Microsoft is expanding Power Apps

Microsoft has extended its low-code Power Apps development platform, introducing custom pages and app design capabilities, as well as app sharing and new templates. These features were introduced on May 4.

Custom Pages capability uses the Power Apps for UX canvas and connects to over 400 data sources, leveraging the Power Fx language for low-code logic. Custom pages can be integrated into model-driven applications, resulting in enterprise applications that combine grids and forms on the Microsoft Dataverse data storage platform.

These unified experiences can be built with a new Modern App Designer tool, to quickly assemble an application supported by Dataverse. Modern App Designer will be available for public preview this month. With Modern App Designer, declaratively generated grids and forms can be dropped by selecting a table. Applications can be previewed in the designer.

A new organization-wide app sharing capability allows users to create a Power App within Microsoft Teams and share it across all teams in an Azure Active Directory. App users no longer need to be members of the team that created the app. A “share with colleagues” feature allows the sharing of these applications.

Other Power Apps templates for specific business purposes in Teams are also planned for this month. These include Profile +, for profiling employees and their skills; Tables, for information discovery; and Discussions, for discussion topics. Power Apps already provides templates for problem reports, bulletins, inspections, employee ideas, and milestones.

Microsoft has detailed new governance controls for Power Apps and Power Platform, covering endpoint filtering, tenant isolation, and tenant-wide analytics. The company said support for information protection for data in Power Apps will be available soon and plans are underway to introduce connector action controls for data loss prevention. An April 2022 release of the Power Apps Studio authoring tool will provide a single place to build canvas apps and model-driven apps, Microsoft said.

Power Apps is a service for building custom business apps that connect to data and run on web and mobile, without the expense and time of custom software development. Microsoft said 86% of Fortune 500 companies are now using Power Apps.

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Rosemary C. Kearney