Microsoft Power Apps: Prompt and Cost-Effective Development of Business Apps

Microsoft Power Apps - ScienceSoft

Microsoft Power Apps in Brief

Power Apps is a suite of low-code development software to help citizen and pro developers create custom apps with rich business logic and workflow automation capabilities. The suite is best for building web and mobile apps (e.g., for employee onboarding, work scheduling) and web portals (e.g., a customer portal, a community portal).

86% of the Fortune 500 companies leverage Microsoft Power Apps with its drag-and-drop app designer, pre-built app templates, AI Builder, and 200+ data connectors for easy integration with other Microsoft products (e.g., SharePoint, Office 365, OneDrive, Excel Online, Dynamics 365) and third-party platforms (e.g., SAP, Oracle) and tools (e.g., Dropbox, Google Docs).

Types of Apps to Build with Microsoft Power Apps

Canvas apps

  • App elements are dragged and dropped onto a canvas, data sources are connected to the app via Excel-style formulas.
  • Highly customizable.
  • Suitable for apps with simple business logic, e.g., for holiday approval, event registration.

Model-driven apps

  • Apps are created based on data models built on Dataverse, an underlying data platform for Power Apps.
  • Layout and functionality customization is limited.
  • Suitable for complex apps, e.g., customer service management and event management apps.

Web portals

  • Designed using preconfigured and custom templates, forms, and views.
  • Suitable for employees or users outside organizations like customers and partners.

Power Apps: Key Features

App creation
  1. Drag-and-drop app designer. An intuitive graphical app editor for codeless from-scratch app creation.
  2. Templates. Pre-built templates for canvas and model-driven apps (e.g., Cost Estimator, To-Do List, Book a Room, Contacts, Product Showcase) and portal templates (e.g., community, customer self-service, employee self-service, partner portal).
  1. Workflow automation. Creating and automating business process flows for one app or between different apps.
  2. Power Apps component framework (for pro developers). Extending Power Apps capabilities by creating custom code components for canvas and model-driven apps to enhance user experience in terms of forms, views, dashboards, and more.

 

App management
  1. App monitoring. Checking apps during building or published apps for issues like bugs, slow performance, and more.
  1. Analytics and reporting. Dashboards and reports on app usage, performance and more.
Data and integrations management
  1. Connectors. 200+ pre-built and custom connectors to integrate business applications created in Power Apps with Microsoft products (SharePoint, Office 365, OneDrive, Excel Online, Dynamics 365), third-party platforms (e.g., SAP, Oracle, Salesforce) and tools (e.g., Dropbox, Google Docs), and social media (e.g., Twitter).
  1. On-premises data gateway. To keep databases and other data sources on premises and quickly and securely transfer on-premises data to Power Apps.
Data security and compliance
  1. Multi-factor authentication. Several data protection layers that can consist, for example, of a password and a code from an email or a text message.
  2. Versioning. Tracking application versions and related data (e.g., dates of app modification, users who implemented modifications), which allows rolling back to any previous app version if needed.

  3. User permissions. Defining users who can use and edit each application.

  1. Audit trail. Tracking user activities like creating, publishing and deleting apps, restoring an app version, and more. The retention period for audit data is 90 days.
  2. Regulatory compliance. Compliance with government and industry-specific regulations (e.g., GDPR, SOX, GLBA, HIPAA).

Artificial intelligence (AI Builder)
  1. AI models. Pre-built models: key phrase extraction, language detection, sentiment analysis, text translation, business card reader, text recognition, and receipt processing. Custom models: prediction, form processing, object detection. Pre-built and custom models: category classification and entity extraction.
  1. Data capture. Quick extraction of text and visual information via a camera or from available electronic images and documents.

Useful Integrations for Power Apps

Useful integrations for Power Apps - ScienceSoft

  • Power BI to build applications in Power Apps that offer diverse reports and dashboards.
  • Power Automate – to create logic in Power Automate for workflow automation in Power Apps.
  • SharePoint to extract and store data from SharePoint lists, libraries or OneDrive in Power Apps and create apps directly from a SharePoint list.

A Gold Microsoft Partner since 2008, ScienceSoft leverages the low-code development capabilities of Power Apps to deliver quality web and mobile business applications and efficient web portals to customers in 30+ industries.

Power Apps Use Cases

Workflow management

  • Drag-and-drop workflow editor for creating custom workflows.
  • Pre-built templates for typical workflows.
  • Workflow-related emails and notifications.
  • Workflow scheduling.
  • Real-time dashboards with workflow status, progress, due dates, etc.
  • Workflow analytics (e.g., workflows by type, complexity, average completion time).
  • Managing workflows from mobile devices.

Financial management

  • Expense reporting.
  • Review and processing of accounts payable and accounts receivable.
  • Invoice creation and review.
  • Financial reporting (e.g., end of year reporting, expense reporting).
  • Business card management (scanning and capturing contact information).

Cost control

  • Cost estimation.
  • Budgeting.
  • Cost allocation.
  • Cost tracking.
  • Reporting (actual and committed costs, cost variances, cost trends, etc.).

Inventory management

  • Automated inventory data uploading and editing.
  • Storage of multiple data types (e.g., image, RFID data).
  • Inventory search by keywords and serial number.
  • Purchase order creating and approval.
  • Sales order placing.

Configure price quote

  • Guided ordering and purchasing for customers.
  • AI-based calculation of price of configurable products.
  • Real-time updating of product pricing and discounting data.
  • Sales validation and approval.
  • One-click quoting.
  • Document designer for automated document creation (e.g., proposals, custom quotes, engineering documents, contracts).

Asset management

  • Asset tracking.
  • Asset booking.
  • Asset check-in and check-out.
  • Work order creation and routing.
  • Asset warranty tracking.

HR management

Portals

  • Employee portals.
  • Customer portals.
  • Patient portals.
  • Ecommerce portals (B2C and B2B).
  • Vendor portals.
  • eLearning portals.
  • Community portals.
  • Partner portals.

Inspection and audit management

  • Inventory audit.
  • Safety and compliance audit (e.g., vehicles, ATM).
  • Workplace health and safety audit.
  • Quality control.
  • Incident reporting.
  • Customer data collecting (e.g., service history, products owned, preferences).

Project management

  • Project planning and scheduling.
  • Project monitoring (tasks, stages, milestones, etc.).
  • Resources (people, assets, budget, etc.) tracking and allocating.
  • Project team collaboration.
  • Project team performance tracking.
  • Reporting (goals achieved, resource consumption, etc.).

Scheduling and booking management

  • Scheduling appointments.
  • Drawing up and editing employee schedules.
  • Booking rooms, vehicles, equipment, etc.
  • Adjusting and cancelling appointments and bookings.
  • Routing notifications about an appointment/booking/schedule to relevant users.

Benefits of Power Apps*

  • x2-3

    speed of UI development of simple apps due to drag-and-drop app designer

  • -74%

    average costs of app development due to using app templates and ready components like forms and views

  • * from the Total Economic Impact™ study on Power Apps by Forrester

    Power Apps Pricing Plans

    Per app plan

    Per user plan