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POWER APPS AND POWER AUTOMATE WITH DYNAMICS 365

BUSINESS VALUE OF POWER PLATFORM

These days the success of a business is measured not just in the ideologies and strategies they endorse, but predominantly in their degree of digital evolution. The modern digital solutions are meant to replace the antiquated, manual, and inefficient processes with advanced automated functionalities. These business management solutions are transforming the way organizations conduct business. This transformation is directed substantially towards simplifying and automating complex everyday tasks that have been downsizing overall productivity. Microsoft in 2018 launched the ground-breaking Power Platform with an aim to resolve this challenge. This platform is infused with tools meant to streamline the development of applications using a low code approach. Presently, organizations inevitably need to succumb to modernization to survive the current business climate, but more often than not they lack the resources to keep up. The changing workplace expectations that come with millennial and Gen Z employees, accelerated time-consumption and cost with custom applications development, and decelerated efficiency and agility of implementation have all led to organizations rooting for smarter and more inclusive ways to enable citizen developers to be a part of the development process. The Power Platform is designed to mitigate each of these challenges and promote collaborative solutions through low code tools and hybrid development teams.

POWER APPS PIONEERING LOW CODE DEVELOPMENT

The Power Apps is one of the four products from the Microsoft Power Platform suite. It is a low code development platform that streamlines the building of custom apps for unique business needs. With easy navigation and simple user-friendly interface, Power Apps eases users, both beginners and pro-developers, into customized app development, which includes both web and mobile apps accessible on all devices. Dynamics 365 is a robust ERP solution with multiple modules and capabilities. However, these can be further customized and configured to meet the specific needs and goals of individual business enterprises. This is facilitated by the Power Apps. Power Apps enable construction and customization of capabilities without the need for code expertise. The two main types of applications that could be built using Power Apps are Canvas and Model-driven.

Canvas Apps are built without code and involve dragging and dropping components into a flowchart formation. They are usually meant for non-technical developers due to their ease of use and intuitive user-experience. They run on mobile devices, laptops, or computers, and within other apps like Microsoft Teams or Dynamics 365. Model-driven Apps are created from data (specifically the data stored in Common Data Service (CDS)) using the framework of Dynamics 365. More than the app layout, in Model-driven apps the focus is on adding components like dashboards, forms, views and charts to the application. They are responsive in nature and run on any device.

POWER APPS FOR DYNAMICS 365

The functionality of Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be extended using Power Apps. By integrating Power Apps, users can enhance and extend Dynamics 365 by linking with processes and data within D365 and adding additional features. For instance, a company using Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, in an attempt to improve their services, wants to record the feedback of their customers post every delivery/invoice. The feedback data is decided to be stored in a SharePoint list by the IT department, along with the basic details. This is then taken over by the callers who are designated to collect the feedback and fill it in along with the other details in SharePoint. At this point, a Power App is created by the IT department and embedded into the D365 Finance & Operations to streamline the entire process.

POWER AUTOMATE STREAMLINING WORKFLOWS

Power Automate enables users to easily substitute manual repetitive tasks with automated workflows, instantly get and respond to notifications, collect from, and share data among team members, pass automated approvals and more, with low/no code. Power Automate unleashes the power of an organization to get mundane tasks and common business processes done using robotic process automation (RPA), utilizing thousands of pre-built templates. Power Automate allows connections to existing cloud services, which includes Microsoft services like Dynamics 365, Teams, One Drive, Azure SQL, SharePoint, as well as other third-party services like YouTube, WordPress, Salesforce, Google Drive, MailChimp, Twitter, and many more.

POWER AUTOMATE FOR DYNAMICS 365 USERS

Power Automate has advantages that make it preferred over the classic Dynamics 365 background workflow model. It administers greater control, flexibility, error handling capabilities, connection with external services, and the advantage of scheduling workflows for a specific period. For a Dynamics 365 user, Power Automate streamlines everyday-internal- automated solutions without the support of the IT department. Scheduling daily tasks like sending out multiple emails, access to extensive pre-built template library, creating custom connectors to external solutions, and ease of access to business intelligence are some of the features the D365 users could easily leverage. Easy and automated extraction of data from Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations and other finance management automations with Power Automate are held in high regard and makes it more sought after.

In today’s fast-paced business world, digital transformation has changed from trickle to flood, and so has the pace of value delivery. To keep up with this speed, emerging businesses need to up their technology and empower their employees to work smarter and more efficiently. Microsoft’s Power Apps and Power Automate ushered in a new normal wherein even citizen developers can triumph at developing simple to complex applications and automations without the required technical knowledge. This is a highly progressive leap for businesses towards evolving in new and exciting directions.

Author

Satiish Manoharan

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