Microsoft Power Platform: Fast and Efficient Application Development

IT plays an increasingly important role in everyday business operations – and not just in IT companies or firms in technology-intensive industries, as any business today cannot function without software and IT tools.

In many cases, these are available off-the-shelf or in a customizable form – think Windows or ERP systems. However, a medium-sized or large company often needs software applications tailored specifically to its needs (frequently, to support internal operations or improve work efficiency) and these are usually not available in the required form. In most cases, there is no in-house expertise to develop them, so the company has to rely on external expert resources.

However, the market is struggling to keep pace with the increased demand. More and more software developers are needed – experienced developers are worth their weight in gold, but their time and capacity are limited.

microsoft power platform

This is where so-called “low-code” or “no-code” solutions come in.

What exactly are “low-code” and “no-code”?

“Low-code” development platforms allow users with minimal knowledge in software development to develop custom applications, accelerating a software development process that has traditionally been time-consuming and dependent on scarce expert resources.

Unlike “low-code”, “no-code” development platforms do not require any coding expertise at all: they usually offer pre-built templates from which businesses can build applications.

A good example is Microsoft Power Platform, which allows users to work in a “low-code” or even “no-code” environment. This allows companies to be much more agile in app development by creating the application they need in-house or with minimal external support (and especially quickly!).

Microsoft Power Platform

Microsoft Power Platform is an integrated suite of applications that enable organizations to quickly and efficiently develop applications, automate processes, and analytical data without deep knowledge in programming. Advanced analytics, app development capabilities, and data integration work together to help users work more efficiently and make decisions faster.

What does the suite consist of?

  • Power BI: software for visualizing data with different kinds of charts.
  • Power Apps: graphical software for writing low-code custom business applications.
  • Power Pages: graphical software for making low-code websites.
  • Power Automate: a toolkit for implementing business workflow products.
  • Power Virtual Agents: software for building chatbots

All of this is backed up by Microsoft Dataverse: a relational database engine that Microsoft offers as a cloud-based data management software service for storing business data. Dataverse is primarily a database with associated functionality and differs from on-premises solutions (such as Microsoft Access) in that the developer needs internet access to connect to Dataverse. It is primarily a tool for managing and storing data and allows the creation and management of data sets through a single user interface.

MS Dataverse is marketed for use with other Microsoft products such as Power Apps and Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications and has data connectors to other Microsoft products (like Azure Event Hub, Azure Service Bus, Microsoft SQL and Azure Data Lake).

Who benefits from Microsoft Power Platform and why?

Thanks to its versatility, Power Platform is a useful tool for a wide range of organizations and roles. Here are some examples:

  • Business leaders can easily create data analysis and reporting tools to analyze their data faster and support their decision-making.
  • Staff performing repetitive tasks on a daily basis can automate these processes by creating simple “low-code” applications.
  • Software developers can use it to create applications quickly and efficiently, while taking advantage of their coding capabilities when needed.
  • Data controllers and analysts can easily process and analyze data using its built-in data analysis tools.

And how does all this work in practice?

It’s worth reading the story of how a former warehouse worker at Jaguar Land Rover became the company’s lead application developer after a workplace accident, thanks to the Power Platform: In two years, he developed more than 160 applications to automate processes, connect systems and simplify enterprise-wide reporting.

How do we use it at DSS Consulting?

At DSS, we have been exploring the possibilities offered by Power Platform and, while trainings and certifications of our experts involved are still in progress, we have already started using it.

We use it mainly for business application development, especially for customers who use MS Dynamics as their ERP system, as it eliminates the need for an integration between the ERP system and the new applications that are created.

For example, we are now developing an automated test documentation application that utilizes both generative AI and Power Platform, saving our customer considerable manual work and therefore time and cost.

Do you think we could help your company with similar low-code or no-code solutions? Why not discuss this over a good cup of coffee?