Updated: Oct 7
Microsoft Power Platform is not only a collection of these components !But also serves as a platform for managing these components, their structure, security, configurations, and more.
Power Platform provides a centralized dashboard for managing all its components. This includes configuring security settings, access controls, and user permissions across Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents.
It's a comprehensive ecosystem that empowers organizations to create, manage, and optimize their business processes, data, and interactions.
At its core, it's a low-code no-code and very high-productivity platform that that comprises following key components:
Power Virtual Agent
Power Apps provides a rapid low code development environment for quickly building custom web or mobile applications with ease for business needs, that run on all devices.It is a suite of apps development services having ability to connect to various data sources, from databases to cloud services, enabling you to design tailored solutions for your unique needs.
Platform for Apps Development
Power Apps represents two distinct types of app offerings
1. Canvas App
2. Model Driven App
Canvas Apps provide the flexibility to design a user interface according to your preferences using drag-and-drop components. You have design Control.
Use excel type formulas, Power FX.
Can connect to Microsoft and non-Microsoft Data sources.
Can create and connect to your own custom connector to work with your existing data sources.
Can run on mobile devices and browser.
Model Driven App
Model driven apps are built using Microsoft Dynamics 365 framework and so design capabilities are same as Dynamics 365.
Component focused approach to App Development, with out writing code.
UI customization is more constrained compared to Canvas Apps, they provide a structured environment for building applications that prioritize data-driven processes.
They primarily connect to Dataverse, Microsoft's data platform only.
“Process Automation Tool with AI Capabilities"
Power Automate lets users create automated workflows between applications and services. It helps automate repetitive business processes such as communication, data collections, and decision approvals. By connecting triggers, actions, and conditions, you can create seamless processes that save time and reduce errors. From simple notifications to complex business processes, Power Automate streamlines operations and enhances efficiency.
Automatically send email notifications to users when a task is approaching its due date.
Save email attachments to SharePoint from incoming emails to a designated SharePoint folder.
1- Create tasks from Microsoft Teams messages.
2- Approval workflows.
3- Create records in a database.
4- Automate social media posting.
5- Share new tweets from a specified Twitter account to a Slack channel.
Data Analysis and Reporting Tool
Power BI is your data analytics powerhouse. It allows you to visualize data, create interactive reports, and share insights across your organization. With robust visualization options and AI-powered capabilities, Power BI transforms raw data into meaningful narratives, helping you make informed decisions.
You can consider Power BI as the analysis and insights leg of The Power Platform. A Power BI dashboard could potentially replace a standing meeting to report on company metrics such as sales data, progress against goals, or employee performance.
Power Virtual Agent
Virtual Agent – Trained Chat Bot
Power Virtual Agents enables anyone to create powerful chatbots using a guided, no-code graphical interface. It minimizes the IT effort required to deploy and maintain a custom solution by empowering subject matter experts to build and maintain their own conversational solutions. Power Virtual Agents is part of The Power Platform, so integration into Microsoft or third-party systems could be streamlined with Power Automate and its rich ecosystem, comprising hundreds of connectors. Users can enable chatbots to perform an action, by simply calling a Power Automate flow, which helps users to automate activities or integrate with back-end systems.
Platform for creating Websites
Power Pages is the newest member of the Microsoft Power Platform family. Microsoft Power Pages is a secure, enterprise-grade, low-code software as a service (SaaS) platform for creating, hosting, and administering modern external-facing business websites. Whether you are a low-code maker or a professional developer, Power Pages enables you to rapidly design, configure, and publish websites that seamlessly work across web browsers and devices.
In addition to the products listed above, there are additional tools that enhance the solutions you create on the Power Platform. Some of these are:
AI Builder allows users and developers to add AI capabilities to the workflows and Power Apps they create and use. AI Builder is a turnkey solution that allows you to easily add intelligence to your workflows or apps and predict outcomes to help improve business performance without writing code.
With the Image to app feature, you can now create an app from a visual design on a paper and connect it to data through a few simple steps in the guided interface.
Image Recognition for Inventory Management: Use AI-powered image recognition to take pictures of items and automatically categorize them in an inventory management app.
