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Microsoft Power Platform – An Overview

Foster innovation across your organization by giving everyone the ability to analyze data, build solutions, automate processes, and create chatbots. The Microsoft Power Platform is more than the sum of its parts. Connect them together – and to Office 365, Dynamics 365, Azure, and hundreds of other apps – and build end-to-end business solutions.

Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and the Power Platform on top of what we’re doing with Azure is the core of what we are doing as a company vis-à-vis I would say our commercial customers – businesses of all sizes, whether it’s a small business, large business, whether it’s in an emerging market or in a developed market – says CEO Satya Nadella.

Microsoft Power Platform is an inclusive technology. Its ease-of-use creates a culture of innovation, helping you realize the untapped value you couldn’t access before. With Power Platform, you’re not just investing in today, you’re investing in your future. Stay agile and innovative by easily creating intelligent, custom apps and automating processes with low-code solutions designed for everyone.

Power BI, its business analytics platform; Flow, its workflow-automation engine; and PowerApps, its associated app development platform — together known as the Power Platform — has been mostly the domain of Dynamics 365 users. Microsoft is planning a big push to make the Power Platform its unified extensibility framework across not just Dynamics ERP/CRM, but also Microsoft 365 — its Windows 10, Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security subscription bundle.

Part of this Power Platform is Microsoft’s Common Data Model (CDM), a definition of standard entities that represent commonly used concepts and activities across business and application domains. CDM is at the heart of the Open Data Initiative which Microsoft, Adobe, and SAP announced (with next-to-no specifics) at Ignite last year. The high-level goal of ODI is to integrate CRM, Microsoft ERP, commerce, sales, product usage, and other related data into a single view that works across devices.

The Power Platform is today comprised of three services:

  • Power BI
  • PowerApps and
  • Power Automate (previously known as Flow)

While each of these services is best-of-breed individually, their combination as the Power Platform is a game-changer without equal for our customers.

The Power Platform connects to a wide range of data sources – including third-party apps such as Google Analytics and Twitter, however, it is extremely powerful when working with Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Microsoft pitch the Power Platform to “unlock the potential of Dynamics 365 and Office 365 faster than you ever thought possible” so you can easily extend, customize, and integrate these services.

Microsoft Power Platform

The Microsoft Power Platform implements this vision via three cloud-based services: Power BI, PowerApps, and Power Automate (Previously known as Flow). The heart of the Microsoft Power Platform is the Common Data Service for Apps (CDS). CDS is a secure database hosted in Azure Cloud prebuilt with a standard set of entities and record types. Since the Power Platform is built on the Common Data Model, users are provided with semantic consistency and built-in connectivity.

1. Power BI

Power BI is a self-service business intelligence solution that makes it easy to connect, analyze and gain insight from the data that runs your business – wherever that data may be: in the cloud, or in your own data center; in an Excel spreadsheet or SharePoint list, an Oracle database or in an SAP or Salesforce application; or in any of the hundreds of other systems with built-in support by the Power Platform. Power BI allows you to get deep insights from your data as you can slice, filter, and drill-down into it. Natural language (NL) querying is also available within the application, allowing you to ask questions about their data in the same way you’d ask a search engine dashboards and visualizations are automatically updated to provide you with the answers you need.

Power BI is available in 43 languages and used across 18,000 cities spanning the globe.

2.Power Apps

Microsoft PowerApps is a platform that allows users to create and deploy tailored applications that can be used on desktop and mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows). The natural connection between Power BI and PowerApps makes it effortless to put insights in the hands of maintenance workers, teachers, miners, and others on the frontline, in tailored and often task-specific applications that supercharge their productivity and make their work perhaps a little less tedious. 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 – and Power BI and Flow have deep connections to CDS making it that much easier to get even more value from data stored there.

3.Power Automate (previously known as Flow)

Power Automate (Formerly Microsoft Flow) is a service that helps you to create automated workflows between apps and services. Through a simple and intuitive interface, users can create automated workflows that can be triggered by insights from Power BI, leveraged via apps built with PowerApps, and integrated with events from any of the hundreds of systems the Power Platform natively supports. The workflows run completely in the cloud and are fully managed and secured by Microsoft. We now have more intelligent and powerful capabilities for Power Automate makers. There have been several productivity enhancements between Power Automate and Microsoft Teams. This results not only in better outcomes in alignment with digital transformation goals, but it also encourages the early adoption of Microsoft Teams.

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