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Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2018 – Event recap

Headshot of article author Pratap Ladhani

We had a first-ever event Microsoft Business Applications Summit earlier this week. It was a wonderful event with a lot of opportunities to learn, connect & collaborate. The entire session content is now available on-demand. Here is a quick reference of some of the important sessions relevant to PowerApps, Microsoft Flow & Common Data Service for Apps part of the Microsoft Power platform.

There were also several amazing customer sessions including the session by London Heathrow Airport which was showcased in the Inspire 2018 corenote by Satya. Also available now are the October 2018 release notes, which details hundreds of new capabilities and features across all our Dynamics 365 applications and the Power Platform, which includes PowerApps, Microsoft Flow & Power BI.

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Strategy and vision of the Microsoft Power platform


Opening Keynote – Digital transformation with Microsoft Business Applications

Digital transformation is top of mind for businesses. Business applications and an adaptable application platform, powered by data and intelligence are critical to powering a company’s transformation. Join James Phillips, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Business Applications Group, and business leaders from across industries in the opening keynote to hear how Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power platform (Power BI, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow) are having real-world impact on their organizations. Gain insight into strategy and roadmap for business applications at Microsoft and experience the latest innovations in AI and mixed reality, to enable you to reimagine your business processes and accelerate your digital transformation journey.


Microsoft PowerApps vision and roadmap


The way we build and customize applications is fundamentally changing. PowerApps is now the platform on which Dynamics 365 applications are natively built, an increasing number of Office 365 applications are easily customized, and organizations around the world are using to develop transformative standalone apps. Learn what the future holds for high-productivity app development, including a detailed look at where we're going next for makers of canvas and model-driven apps in Microsoft PowerApps.


Microsoft Flow vision and roadmap


Microsoft is modernizing business processes across productivity, CRM and ERP applications – and it is now easier for every business to transform how they work. Microsoft Flow is Microsoft’s workflow and business process management platform. It is the connective glue used by end-users and developers alike for digital transformation, no matter what application they are using. In this session, we will cover this vision in detail, both in terms of what is available today what is coming next.


Power BI and the Future for Modern and Enterprise BI

Come experience the newest capabilities available in Power BI and see what's coming next. In this all-up Power BI session we’ll show you Power BI’s vision for unifying modern and enterprise BI and expanding self-service BI for big data. Power BI enables you to build a data culture in your organization by empowering analysts and enabling agile enterprise BI.


Intelligent Edge, Intelligent Cloud, and Mixed Reality


This breakout session explores how spatial analytics can bring signal from physical workflows into Common Data Services for Apps. This include data collected from head-mounted devices such as HoloLens as well as well as IoT devices. The session also covers the output portion of this value chain and how 3D models of real-world assets can be automatically processed for visualization on almost any device.

PowerApps & Microsoft Flow Customer Sessions


Real world stories from London Heathrow Airport and American Red Cross on using PowerApps and Microsoft Flow with Office 365

Samit was a security officer at the biggest airport in Europe, he is now building apps and teaching others to do the same. Komal Tekchandani leads IT Business Change at London Heathrow Airport. Nick is a training specialist with a business degree who is creating apps for his team at American Red Cross. Join this session to hear from these change makers on their journey using PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Power BI to build custom solutions that extend Office 365 and SharePoint capabilities. Komal and Samit will also provide a deep dive look at Heathrow's systematic approach to creating a super-user community and empowering business teams to create their own solutions. The session will include live demos of real world customer solutions. See a personal message from the speakers at


Real world stories from app makers at Autoglass and Arriva using PowerApps with the Common Data Service

Martin Lee was an operations dispatcher at Autoglass (part of Belron group) who built 40+ cross platform apps for technicians, call center operations and executives, with no professional development expertise. Keith Whatling was a bus operator and dispatcher who rediscovered his passion for technology and is building solutions for streamlining bus operations at Arriva UK. In this session you will hear from PowerApps champions that have used Microsoft PowerApps, Flow, Common Data Service and Power BI to build solutions that are used by Autoglass and Arriva employees on a daily basis. They will demo their real world solutions, speak about their journey, share their learnings and talk about the impact that their work has had on benefitting their organizations and evolving their roles to the next level.


Real world stories from Standard Bank and SNCF on growing enterprise-wide adoption of PowerApps and Microsoft Flow


Standard Bank is South Africa's largest bank based on assets managed, employing over 55,000 people. SNCF runs France's national railway network and operates up to 14,000 trains daily. Both have been early adopters of Microsoft PowerApps and Flow and have grown from their first app to creating a suite of solutions and a center of excellence over the past year. They're on a journey to grow enterprise-wide adoption of these technologies to solve multiple business process challenges by empowering business units to build the solutions they need. Join this session to see real world app demos and hear these customers share their journey and the impact of the solutions, along with their approach and lessons learned over the past year. You don't want to miss this one!


