Simplified & Speedy Development with Microsoft Power Platform

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microsoft power platformMicrosoft Power platform is a powerful platform to execute development of apps, automate repetitive tasks, and visualise growth. The three combined major Microsoft products: Power Apps, Power BI, and Power Automate (formerly known as Flow) offer an absolute customer experience to users of Dynamics 365 CRM. Microsoft Power Platform continues to transform opinions about low code development, business intelligence, and automation “With over 16 million active users each month,” With reference to our previous article The Ultimate Guide to Use Power Platform More Efficiently. In which we have discussed about Microsoft Power Platform fundamentals. The many capabilities it offers for development and monitoring the processes. Additionally, we talked about how businesses who struggle to develop their own software and applications can address their challenges of workforce expectations, increasing development costs, and scalability issues using a single tool in Microsoft Power Platform.  In this article, we will take the recap of all the modules and their capabilities to give a broad-scoped overview of the developer experience. Means we will try to create a roadmap for a more simplified and speedy development of applications, web apps and chat bots in Microsoft Power Platform using Power Apps. Here we go,

Microsoft Power platform capabilities at a glance:

Module   Capabilities  
 Power Apps Microsoft PowerApps is a platform that allows you to create unlimited reliable and high-efficiency custom business applications. All this using a low and no code development environment, with integration and easy integration with other modules.  This includes: 1. Platform-wide development using Data connectors,AI, ML and Common    Data Service 2. PowerApps Integration with Power BI, Power  Automate, Dynamics 365, Teams, or Office 365 3. Adoption of low-code technologies that are robust, secure, and compliant. 4. Lead data storage from sources and contacts. 5. Cost efficient mobile and web application development  
 Power BI Power BI data visualisation and business intelligence tools can create easy to understand visualisations with relevant, actionable data insights, across the organisation.   This includes:1. Absolute best quality visualisations with drag and drop functionality 2. Import data from nearly any data source, database or web service with APIs 3. Insightful data visualisations with different departments, functions, or projects 4. Create Interactive Data Visualisations – Charts, Maps, Graphs, etc.  5. Consistent analysis across your organisation.  
 Power Automate Power Automate offers strong data connectivity, and built-in platforms to integrate applications within and outside Microsoft Cloud through standard and purpose suited custom workflows. To provide you a complete, intelligent, and automated experience.   This includes:  1. Streamline everyday repetitive tasks using ML solutions for complex issues 2. Improve workforce productivity and reduce cost 3. Reduce human error across business systems 4. Creation of low code workflows 5. Logic design for Power Apps  
 Virtual Agents Power Virtual Agents helps create intelligent chat bots with capabilities to facilitate standard FAQ/QNA tasks. Additionally, the same bot can be equipped to handle advanced queries and tasks like form submission, etc.  This includes: 1. Empower teams to seamlessly create chat bots  2. Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty  3. Measure performance for further improvement  4. Connect and drive action of your chat bots. 5. Extend Power Virtual Agents with Azure  
Power Pages Microsoft Power Pages offer quick and convenient ways to build sites that deliver information and services to customers and provide engaging site-visiting experiences to visitors.  This includes:   1. Developing comprehensive websites with low to no-code functionalities 2. Easy to manage and connect with Power Platform tools 3. Hundreds of ready-made templates and websites ready to be customised 4. Ability to access data from the Microsoft Dataverse 5. Leveraging site security features from Microsoft Azure 

Microsoft Power Platform Development life cycle

1.Design

 App design is an important part of the process, in which you specify what you’ll be creating in the 1st phase of power platform development. Based on the information you collected in the planning phase. There are many popular traditional ways to develop the application. A no-code development through component of Power Platform may go with choices and convenience of users.   Power platform enables users to create professional-grade low-code apps, chat bots, and websites that can be deployed across iOS, Android, Windows, and the web. A no-code platform like PowerApps, which employs a drag-and-drop methodology and doesn’t necessitate coding expertise, may be preferable to developing conventional applications. 