Sentiment Analysis in Customer Feedback: Analyze the sentiment of customer feedback messages in real-time and display an emoticon or color-coded indicator to represent the
Create contact record in Dataverse directly by scanning just a business card.
Dataverse is the foundational data storage platform within the Power Platform.Dataverse is a scalable data service and app platform which lets users securely store and manage data from multiple sources and integrate that data in business applications using a common data model to ensure ease and consistency to users. Dataverse serves as the central repository for structured data within the Power Platform. Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents can all interact with and leverage data from Dataverse to create custom applications, automate processes, generate insights, and provide intelligent interactions. This tight integration enables you to build comprehensive solutions that leverage data-driven capabilities across the Power Platform components.
Dataverse provides a standard common data model, also called Microsoft Power Platform Common Data Model (CDM).
Within Dataverse, the Standard Data Model provides a set of pre-defined data entities that cover various business domains, such as sales, marketing, customer service, and more.
These data entities include tables with predefined fields and relationships, making it easier to get started with building apps and solutions.
The entities in the Standard Data Model adhere to industry standards and best practices, ensuring data consistency and quality.
Data connecters make it easy to connect to data across different services.Enable you to connect apps, data, and devices in the cloud. Consider connectors as the bridge across which information and commands travel. Connectors can be used by Power Apps, Power Automate flow, and logic apps. There are more than 900 pre-built connectors for Power Platform, enabling all your data and actions to connect cohesively.There are more than 900 pre-built connectors for Power Platform, enabling all your data and actions to connect cohesively.
Examples of popular connectors include SharePoint, Excel, Salesforce, Office 365, Twitter, Dropbox, Google services, and more.
What is a Canvas App in Power Apps?
A Canvas App is a type of Power App that allows you to create custom applications from scratch, designing the user interface and interactions as needed.
When should I use a Canvas App?
Canvas Apps are best suited for scenarios where you need complete control over the app's design and functionality. They are ideal for creating user interfaces with a high degree of customization.
Can I connect Canvas Apps to data sources?
Yes, Canvas Apps can connect to various data sources, including SharePoint, Microsoft 365, SQL Server, and more, allowing you to integrate data into your custom apps.
When should I use a Model-Driven App?
Model-Driven Apps are suitable for scenarios where you have a well-defined data structure, such as CRM applications, and want to create a user interface that aligns with that structure.
What can I automate with Power Automate?
Power Automate can automate a wide range of tasks, from simple notifications and approvals to complex business processes that involve multiple applications and data sources.
Which applications and services can I integrate with Power Automate?
Power Automate supports integration with a wide range of Microsoft and third-party applications and services, including Office 365, Dynamics 365, SharePoint, Salesforce, and more.
What is Power BI?
Power BI is a business analytics service provided by Microsoft. It allows you to visualize data, share insights, and make data-driven decisions through interactive reports and dashboards.
What can I use Power Virtual Agents for?
Power Virtual Agents can be used to build chatbots and virtual agents for a variety of purposes, including customer support, internal helpdesk, lead generation, and more.
What is the purpose of Microsoft Dataverse?
The primary purpose of Microsoft Dataverse is to provide a secure and scalable data storage solution for building and deploying applications within the Microsoft Power Platform, including Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI.
Can I integrate Microsoft Dataverse with other applications and services?
Yes, Microsoft Dataverse supports integration with various Microsoft and third-party applications and services through connectors, APIs, and Power Platform features like Power Automate (formerly Flow).
What are connectors in Power Apps?
Connectors in Power Apps are pre-built, reusable integrations that enable your apps to connect to external services, data sources, and APIs. They simplify data retrieval, updates, and automation.
What are some common built-in data sources in Power Apps?
Common built-in data sources include SharePoint, Office 365, Common Data Service (CDS), SQL Server, and various cloud-based services such as Azure, OneDrive, and Dynamics 365.
Do I need to install or configure connectors for built-in data sources?
No, connectors for built-in data sources are pre-configured in Power Apps, and you typically only need to establish a connection by providing authentication and connection details.
Can I connect Power Apps to custom data sources?
Yes, you can create custom connectors to connect Power Apps to your own APIs or third-party APIs that are not supported by built-in connectors.