PowerApps is a new mobile application development platform from Microsoft provided as part of the Office 365 suite. PowerApps is currently in preview and is available to all current users of Office 365 on a free license for you to test and try out new upcoming Microsoft technologies.
In my last blog post, I mentioned how the introduction of Microsoft Flow, the new workflow and automation system for Office 365, was an important milestone and I see the introduction of PowerApps in a similar light.
Ever since the introduction and rise of the smartphone, Apps have become a way to enable people to get tasks done on the move using easy to use and rich interfaces. The phrase “there’s an app for that…” is almost ingrained into every user of modern web applications, however this has not always expanded into the workplace, until now…
Using either the web based designer tool or PowerApps Studio Windows application, a power user can create a mobile application that allows end users to easily connect to data sources within or outside of the organisation without requiring a deep knowledge of mobile application development or programming skills. Once an application has been developed it can be published to the rest of the organisation to use at the click of a button.
As an end user, the process of accessing these published PowerApps is a simple one, they simply download the PowerApps Mobile application from there respective app stores (AppStore, Google Play, Windows store) and sign in using their Office 365 user account. The PowerApps Mobile application will display all the applications that have been published within your organisation which can be opened from within the PowerApps Mobile application.
In my last blog post, I talked about how Flow was an important milestone in the workflow and automation story from Microsoft. When building PowerApps, power users can utilise existing Flows that have already been created or create new ones from within the Power Apps designer tools enabling your PowerApps to connect to all of the same services that Flow can.
With the introduction of PowerApps and Flow, Microsoft are really pushing the way organisations can leverage new mobile technologies easily with little cost and development effort, enabling businesses to create the application that they need to get a cutting edge on their competition.