Anytime, anywhere information access from any device has transformed today’s businesses and bestowed them with the competitive edge, crucial for not only excelling but also survival in the current market space. Today’s businesses demand quick and easy to develop apps – the power offered to organizations by the Microsoft Power Apps.
The “Total Economic Impact” study by Forrester Consulting states that the powerful combination of Power Apps and Power Automate (earlier known as Microsoft Flow) helps businesses gain ROI of 362% over three years with 70% of reduction in the app development cost.
What is Microsoft Power Apps?
Power Apps, one of the elements of Microsoft Power Platform, offers a rapid application development environment through a suite of services, applications, connectors and data platform that offers you to create your business apps based on your specific needs. It’s a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that helps pro developers as well as non-technical users such as business analysts to build custom and low-code business apps quickly and easily using Office 365 features and Microsoft platform. It helps to develop Responsive Mobile Apps for businesses that can run on iOS, Android and Windows operating systems and with almost any Internet Browser. The beauty of Microsoft Power Apps lies in the fact that it brings the business application development cycle to as low as a couple of hours.
What Does Power Apps Do?
With its multitude of innovative and helpful features, Power Apps make app development hassle-free and quick.
- Supports a broad range of data sourcesThe custom business apps created using Power Apps can connect to the data stored either in the underlying data platform (Common Data Service) or external data sources including different on-premise or on-line data sources such as Excel, SharePoint, SQL Server, Office 365 and many more. Power Apps comes with a library of over 200 connectors to integrate data and systems including the ones across Office 365 universe.
- User-friendly interfacePower Apps offers a user-friendly interface with easy drag and drop features to add various components to construct mobile apps. These components include controls such as text field and choice field, forms, screens and media like video, images and camera.
- Ease of app developmentThe tool provides you with a library of sample apps to start with and then customize. It allows you to create three types of applications
- Canvas Apps – It lets you design a highly tailored interface using a blank canvas and lets you connect to your choice of 200 data sources to build apps for mobile, web and tablets.
- Model-driven Apps – It lets you model views, forms and other components based on your data model and business processes with a responsive app with great UI.
- Portals – It facilitates you to create external-facing websites where users from outside of your organization can create and view data in Common Data Service by signing in or browse content anonymously.
- Integration capabilitiesWith its capability to integrate and leverage the innovative abilities of all Office 365 applications, Power Apps can help you save time and money and enhance efficiency by devising custom productivity solutions for external and internal use. Microsoft Power Apps can be efficiently configured to seamlessly integrate with Excel, Access, Forms, Flow, Dynamics 365, OneDrive, Invoicing, Outlook, PowerBI, OneNote, SharePoint, Planner, PowerPoint, To-Do, Yammer, Tasks, Word and more. Additionally, it can be set-up to connect to third-party services such as SalesForce.
- Good support structureAs an app creator, you can have solid support through an active Power Apps community where you can connect with thousands of other global Power Apps community members, discover valuable tips and insights from Microsoft Power Apps Teams and champions and keep abreast with Power Apps news, blogs and ideas.
Power App Business Applications
With its user-friendly and low-code features with support for a broad range of data sources, Power Apps comes handy when it comes to providing effective solutions to business challenges across various industries including banking, manufacturing and many others. Some of the Power Apps applications include
- Employee onboarding and new user setup
- Inspection and reviews
- Service request management
- Managing document sign-offs during manufacturing
- Managing sales quotes
- Tracking and sending notifications about root cause analysis
- Enhance employee/customer experience
- Work order estimates
Case Study – Power Apps for Field Inspection
The following example illustrates how Power Apps can help your business keep a tight check on your organizational processes for achieving maximum productivity and efficiency by facilitating you to quickly build a business app.
This case study demonstrates an application designed for a Facility Field Inspection for safety compliance.
The field inspector can document his observations by selecting ‘New Inspection’ from the main menu.
After inspecting the facility, the field inspector updates and advises on the compliance status of each asset in the respective category based on the various safety parameters. He documents his responses to a set of questions associated with the asset. The field inspector can approve asset compliance or suggest corrective or preventive actions. He can add new action by clicking on the ‘+’ in the bottom-right corner of the ‘Field Inspection’ screen.
In the ‘Corrective/Preventive Action’ screen, the field inspector mentions a detailed description along with the action status (Open, Close, Re-open) with the relevant priority (High, Medium, Low). After adding all the relevant actions, he can submit the form. The asset list is displayed on the ‘Inspection screen’. Each asset can be clicked to view the corrective/preventive actions associated with it.
This status is intimated to the field engineer through Power Automate notifications.
A field engineer views the actions assigned to him by selecting ‘Review Inspection’ from the main menu. Based on the suggestion, the field engineer carries out the rectifications and updates the status for each action as either ‘In Progress’ or ‘Completed’. As displayed in the ‘Field Inspection’ screen, the responses section filled by the field inspector is displayed to him, however, it remains disabled.
Once he completes his work, he submits the status by selecting the ‘Save’ button on the ‘Field Inspection’ screen. The inspector gets a notification of submission through Power Automate.
The inspector reviews the corrective/preventive action status by selecting ‘My Inspection’ from the main menu and either approves the asset by selecting ‘Close’ status for the action or marks it for rework for the field engineer by selecting the ‘Reopen’ status to get it rectified.
The field engineer is intimated through the notification regarding the reopened actions and views them by selecting ‘Review Inspection’, rectifies the action and updates the status that will be verified by the inspector.
Upon the satisfactory completion of all the associated actions, the field inspector approves the asset safety compliance by marking the status as ‘Close’.
Power Apps helps you quickly build and use custom apps with low or no code for your business-specific needs. It helps you build reusable controls like dialogs and navigation menus easily that can either be used as building blocks inside the app or shared between apps. Further, you can define more advanced behaviors using custom properties, make controls inside of a component shrink and expand as it is resized, and more. Thus, when it comes to Power Apps development and customization, the sky is the only limit!
WaferWire Cloud Technologies can help your organization unleash the Power Apps potential by facilitating you to develop custom business apps based on your specific requirements. With our experience, niche Power Apps services and expert Power Apps professionals, we can help you save time and cost and enhance productivity and efficiency through securely integrated Power Apps mobile applications. Contact us today to know how we can help you achieve your business goals.