Success stories from power users who drive business impact with PowerApps & Microsoft Flow

A panel discussion with app makers from multiple organizations (Heathrow, Arriva UK, Belron, DriveTime, and American Red Cross). These are citizen developers that have built sophisticated solutions using Microsoft PowerApps and Flow to transform business processes, drive impact, and evolve their roles to the next level. Join this session to learn about their approach and the challenges they have overcome along the way. The panel will answer questions from the moderator and the audience, and demo a few solutions.


Successful strategies for adopting PowerApps and Microsoft Flow at enterprise scale 

This session is a panel discussion with representatives from Enterprise IT, business units, and partners that have successfully adopted high productivity application development and bottom-up innovation. The panelists are from – Heathrow, G&J Pepsi, DriveTime, Microsoft IT, Standard Bank and Macaw. Join this session to hear about the solutions they've built and learn from their strategies and practices on growing adoption of Microsoft PowerApps and Flow.

Other interesting sessions


Key features coming to Microsoft PowerApps and Dynamics 365 admins


As your company's internal adoption of Microsoft PowerApps, Flow and the Common Data Service grows, so does your need to protect your company's data, control access and monitor usage. In this session, targeted to central IT, departmental admins, and team admins, you will learn the best practices for managing PowerApps for your organization. You will also understand our upcoming roll-out for new administrative capabilities for the platform.


Advanced techniques for automating your administration of Microsoft PowerApps


New apps, flows, and custom connectors are built, shared, and used in your company every day. Join this session to learn how you can automate the administration and governance of all these components and innovate through a combination of Microsoft PowerShell, Management Connectors, and PowerBI.


Developing custom connectors for Microsoft Flow and PowerApps


Learn about custom connectors and how you can take advantage of the connector platform so that you can extend your data sources for Microsoft Flow and PowerApps. In this session, we will share our roadmap and vision for the connector platform, including a unified connector story across Power BI, PowerApps and Flow. In this demo heavy session, you will learn how to securely build custom connectors to enrich your applications, and how to publish and distribute them for your or other organizations to use.


Packaging and ALM for Microsoft PowerApps and Dynamics 365


Solutions and packages are key components of Microsoft Application Lifecycle Management for Dynamics 365 and PowerApps. We'll dig into the tools that come with the Common Data Service for Apps and how these tools can be used to facilitate change management and CI/CD within your organization, and how ISVs can use these tools to distribute applications via AppSource.


How to get the best support for Microsoft PowerApps, Flow and Dynamics 365


You've hit an issue building a canvas app, or a user in your org can no longer sign-in to their Microsoft Dynamics 365 application. What do you do next? In this session we'll explore the best practices and techniques for troubleshooting issues within PowerApps, Flow and Dynamics and discuss new capabilities we will be adding to the platform to help you identify, triage, and fix issues faster than ever before.


Supporting GDPR requirements with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and PowerApps


Join us to learn about the latest tools and updates for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and PowerApps that can help you support Data Subject Requests (DSRs) as well as enable breach reporting. With the enactment of the GDPR on May 25, 2018, companies now have 30 days to respond to a DSR and must notify authorities within 72 hours of a breach or face massive fines that can go into the billions. Attend this session to learn about the latest updates that can help you support your, or your customer’s, GDPR requirements.


Take Microsoft PowerApps to the next level with advanced expressions

Join us to learn how you can leverage advanced expressions and new enhancements in Microsoft PowerApps that improve readability of expressions, enable deep customization, and provide tools to develop apps more quickly.


Building powerful business solutions for Microsoft Office 365 with PowerApps and Flow


As successors to Microsoft InfoPath, Access Web Apps, and SharePoint Designer Workflow, PowerApps and Flow have a lot more to offer. Learn how to position and build rich solutions with PowerApps and Flow for SharePoint, including customized SharePoint forms, embedded apps on SharePoint pages, automations, approvals, and full standalone apps that leverage SharePoint as a data source. Then take it to the next level by embedded and integrating PowerApps and Flow in Power BI, Teams, Excel, and more.


Ignite bottom-up innovation using Microsoft Flow


Digital transformation is a common and heavily over-loaded term these days. But, it doesn't have to be. In this session, learn how to identify bottom-up innovation opportunities and engage both business and technical users in the execution of transformation initiatives. Lastly, see real-world examples of how Microsoft Flow can address common robotic process automation (RPA) scenarios that you can execute on.