2.Data Model

A data model is a visual model that shows how data flows through your system and how different entities relate to each other. Choosing a right data model is crucial to the design of the solution. Because it will affect app design, especially in model-driven apps.  As Microsoft Power Platform consultant, we understand the capabilities of Microsoft Dataverse when designing the data model for any solution. The best practices to follow:   
  • Lead the data model design effort to establish a high-level data architecture for the project. 
  • Establish a data model that can be extended by the individual design teams and communicate the design with the teams. 
  • Review and provide feedback as the data model evolves during detail design of solution features. 

3. API Management for Power Platform Development

API management may refer to the processes for creating, analysing, and controlling the distribution of APIs. That connects applications and data across the organizations and across clouds.  Power Platform Development enables developers to use capabilities of Azure. Developers can create and distribute apps that are based on internal and external APIs, managed by API Management.   For this, once your API is ready, all you have to do is export your APIs from Azure API Management to your Power Platform development Environment. Everything you need to do is to create a custom connector for your API, that can be used in Power Platform components like Power Apps, Power Automate etc. 

4. Automate flows

Microsoft Power Automate is an important component of developing applications in Power Apps. Which gives you the choice to automate processes within your apps and streamline app development through drag-and-drop automated workflows (Previously known as flows). Automation tasks and tools are fundamentally used to create and reset sandbox environments, as well as create, export, unpack, and validate solutions. Since workflows for various applications and services are intended to be automated by flow. The pre-configured application connectors included in Flow also enable task and workflow automation across a wide range of Microsoft products and third-party apps.  This includes tasks like: 
  • Provisioning and de-provisioning of environments 
  • Synchronization of solutions’ metadata, to securely moving solutions between deployment, source control, or another environment 
  • Conducting static analysis checks against your solution by using the PowerApps Checking Service 
  • Build and customize artefacts, like data, models, diagrams, setup scripts 
  • Deployment to downstream environments 

5. Build/test – Use Power Apps test framework to automate your UI testing for Canvas apps.

Power Apps test framework (AKA Power Apps Test studio) is a low-code solution to write, organise, and automate tests for canvas apps. It allows app makers and testers to write tests using Power Apps expressions and automate UI and end-to-end tests for Canvas apps development. App makers can use a recorder to save app interaction and automatically generate the expressions. This process is easier for them to catch issues early when they move between environments.  Also helpful to: 
  • Test out new service versions or push updates to their existing production applications.  
  • Create and organise test suites and test cases for your app in a new test designer. 
  • Capture your actions and create test steps automatically by using an intuitive recorder. 
  • Manually setup test stages and validate expected results by using new Power Apps testing expressions.  
  • Play back your tests to quickly identify issues early and understand any failures.

6.Deployment of application in Power Platform development environment

The final stage, deployment may involve migrating software from a controlled environment in production and then get it out into the world. Once the App development is complete and you are ready to deploy it to test/production. Makers just need to make sure all the components configured correctly. In final steps of deployment, makers can export their unmanaged solutions to the production environment as managed solutions.  Well done! Your app is ready to deploy.  Next is making your first Power Apps version available for production use. You will now get it into the hands of your users. At this stage you need to make sure the app is working well and meeting your objectives once it has been launched.   

The final points

We have covered the steps for creating and deploying a solution that contains all the project artefacts/customisations from development to production environment. These steps, along with the tips, should give you enough to set up your development plan for any power platform project. Create better solutions in faster and easier in minimal time and money with Soluzione: We provide best-in-class PowerApps consulting and development services that will help you in your custom business applications.Soluzione can advise on the right Power Apps licensing plan and Dynamics 365 Usage Rights for the Power Platform. To optimized cost and performance in your business and can also help you in the development of the same. Our PowerApps development experts can help you replace, modernize legacy processes, and extend their functionalities far beyond their current performance.  For questions about pricing or if you want to know more, please write back to us at [email protected]