Comprehensive Guide to Microsoft Power Platform 2023: Updated with new details

Power platform is a Low code-No code platform, where businesses or individuals can organize, develop, and automate digital solutions without having any programming or technical knowledge to transform their business processes and operations. Power platform comes with a powerful Avenger team – that includes, Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Pages. Each team member has some special powers for your business. We can say that it is one of the best to learn and use the Microsoft Technology stack in 2023. Let’s have a look at the comprehensive guide to Microsoft Power Platform 2023 in great detail.

Components of Microsoft Power Platform

Microsoft Power Platform includes four components, designed with a specific purpose:

  1. Power Apps: Power Apps help users to build custom apps with a user-friendly interface. This is basically a low-code app building that will require no programming/coding knowledge, you can use it the same as drag and drop elements (think of it as advanced Excel). We have to use the Power Fx formula, to design any business application, with business/custom logic.
    e.g. You can create your Canvas Power App (Same as Android/iOS app), that can work on tablet/mobile screens – use it for daily attendance, Onboarding processes – HR operations, etc. Power Apps focuses heavily on security and privacy with the Azure Security platform. High enterprise security, administration, and control are available in Power Apps, and you can manage them with Azure Active Directory to implement multifactor authentication(MFA) settings. The idea is that you can link almost any data and integrate that data across your existing systems in order to grow your solution.

Start your Power Apps journey for free (30-day trial) from here – https://make.powerapps.com/

  1. Power Automate: Formerly known as Microsoft Flow, Power Automate lets you automate workflows and tasks across different applications and services. This saves time, reduces manual errors, and ensures consistency in application processes.
    Suppose, you want to automate one of the daily birthday emails across the organization, then you can schedule power to automate cloud flow, which can automatically get the birthdate stored in Dataverse, and send a daily email to the birthday person. Automate one time, use lifetime.
  2. Power BI: Power BI provides data visualization and business intelligence capabilities. It helps transform raw data into meaningful insights through interactive dashboards and reports, enabling better decision-making. You can design Power BI dashboards, and charts visuals for a better understanding of complex scenarios in an easy way. e.g. You can design or configure Power BI for showcasing Customer sales performance data in 360 customer view.
  3. Power Virtual Agents: Here, you can create chatbots that can interact with customers and employees, addressing common queries and issues. This enhances customer service and support while freeing up human resources for more complex tasks. We can build intelligent bots in minutes using Generative AI and respond rapidly to customer needs in Power Virtual Agents.
  4. Power Pages: This is a low-code, secure SaaS platform for building, hosting, and managing custom and standard websites, that can be used for Organizations, enterprises, and individuals. We can quickly design, set up, and publish such that they function properly on all web browsers (Edge, Chrome, Firefox) and devices (Android, iOS, Web).

What’s new and planned updates and features for Power Platform in 2023

Microsoft Power Platform: 2023 release wave 1 plan features can be seen in the Public preview and later general availability too.
https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/release-plan/2023wave1/power-apps/planned-features

What is Microsoft Dataverse?

It was formerly known as the Common Data Service (CDS). It’s a secure and scalable cloud-based storage platform that allows you to store, manage, and link data from various sources. You can then use Power Platform tools to build apps, automate processes, and gain insights using this unified data. A collection of tables is used by Dataverse to store data. A table is made up of rows (aka records) and columns (aka fields/attributes).

Benefits of Microsoft Power Platform

  • Custom Solutions: Business apps and solutions that will fit business needs, reduce dependencies on third-party software.
  • Efficiency: Automation of repetitive tasks streamlines operations, leading to increased productivity and reduced errors.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Power BI’s powerful analytics transform data into actionable insights, aiding in informed decision-making.
  • Agility: Quickly respond to changing market conditions by rapidly developing and deploying apps and workflows.

