What is Microsoft Power Apps?

Microsoft Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps is a platform for developing custom web and mobile applications. The platform is intuitive and doesn’t require an extensive background in programming, allowing anyone to be an app developer. Through Power Apps, Australian businesses can design anything from consumer-grade apps to internal business programs and automated workflows. 

As it is, the intuitive app development platform already greatly empowers businesses, yet Microsoft is constantly improving Power Apps’ capabilities to give businesses and developers more options.  

What’s new in Power Apps?

In November 2021, the Microsoft Ignite conference unveiled new features and developments for Power Apps. Here are the most notable additions: 

1. Mobile applications 

Power Apps will soon release intuitive mobile app creation capabilities for those who want to develop mobile apps. These features are low-code, so there’s little to no hard coding required to build your mobile apps. Instead, you can drag and drop menus, interactive elements, and other app components onto a blank mobile interface. Developers also have a list of Canvas apps or app page templates you can customise and embed within each other to create a more dynamic app. You can even customise the design of the home screen icon and in-app user interface, so it matches your company’s colour scheme and branding.   

Beyond app creation tools, you’ll also be able to distribute Power Apps at scale. Initially, if users wanted to access your apps, they needed to install and run Power Apps mobile on their iOS or Android devices. However, users can now publish their apps natively on public app stores like Google Play and the Apple App Store. This makes it easy to find and access your apps.

2. Power Fx

Power Fx is a formula language based on Microsoft Excel. This makes Power Apps more accessible to employees, especially if they’re unfamiliar with programming languages like C#. 

While it comes with point-and-click features, some functions can’t be expressed through a visual editor. For example, you’ll need formulas to program dynamic forms that prevent users from moving forward unless they’ve filled out all the essential fields. Some apps may also require formulas to calculate price and discount rates instantly. 

Power Fx allows you to incorporate advanced logic with straightforward formulas and commands into your apps. Power Apps even provides command suggestions and immediate error feedback when writing formulas so that anyone can contribute to an app-building project. 

3. Collaboration via comments

Microsoft is bringing development teams closer together with a new collaboration feature. This allows your team to leave comments on app-building projects just like you would in Word and Excel files. You can comment on the Power Apps screen to provide feedback on design choices, formulas, and user experience. Comments on the screen can also be a great way to draw attention to buggy components and give detailed instructions to specific team members.  

4. Pay-as-you-go licensing model

In the past, Microsoft Power Apps required businesses to pay for licences based on the number of users for their programs. This meant companies needed to figure out how many users would use their apps, which can be challenging to predict. 

Microsoft announced a new pay-as-you-go licensing model for Power Apps to resolve this issue. Under the new model, you only pay when people use your apps. More specifically, you pay licences for unique active users who have used one of your Power Apps-developed programs at least once within a month. The same users can also run your programs multiple times throughout the month at no additional cost to your business. What’s more, companies can pay for licences through existing Azure subscriptions. You can even track licensing fees and set budget limits with Azure cost management to control expenses when there’s a surge in active users. 

The pay-as-you-go model is beneficial for businesses that developed apps with unpredictable usage patterns. It also suits organisations that want to attempt developing their apps but don’t want to pay upfront fees for forecasted licensing needs.   

5. Security upgrades

Power Apps now features conditional access policies so you can better safeguard your corporate apps and data. These policies enable you to permit users access only if they meet your specific conditions. For instance, apps can require users to connect to a company network to gain access. Anyone who attempts to access apps outside the office network is restricted, minimising the risk of data breaches.  

Additionally, apps can allow access to company-sanctioned devices. If a new device is detected, Power Apps can automatically prompt users to log in using multifactor authentication, preventing unauthorised access to company assets. 

There were many useful new features announced at this year’s Ignite conference, and businesses can expect more upgrades in the future. If you want to leverage Power Apps to develop custom apps, Empower IT can facilitate this process for you. As a leading Microsoft partner, we have the expertise to help you build your dream app. Call us today to learn more about our services.

Microsoft Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps

Power Apps is a development platform for mobile and web applications. At Empower IT Solutions, we understand that innovation can be challenging. We utilise Power apps to build custom apps, automate workflows and analyse your data. We can help your organisation gain the skills to help create innovative, future-proof solutions for an evolving business environment.

What we can help you with

  • Building standalone web and mobile apps.
  • Customising existing apps in Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365.
  • Connecting your data with 275+ pre-built connectors and custom connectors.
  • Using Power Apps built-in AI cognitive services to drive business intelligence and forecasting.
microsoft power apps

For help implementing Power Apps in your business, fill out the form or call us on 1300 797 838 to speak to a certified Microsoft consultant.