In November 2015, Microsoft introduced PowerApps. PowerApps is an enterprise service that enables users to create and share business apps within minutes. They don’t need any pre-existing programming experience, either. After a private launch, PowerApps became generally available at the beginning of November 2016. Read on to learn what you need to know about PowerApps and their impact on enterprise mobility.
From On-Premise Only to Mobile First
For years, the app development cycle looked like this: the starting point was PCs, and mobile devices were the second phase.
Microsoft has dramatically altered that cycle. PowerApps allow users to create and deliver mobile-first apps. While the apps can still be deployed on a desktop, PowerApps recognizes that users are more likely to work on their mobile devices than on a PC.
What’s even better news is that you don’t need a Microsoft device in order to create with PowerApps. You can use an Apple or Android device. That opens up app creation to an entirely new audience, because Microsoft’s mobile devices still trail behind Apple and Android in popularity.
Integration with Dynamics 365
PowerApps is part of Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based bundle that combines its ERP and CRM software. Previously, the Dynamics suite was available on-premise.
Dynamics 365 also represents Microsoft’s recognition that the cloud is the place to be for business. By integrating PowerApps into Dynamics 365, users can create apps that enable them to get the most out of these business tools – wherever they are, whenever they want.
Integration with Microsoft’s Other Tools
Part of the integration with Dynamics 365 is integration with Microsoft’s other productivity tools. Microsoft included built-in connections to cloud services such as Office 365 and OneDrive as well as on-premise services such as SharePoint and SQL Server. Although it’s great to be able to connect to cloud repositories of data, the ability to access information that’s on-premise is incredibly valuable, too. There’s so much data in those on-site depots, so to be able to use it gives PowerApps tremendous value.
This integration is crucial, because Microsoft’s other tools are widely used and make it easy for people to share information. Most companies use Office, so employees are generally familiar with applications such as Word and Outlook. Being able to share information easily and quickly through tools that you know how to use gives PowerApps a significant advantage.
You Don’t Need to Know How to Program
Imagine being able to create an app within a few minutes. You’d need a great deal of programming expertise to make that happen, right?
You don’t need to know how to code with PowerApps. This innovation empowers ordinary business users to create useful apps that will help them work more productively and effectively. The ability to use PowerApps without coding knowledge can save organizations significant amounts of money. Instead of outsourcing app development, they can bring it in-house.
That doesn’t mean there’s no place for developers anymore, though. Developers still play a role in ensuring that users can solve business problems through technology.