After long and encouraging previews, Microsoft announced general availability of Microsoft PowerApps & Microsoft Flow for general availability today. Both PowerApps and Flow will be included with Dynamics 365 and in the subscriptions of millions of Office 365 Enterprise and Business Premium and Essentials users.
Combined with Power BI, the company is calling the three services the “power trio“, as they allow non-developers to do things that previously required programming skills. Each app plays a specific role in this strategy.
Microsoft Power BI – Power BI transforms your company’s data into rich visuals for you to collect and organize so you can focus on what matters to you. Available for web, desktop and mobile, Power BI puts visual analytics at your fingertips with intuitive report authoring. Drag-and-drop to place content exactly where you want it on the flexible and fluid canvas. Quickly discover patterns as you explore a single unified view of linked, interactive visualizations.
Power Apps – In PowerApps, you can generate an app automatically, customize it, create an app from scratch, and share and run apps that you create or that others create and share with you.
Microsoft Flow – Microsoft Flow is a service that allows you to create automated workflows between your favorite applications and services to synchronize files, get notifications, collect data, and more. For example, you could log your favorite Twitter user’s tweets to an Excel file, or get an email notification every time a new item is posted to a Sharepoint list. Or maybe you could add popular Twitter followers talking about your company as leads in Dynamics CRM and then send a follow-up email.
The company says that the power trio follows its strategy of “five seconds to sign up, five minutes to wow!” This means that it should be easy to get started and then users should be able to quickly understand the service. Despite being easy to use though, Microsoft says that these are very powerful tools.
Power BI & Power Apps provide a gateway component that provides on-premise integration by accessing data within your data center. With the on-premises gateways, you can keep your data fresh by connecting to your on-premises data sources without the need to move the data. Query large datasets and benefit from your existing investments. The gateways provide the flexibility you need to meet individual needs, and the needs of your organization. Multiple users can share and reuse a gateway in this mode. This gateway can be used by Power BI, PowerApps, Flow or Logic Apps. For Power BI, this includes support for both schedule refresh and DirectQuery.
It is very encouraging to see these components in general availability as enterprises will have more options to build solutions to complex and challenging business problems. I would be happy to help you build a proof of concept as well as business case for using these workloads. Please use the contact me form to share your queries.