Microsoft Power Apps
This section will outline the Microsoft Power Apps solution.
What is it?
Power Apps is part of the Microsoft Business Application platform which is intended to allow super users to build applications to solve business problems and reduce the need for IT involvement.
Power Apps comes in 2 flavours:
- Canvas driven apps which are data driven apps which are generated from a data source and then delivered via Mobile or Tablet for a simple application
- Model Driven Power Apps which are based on the Dynamics platform for more complex use cases.
In our integration world Power Apps can be the user interface when we want users to interact with some of our integration processes. They can perform application roles in their own right but can also play a human workflow role and bring the user into the process.
The key features are:
- Let everyone build apps
- Build apps from your data
- Drive innovation
- The business can be empowered
- Delivery to smart phone and tablet
- Dynamics for more complex scenarios
The use case of super users being able to create solutions is part of modern IT. The key strength of Power Apps is that it allows the super user to develop a solution ontop of a platform such as Office 365 and Dynamics where there are a lot of features which allow us to provide governance and security and many of the things your applications need to minimize the risk of solutions build by non-professionals.
The biggest challenge of Power Apps is that the user interface for Canvas apps is quite limited so complex scenarios tend to be difficult to do.
The cost difference between Canvas and Model driven apps is significant.
Model Driven Power Apps depend on the Dynamics Platform.
Both types of Power App depend on the Office 365 platform.
They are delivered as SaaS capabilities within those platforms.
Both types of Power App are hosted as SaaS solutions by Microsoft.
The license model for both is not that straight forward. Canvas apps need a P1 Power Apps license.
Model Driven Power Apps need a P2 Power Apps license.
Both types of app are provided some license coverage by O365 and Dynamics licenses.
SharePoint offers some features which could be used as an alternative to a Power App in some cases where you want a user to trigger a process or to add forms etc.
Model Driven Power Apps and Dynamics are converging and a Power App runs on the dynamics platform. I think the strategy around this is evolving at the present time so this is one to keep an eye on to understand future overlaps and differentiation.
- Mike Stephenson: Accelerating Business Opportunities with Power Apps and Integration
In this article Mike talks about how an existing architecture was extended by the addition of a Power App so that an addition to add a light weight process in a Power App could be done without risking the implementation of a complex system or record.