data. With model-driven apps, there is no need to worry about choosing the app size; it is responsive, meaning it works on mobile or tablet with no extra work by you. You define the relationships, forms, views, business rules, and more at the data layer, inside of the Dataverse, giving you enough control to get your business result without writing all of the formulas yourself.
Portals bring the power of no-code solutions to building externally facing websites. Through the Power Apps interface, you can build an anonymous or authenticated website that allows users to interact with data held in Dataverse. The same drag and drop experience you enjoy when building apps is available to build these rich, interactive websites.
Adding functionality such as image recognition or prediction models required advanced computer knowledge prior to Power Apps. There was code to write, data models to design and train, and a lot of complicated logic to work through. By providing a wizard-based interface for building and training your model, Power Apps has "democratised" artificial intelligence. This allows you to leverage the power of Azure Machine Learning and Cognitive services without writing a single line of code or developing complex machine learning models.
The business card reader is a ready-to-use AI component. This component examines an uploaded photo or photograph to determine if it is a business card and then extracts the pertinent information. There is no need for configuration.
The business card reader is just one ready-made example that builds on the underlying AI components, which you can then deploy in other ways by first creating a model. There are currently four AI models available in Power Apps:
This model predicts whether something will happen or not based on previous data history. More details in the following section.
This model extracts text from an image like the business card reader.
This model identifies objects from an uploaded image or taken photo and then provides a count of the number of objects present.
This model categorizes text by its meaning, making it is easier to analyze.
You can build prediction models to solve business problems such as:
There are numerous tools available to those in IT or who are in charge of governance. Power Apps provides a plethora of security, governance, and reporting features to help you manage Power Apps. Furthermore, Power Apps does not violate security in any way. Users cannot create apps that circumvent current access permissions. Options for creating and managing environments, monitoring licences, working with Data Loss Prevention policies, and managing Dataverse Data Integration projects can be found here. This allows you to manage the Power Apps across your tenant from a single location.
Power Apps also has its own set of PowerShell cmdlets for app creators, administrators, and developers to automate many administrative tasks. PowerShell cmdlets are commonly used to automate the discovery and permission management of all apps in your tenant, allowing you to better understand and manage apps as they are created and distributed throughout your organisation.
You already know that Power Apps have a minimal entry-level technical requirement because they don't require traditional "code" like C#. You can start building your first app as soon as you are familiar with your business procedures. This means that for many firms, the apps are being developed directly by front-line business users rather than by IT. Finance can create their own Power Apps in the same manner that they create their own Excel workbooks now.
Now that you know, Power Apps has a low entry-level technical requirement because it doesn't require conventional "code" like C#. You can begin creating your first app if you are familiar with business procedures. This implies that apps for many firms are being developed by front-line business users rather than by IT. Finance can create their own Power Apps in the same manner they can now with Excel workbooks.
Heathrow Airport is one of the world's busiest airports and models a small city in complexity and traffic. With over 76,000 people working on a given day and 200,000 travelers passing through, there's a strong need to continually optimize operations. One way to accomplish this goal is through the digitization of processes. Part of that effort included the adoption of Microsoft Office 365 for all employees, and later the use of Power Apps.
There are easily thousands of processes that could be turned into apps. These processes would require hundreds of developers and years of work to even make a dent. While Heathrow has a robust IT department, they did not have hundreds of extra developers to begin digitizing processes. Or did they?
At Heathrow Airport, they have attacked the process of digital transformation by empowering the front line workers to build apps and solve problems. This revolution began with Samit Saini who decided to show what could be accomplished with Power Apps. Saini's business change manager requested a further look into the value of Office 365, which led Saini to Power Apps. Saini began developing an app that held security information translated into dozens of different languages. Previously, this information was kept in a book located at security checkpoints, and Saini set out to improve this experience. From the success of that first app, there are now dozens of apps and an official process for creating and implementing new apps.
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