Applications of Microsoft Power Platform

Microsoft Power Platform finds applications across diverse industries –

  • Manufacturing: Track inventory, Monitor production lines, and optimize supply chain processes.
  • Sales and Marketing: Develop customer engagement apps, automate lead tracking, and analyze sales data.
  • HR: Streamline recruitment, employee onboarding, and performance appraisal processes.
  • Customer Service: Create chatbots for instant customer support and analyze feedback to enhance service quality.
  • Finance: Automate financial workflows, generate reports, and analyze expenditure patterns.

Competitors

While Microsoft Power Platform offers a comprehensive suite, there are competitors in the low-code/no-code space:

  • Salesforce Lightning Platform: Focuses on CRM and app development with an emphasis on user experience.
  • Google AppSheet: Enables the creation of apps using Google Sheets and forms as data sources.
  • Zoho Creator: A platform that empowers users to build custom applications for specific business needs.

Common issues and resolutions for Power Apps

You can resolve some issues or queries in Power Platform from official Microsoft documentation here – https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/power-platform/power-apps/isolate-and-troubleshoot-common-issues/common-issues-and-resolutions

What’s new and planned updates and features for Power Apps in 2023

Microsoft Power Platform: 2023 release wave 1 plan features can be seen in the Public preview and later general availability too.
https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/release-plan/2023wave1/power-apps/planned-features

  1. Copilot for makers and users – Copilot allows makers and users to use AI and natural language to accelerate app development and incorporate AI into existing apps
    Add Copilot to Canvas Power Apps
    Use Copilot in model-driven Power Apps
    Makers can generate AI app descriptions for their apps
  2. Modern User Experiences
    Use chatbot control to embed a Power Virtual Agents control.
    Easily find documents using the latest advanced find
    Power Apps by default have Power BI fast reports enabled.
    Toggle between Android smartphones among frontline employees
    Create canvas apps utilizing the new and improved controls.
  3. Efficient maker experiences
    Automatically add table columns to forms and views Use Copresence in Canvas Studio
    Direct calls to Dataverse actions are supported by Power Fx
    Use Maker Portal to simply create virtual tables and check out the new Power Apps homepage.
    Drag and drop to create responsive pages

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I need coding or programming skills to use Power Platform?

No, Power Platform is designed for both developers and non-developers. You can create solutions using low-code or no-code approaches.

Who can benefit from Power Platform?

Power Platform is for everyone, from non-developers to professional app creators. It’s ideal for businesses of all sizes and industries

Can I integrate Power Platform with other software?

Yes, Power Platform integrates seamlessly with various Microsoft and third-party applications, allowing you to connect your workflows and data.

Is Power Platform suitable for small and medium businesses?

Yes, its flexibility makes it an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes, including small and medium-scale enterprises.

How does Power Automate work?

Power Automate allows you to automate workflows across various applications, saving time and reducing errors by eliminating manual tasks.

Do I need coding skills to use Power Platform?

No, Power Platform offers no-code and low-code solutions, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

How does Power Platform enhance efficiency?

By automating processes and providing customized solutions, Power Platform increases operational efficiency and reduces manual errors.

What is the Common Data Model (CDM)?

CDM is a standardized data structure that ensures consistency across different apps and systems, enabling smoother collaboration.

Can Power Platform handle large amounts of data?

Yes, Power Platform’s Dataverse can handle substantial amounts of data, providing scalability for growing businesses.

Is Power Platform secure?

Yes, Microsoft prioritizes security. Power Platform employs various security features to protect your data and applications.

What are the pricing options for Power Platform?

Microsoft Power Platform offers various licensing options to suit different business needs. The licensing plans include a combination of the four components and are categorized as per-user and per-app options. It’s recommended to consult Microsoft’s official pricing page for the most up-to-date information.
Visit Pricing page: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/

What is Copilot in Power Platform?

Copilot allows users to create and automate simple operations using AI/AML natural language prompts, it facilitates anyone with no programming knowledge.

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