How can PowerApps help for your small business?
How can PowerApps help for your small business?
In the article, we learned about the intro of the Microsoft PowerApps and how to use this PowerApps for small businesses.
PowerApps, along with Flow, is Microsoft’s latest attempt to allow non-programmers in the enterprise space access to great mobile-ready applications. It is a powerful new way to turn business expertise into customer applications. With PowerApps and Microsoft Flow, you can connect to data sources like Office 365, SharePoint, Dropbox, Twitter, and other common SaaS and enterprise services. PowerApps is a service that fundamentally transforms and accelerates how organizations build a custom line of business applications. It’s also integrates with Microsoft Flow, making it possible to trigger flows from within apps.
Scott Hanselman says, “It’s for folks who use Office but don’t program”. Using visual tools, workflow engines like Flow and the data already in systems like Office and Dynamics 365, power users can create bespoke apps that solve real business problems.
Let’s consider, how to PowerApps works, and the problems it can solve for your business.
“Power” of PowerApps
One of the very interesting “power” of PowerApps is that you can automatically generate a mobile or tablet app without any coding from a data source like Excel or Common Data Model (CDM).
PowerApps could be broadly broken down into:
- The App itself
- Connections to your data
- Flows: workflows kicked off by apps
The App itself
In PowerApps you can create an app automatically for phone, tablet or desktop-based templates in just a few clicks. The app will be automatically designed to perform certain general functions, by default, based on its template; you can then customize to make it more specific and specialized. Perhaps you would like to show more of a certain kind of data in a different interface? Or add more detail, like images instead of the default text? Part of the power of the PowerApp is that as you build and change the app, the app is compiled and runs so you can simulate what your users will see when they use the app.
Connectors to data
When you generate an app from a template, PowerApps asks you what data source (you have stored across your IT system) that you wish to use for your app. Examples of the data sources are:
- A SharePoint list
- A SQL Server database
- Dynamics 365
- Excel workbook
For example, if you wanted to create an app that allowed your users to access your client contacts on their phones, and do specific things with that information (like setting up a meeting with them, for example), you could create an app that was built on data from that SharePoint list (i.e. the client contacts list).
We have used a SharePoint list as an example, but the same principle applies to the other data sources. Create an app based on the data from your CRM tool that complements the efforts of your sales team. Or give your Project Management Office an extra dimension with an app based on your data from Dynamics 365.
Flows, workflows kicked off by apps
Microsoft Flow is the underlying engine operating behind the scene of the apps you create and run. Essentially, an app is made up of several automated processes (or workflows) that are set off by commands within the app. To put it even more simply, an app is a way to develop forms for viewing and editing your data, and Flow is how you can tell your app to do things. For example, you could set it so when a new document is added to your SharePoint library a message is sent to Outlook, or Slack, or wherever you need it to go, with little or no coding experience.
The significant move for business apps
Once your app is ready you can share it with your entire organization, or with a specific team across a browser or mobile device. For the last number of years, the number of apps we use in our personal lives has seen a huge increase. Think about how many apps you have on your phone and how many of them you use to get your work done. The gap between the personal and professional is enormous. Microsoft PowerApps is a step towards closing the gap and enabling businesses to build apps quickly for their users. Along with that, they can break down their business data silos that exist – thanks to such high volumes of data across multiple systems, SaaS and the cloud – and more easily streamline business processes.
Fast track your solution
PowerApps dramatically fast-track how business apps are devised, built and deployed. PowerApps suddenly gives business users the ability to solve problems with all the power of having their own in-house team of app developers and designers. That means they can build the solutions that get to the heart of their specific business problems, in a way that’s mobile and cloud-first.
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