The Low-Code/No-Code Revolution Driven by Power Apps

Power Apps allows you to fill the app gap to improve applications that are meeting 80-90% of your needs to things easier for users.

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    In the world of application development, many are calling it the Low Code/No Code Revolution. Gartner says 70% of applications will be developed using no-code/low-code technology, and Microsoft is leading the way. The Power Platform now generates $2 billion in revenue and has more than seven million active users. Power Apps, playing the low-code/no-code starring role, saw 72% growth during the past year.

    As described in the Aspire 22* presentation by Velosio Solution Architect Tommy Cuevas, Power Apps is making it possible for end-users to quickly and easily build new apps and add functionality to existing apps. In many cases calling for new functionality, traditional application development methods are not needed. With Power Apps, users can build new functions with WYSWYG (what you see is what you get), drag-and-drop, and Excel-like formula functions.

    With these capabilities, Power Apps allows you to fill the app gap to improve applications that are meeting 80-90% of your needs but could use a little extra to make things easier for users. Or, if you need a new workflow, you can create forms and approval processes. The Canvas app, an add-on component to Power Apps, is handy for building mobile interfaces.

    The Benefits of Low Code/No Code Applications

    Why should your organization take advantage of the low code/no code capabilities offered by Power Apps? First, it’s much less expensive to have business users develop apps and new services than it is to hire third-party developers or rely on internal developer resources. The development, test and production lifecycle is also faster—so new services go to market sooner.

    But even more important, the development work is done by end users—the people who know best what the new service needs to do and how it should work. This eliminates the frequent back and forth between traditional software developers and end-users as the developers try to figure out what the users want. The apps also see higher user utilization rates—since users built the apps themselves, they take pride in ownership and want to use them more often.

    Power Apps and Power Automate provide an efficient low-code solution for businesses looking to empower their finance teams to manage workflows and business applications with ease.

    Teams of end-users can also easily collaborate in the Power Apps sandbox to test each other’s development work so multiple people can contribute to building new features. This ensures an app meets every key stakeholder’s needs, and once a new service goes live, the team can continue to make adjustments on the fly and push the changes out right away.

    The new apps can also integrate with Microsoft Office applications, including Teams. During a Teams session, for example, employees can interact with each other as well as with customers and vendors, using forms and processes they created with Power Apps.

    Key Capabilities Enabled by Power Apps

    Power Apps also lets your business users add app logic, such as Excel expressions, and they can mash up data from multiple sources. They can also automate workflows, such as personal time off requests.

    The requests can be set up to trigger an email for approvals, with a return email response along with calendar entries for the time off, and submissions to timekeeping and payroll apps. Similar workflows can be set up for submitting business expenses: employees take photos of credit card receipts from their mobile device, and the app then itemizes the receipt and uploads it to your ERP and payroll applications.

    All without having to use professional developers!

    Creating Portals Also a Snap

    Another key companion tool for Power Apps is Power Pages, previously called Power Portals. With Power Pages, you can use the low-code/no-code approach to create portals for interaction with employees, customers, and vendors to exchange information, submit orders, submit expenses, request services, and coordinate other business interactions.

    Power Pages comes with pre-built portal page templates, and you can create your own. The templates make it easy for non-technical users to design user-friendly portals. You can also embed Power BI dashboards into the portal and connect portal forms to Dynamics, SharePoint, and other external services.

    Another function you can create is chatbots to interact with visitors to answer any questions they have. If more help is needed, you can program the portal to connect inquiries to Teams so service reps can see the question and start a live chat or phone call.

    To Learn More About Power Apps

    To learn more about Power Apps and low-code/no-code application development, check out Tommy’s full presentation. He demonstrates the platform in action and provides a rundown of two Velosio customer use-cases where they put low-code/no-code development into action. As you will likely experience, once you start building PowerApps, your end-users will want to use the tool more and more to make their jobs easier and to help your business operate more efficiently.

    If you need assistance with deploying or setting up Power Apps, simply contact Velosio today. We’re here to help!

    Aspire 22, the annual Velosio conference, brought together Dynamics users, finance and business leaders, and IT professionals from across the country. The one-day online event showcased the business possibilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions powered by today’s modern technologies.