Microsoft Power Platform
Today, data is the key to driving business outcomes. Organizations across industries are beginning to understand the potential of all this data, so they store it—in very large quantities and from many sources, from social media to ERP—in the cloud. But harnessing the data is just the first step.
How do you get to that data so you can leverage it? How do you ensure everyone in your organization, regardless of technical ability, can get in on the action? And how do you get what you need for your industry, as well as your organization’s unique requirements? Microsoft’s Power Platform is designed for that purpose, providing more access than ever before to business intelligence, app development, and app connectivity.
The Triple-A Loop: Analyze, Act, Automate
With so much demand, there simply are not enough programmers to fill the void. The goal of the Power Platform is to arm the millions of workers on the front lines—those who actually see the gaps and opportunities—with the tools they need to address them.
Microsoft’s approach is called the “Triple-A Loop.” It is a closed-loop systems that allows users to gain insights from data (Analyze) used to drive intelligent business processes using apps they build (Act) and processes they automate (Automate).
The Power Platform enables users to Analyze, Act, and Automate by combining three powerful, cloud-based services—PowerApps, Power BI, and Microsoft Flow—into one platform that allows anyone (not just programmers) to build apps and gain data insights quickly and easily.
Extending the power of Office and Dynamics…and more
What’s even more amazing about the Power Platform is that it not only extends Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, but it can also integrate with just about any business application you work with, like Salesforce, Workday, SAP, or Oracle. Now that’s extensibility.
The components of the Power Platform
Each of the three services are components of the Microsoft Power Platform, but they can each exist and operate on their own. However, the Power Platform is built on Microsoft’s Common Data Service, and that’s where the real power comes in. So, yes, each component can operate independently, but the combination is a force to be reckoned with.
Putting the power to “analyze, act and automate” in the hands of people who know their business best, with built-in connectors to all the systems and data sources, gives them the power to transform like never before.
So, in short, Power BI opens the door to insights and intelligence, PowerApps takes those insights and intelligence and puts them action through apps, and Flow streamlines business processes. With continuing feedback to Power BI, you get a loop that promotes continuous improvement.
Here is a brief description of each component of the Power Platform:
Microsoft Flow is a service that enables users to create automated workflows between apps and services. Workflows can then be used to integrate and update data, synchronize files, get notifications, and more. The number of apps and services that work with Flow is constantly growing. Read more about Flow.
PowerBI is a business analytics service that makes it easy for users to easily pull data stored in CDS or any other database to build reports and dashboards that can be displayed just about anywhere, including apps, SharePoint, Teams, or on a website. Read more about Power BI. Read more about Power BI.
PowerApps allows anyone to build web and mobile applications without writing code. The connection between Power BI and PowerApps makes it easy to disseminate insights to those who need it, wherever they are and tailored to the tasks they need to accomplish. Read more about PowerApps.
Common Data Service
The foundation of the Power Platform is the Common Data Service for Apps (CDS). CDS is a secure database hosted in the Azure Cloud and prebuilt with a standard set of entities and record types that represent commonly used concepts and activities. These are extensible, so users can add additional data fields as well as new entities. These entities have relationships to each other, and you can create business rules for fields.