Introduction to building automated flows


Easily automate your personal and team workflows using Microsoft Flow. This demo-heavy session will walk you through building out some of the most common processes that leverage data from Dynamics 365, Office 365, and other cloud and on-premises services with just a couple clicks. After this session you will be able to work less, and do more!


Advanced expressions for Microsoft Flow


Join us to learn how you can leverage advanced expressions to enable deep customization of your Microsoft Flows. You won't want to miss this opportunity!

Common Data Service & Model-driven PowerApps solutions


Understanding and building model-driven Microsoft PowerApps solutions


Model-driven apps are a new capability in Microsoft PowerApps, but building one might already be a familiar concept for Dynamics 365 users and customizers. Learn and demystify the details about PowerApps and the Common Data Service for Apps as the single, unified platform to both customize and extend Dynamics 365 apps as well as to build standalone apps. We’ll deep dive into the concepts of model-driven apps and also cover the fundamentals like entity modelling, business rules, business processes, and other forms of business logic.


Extending model-driven applications in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft PowerApps with custom logic


The Microsoft Common Data Service for Applications provides a robust set of declarative capabilities to define your business applications. However, if you reach the limits of in-box capabilities, what do you do next? In this session, we will explore how to extend Dynamics 365 and Microsoft PowerApps with server side logic and custom code, focusing on Plugins, Azure Functions, and more.


Deep dive on Microsoft PowerApps for Dynamics 365 customizers


Microsoft PowerApps is now the engine for customizing Dynamics 365 for sales, service and marketing. See what's new and what's coming next, including hands-on tips for taking your Dynamics 365 implementation to the next level.


Introduction to the Microsoft Common Data Model


The Microsoft Common Data Model (CDM) is an open-sourced definition of standard entities that represent commonly used concepts and activities across a variety of business and application domains. It provides unified data and semantics over a variety of entities spanning multiple industries including sales, service, etc. Data loaded into the CDM can benefit from applications built on top of the platform without additional customization, including out of box insights and intelligent action. The CDM can be extended by partners and customers, ensuring custom entities and concepts can live and benefit alongside the standard schema. This session will introduce the Common Data Model and its benefits, as well as describe the value to partners and customers alike.


Business process automation with Microsoft Flow


Microsoft Flow has recently released native business process automation capabilities, built on top of the Common Data Service for Apps. This is a premium capability that can be used for making structured business processes across your business, spanning everything from sales to document management processes. Register today!


Custom controls and advanced client side business logic for model-driven Microsoft PowerApps


Professional developer extensibility is a key capability to Microsoft PowerApps. We'll focus on enriching model-driven PowerApps with client side code and custom controls. We will also walk through how to build advanced web resources.


Integrating data of any shape and size into the Microsoft Common Data Service


Come to this session to learn how business users and IT admins can leverage Data Integration capabilities to seamlessly bring data into the Microsoft Common Data Service from a wide range of on-premises and cloud based data sources, including Dynamics 365 (Sales, Finance, Operations, etc.), Azure, 3rd party services, relational databases, files and more. You will also learn how to move data between D365 F&O and D365 CE.Our Data Integration capabilities are based on Power Query, which provides market-leading Data Connectivity and Data Preparation capabilities via an easy-to-use experience that is shared across many Microsoft products like Excel, Power BI, Analysis Services and more.


Deep dive Microsoft Common Data Service for Apps APIs and SDKs

Do you want to work directly with the Microsoft PowerApps platform APIs? We will explore how to authenticate, discover applications and environments, and interact with your environment though the Common Data Service for Apps Web API.


Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Common Data Service updates and upgrades

We constantly improve Microsoft Dynamics 365 and PowerApps to maximize functionality, availability, and performance. In this session, we will discuss how to plan and leverage customer driven updates, how to place your environments to best plan for platform updates, and how to quickly take advantage of product improvements.


Benefits and process to building ISV solutions with Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Flow & AppSource

Join this session to gain a complete overview of the different types of solutions you can build with Microsoft PowerApps, Microsoft Flow & AppSource. Learn how to accelerate your time to market and how to reach a broad audience for your next business app. Through the lens of an ISV/software developer, we will walk through the entire application development process: from no-code/low-code tooling, over extending with custom visuals and connectors, to packaging and publishing to AppSource. We will also touch upon the value of the Common Data Service for Apps to ISVs, and how you can extend and contribute to the ISV ecosystem.