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Introducing Microsoft Power Platform

A framework for low-code, high-productivity business applications The business application landscape is changing dramatically as organisations look to find new ways of working, save costs and remain competitive. When evaluating software solutions, business and IT stakeholders have historically been faced with a simple choice; build or buy:

  • Build – Custom solutions that meet the needs of the business at the moment but are often costly to develop, deploy, maintain and support.

  • Buy – Off-the-shelf applications that are supported by the vendor but difficult to customise and more often than not, don’t satisfy all of the requirements of the business.

In many cases, there isn’t a solution that ticks all the boxes. The result is often a compromise and the “build or buy” gap is filled by a host of disconnected, un-managed and un-supported user-built solutions based on everything from isolated SharePoint sites to Excel spreadsheets and Access databases, along with a myriad of other software.

It’s all too commonly seen; The SharePoint site created ten years ago that still holds sensitive employee data, the cumbersome spreadsheet to track projects; all just one click from oblivion! A generation of information workers has worked around inefficiencies, solving problems but living on the edge of catastrophe with their ad-hoc solutions.

Three trends have converged to fundamentally change the relationship between business users, IT, and the way technology is used to support businesses.

  • Data Connectivity – The new generation of business applications is hyper-connected. They allow for connections between business functions, content and data that were previously considered siloed, unrelated, or simply not feasible or practical.

  • Citizen Developers – Business users long ago settled for spreadsheets and SharePoint, but new “low-code/no-code” tools empower “citizen developers” with the capability to build professional grade apps on their own.

  • Improved Data Visualisation – Business Intelligence and data visualisation tools are more readily available and business users have become adept at harnessing the power of these tools, helping organisations analyse and interpret data and work smarter.

While off-the-shelf and high-cost / high control custom developed applications have a place in an enterprise, both are being eclipsed by a modern, best-of-both-worlds approach known as the Application Platform as a Service (aPaaS); a modern, cloud-based construct that allows organisations to:

  • Build business and mobile applications

  • Connect to business content and data

  • Scale apps on-demand

  • Integrate with other services

Microsoft’s solution to the aPaaS concept is the Microsoft Power Platform, an end-to-end business application platform that enables organisations to:

  • Rapidly create custom, containerised, low-code applications that meet different business and user requirements.

  • Integrate all data natively on the platform and make that data available to other Power Platform applications.

Microsoft Power Platform is a technology framework that allows organisations to build low-code business applications using a common set of tools and technology solutions.

Microsoft Power Platform enables businesses to innovate quickly and deliver solutions that help reduce cost and streamline process by connecting people with content and data in both modern web apps and legacy business applications.

This briefing paper is part one of a number of articles and white papers ImageFast will publish on the subject of building business applications using Microsoft Power Platform, providing an overview of its core capabilities and setting the stage for more detailed publications to follow.

Microsoft Power Platform is a family of four separate applications which can be used individually to leverage their specific strengths and capabilities or combined to deliver anything from tactical departmental solutions to enterprise-wide business applications.

In part 2 we will look at these four applications in more detail.

Part 2: A dive into Microsoft Power Platform

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