Microsoft’s Low-Code Power Apps Built on Azure Cloud – Virtualization Review

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Microsoft’s low-code Power apps rely on the Azure cloud

The Azure cloud platform dominates news from the ongoing Microsoft Ignite 2020 developer/IT pro event, extending even to low-code app development with Power Apps offering. the society.

Power Apps, part of Microsoft’s Power Platform, is the company’s low-code offering that helps non-professional developers, commonly referred to as “business users”, build enterprise apps quickly. As with other low-code offerings, it leverages techniques like pre-built templates and drag-and-drop composability to avoid having to write actual programming code.

The Power Platform, Azure DevOps and GitHub
[Click on image for larger view.] The Power Platform, Azure DevOps and GitHub (source: Microsoft).

It’s part of the growing universe of do-it-yourself app development, along with other techniques including wizards, model-based schemas, and more.

The idea is to enable these ordinary business users to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for enterprise applications amid a shortage of hard-to-find, highly paid professional developers.

This gap between enterprise apps is exacerbated by the current coronavirus pandemic, as Microsoft illustrated this week with this chart:

The business app gap
[Click on image for larger view.] The business app gap (source: Microsoft).

“To meet the growing demand for digital solutions, professional developers are increasingly looking for ways to combine code-first tools with low-code tools like Power Apps to accelerate their delivery of professional apps,” Microsoft said. . “Low-code platforms help professional developers progress faster and without removing the ability to use code when needed. Power Apps is the only low-code platform that was built from the ground up to work with professional developer platforms like Azure, Visual Studio, and GitHub. This means you can build solutions with low-code or code-first without putting different platforms together. »

At the start of Ignite 2020, Microsoft announced new features for Power Platform, with Azure featured prominently:

  • Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Azure API Management now work together seamlessly to enable developers to scale Power Apps solutions with custom connectors hosted in Azure.
  • Power Platform is integrated with GitHub, where teams of developers collaborate on projects.
  • Microsoft Power Virtual Agents and Microsoft Azure Bot Framework are now connected to allow developers and business users to build bots together.
  • Microsoft Power Automate Desktop allows developers to automate desktop activities within their solutions using the new desktop client or through APIs.

In describing this first piece on Azure API Management – which will be previewed next month – Microsoft said: “Developers can now leverage Azure Functions and Azure API Management to build custom APIs to to unlock access to any data source hosted in the Microsoft cloud”.

Additionally, the company said developers can now quickly publish Azure API Management-backed connectors to Power Platform for easier discovery and consumption.

This allows low-code developers to build apps that leverage these connectors through Power Apps hosted in Teams without incurring additional licensing costs.

Regarding Azure Bot Framework, the company said, “Bot makers will now be able to use Azure developer tools like Bot Framework Composer to create custom dialogs and add them directly to Power Virtual Agents bots. These dialogs can be recorded, hosted, and run. with Power Virtual Agents bot content, which provides an easier way to extend bot capabilities with custom code and does not require additional hosting, deployment, or Azure billing complexities.

A preview of this feature is expected this fall, with no more specific timeline provided.

All of the above and more is detailed in the September 22 blog post titled “Hit Your Application Development Goals with Power Platform and Azure.”

The company also published another blog post focusing more on Power Platform and Dynamics 365 (CRM and ERP), announcing new features such as:

  • Power Platform SDLC (software development lifecycle) workflows and templates with GitHub Actions.
  • Deeper integration of Power Apps and Teams, including the Power Apps creator app in Teams, Project Oakdale for a free low-code data platform, and support for the Teams visual style.
  • The Microsoft Power BI app preview for Teams, which provides a central and personalized location for data in Teams, will help customers scale information across the organization by ensuring that information does not are just a click away from where conversations happen and decisions are made.
  • Power BI is now natively integrated with Excel, and it’s easier than ever to discover and use trusted Power BI datasets that are current, governed, and secured right in Excel.
  • Two new Power BI offerings: Power BI Premium per user as an entry point to Premium and a new on-demand capacity scaling option for Premium customers.
  • The preview of Microsoft Power Automate Desktop, bringing robotic process automation (RPA) to every desktop.
  • A new proprietary voice channel for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service, based on Microsoft Azure Communication Services.
  • New add-ins for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management: Cloud and Edge Scale Unit and Inventory Visibility.
  • The October general availability of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Operations.

Microsoft Ignite 2020 ended on Thursday, September 24.

For more Microsoft Ignite 2020 coverage from Virtualization and cloud review and sister sites, see:

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

Rosemary C. Kearney