Achieve your app development goals with Power Platform and Azure
This year at Microsoft Ignite, I’m continuing the conversation about how Microsoft Power Platform and Microsoft Azure work together to enable professional developers to build and deliver applications faster and more cost effectively. Today we’re announcing a set of new capabilities across Power Platform that include:
- Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Azure API Management now seamlessly work together to allow developers to scale Power Apps solutions with custom connectors hosted in Azure.
- Power Platform is integrated into GitHub, the place where developer teams 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 as part of their solutions using the new desktop client or through APIs.
Delivering digital solutions quickly and efficiently
During the COVID-19 crisis, the world rapidly accelerated its digital transformation to respond to the need for remote work and to create new digital retail experiences like curbside pickup. And, now that the world is shifting towards an economic recovery, there is even more demand for professional developers to deliver digital solutions. This can be seen by the growing enterprise app gap.
To respond to the growing demand for digital solutions, pro developers are increasingly looking for ways to blend code-first tools with low-code tools like Power Apps to accelerate their delivery of business apps. Low-code platforms help pro developers move faster, and without taking away the ability to use code when needed. Power Apps is the only low code platform that has been built from the ground up to work together with pro developer platforms like Azure, Visual Studio and GitHub. That means you can build solutions with low-code or code-first without stitching together different platforms.
Rapid application development can help customers accelerate the development of applications that historically take longer to release and cost more money. Professional developers at T-Mobile, for instance, are using Power Apps and Azure to develop a series of apps that helped them adjust quickly to operating in the pandemic. T-Mobile now has over 900 Power Apps and 1,500 Microsoft Power Automate users from across the organization, from retail to finance to legal and sales, solving new problems every day.
Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), known for its manufacturing know-how and mobility solutions, discovered Power Platform at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit in 2019. Toyota has since developed more than 400 apps via Power Apps, affecting teams ranging from a few specialized members to hundreds of thousands of employees in a matter of months. Wanting to deliver solutions that focus on vehicle quality and safety, Toyota began by building Power Apps that connected Azure Cognitive Services and Azure Machine Learning to ensure standards surpassed customers’ expectations prior to taking delivery of their vehicles. With the challenges of COVID weighing on their ability to better serve customers, Toyota immediately recognized the value of Power Platform and implemented solutions for business travel requests and employee contact when traveling, allowing quick communication between the company’s nearly 1,500 Toyota and Lexus dealerships in the U.S. and engineering facilities around the world.
“As we strive to produce and deliver ever-better vehicles, Power Platform has empowered our team to digitally transform our day-to-day responsibilities, resulting in higher quality and safety. We now have the ability to take better care of our customers as we design, build and implement solutions as a team.”—Christopher Hitt, Assistant Manager – Field Technical Operations, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA)
Another great example of rapid application development is G&J Pepsi. They built atop Azure services and the Power Platform to take advantage of the speed of low-code development while integrating with existing systems. This has translated into savings of $1.5 million through lower development costs and increased resource optimization.
“We’re amazed at how quickly we can put things together with Microsoft Power Platform. And we’re in control of our own destiny using a low-code solution to create professional, user-first apps.”—Dan Foster, Director of Digital Technology, G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers
Empowering developers to drive business performance
To accelerate developer velocity, we have made significant improvements over the past six months in making Power Platform, Azure, Visual Studio Code, GitHub and Teams work seamlessly together:
- Power Platform and Azure API Management. Developers may now leverage Azure Functions and Azure API Management to create custom APIs to unlock access to any Microsoft cloud hosted data source. Building on the momentum of our Project Oakdale announcement at Inspire, developers may now quickly publish Azure API Management backed connectors to Power Platform for easy discovery and consumption, dramatically reducing the time it takes to create apps. Low-code developers can now build apps that leverage those connectors via Power Apps hosted in Teams with no additional licensing costs. This feature is available for preview October 2020.
- Power Platform and GitHub. Developers can create their own software development lifecycle (SDLC) workflows, or use pre-configured templates, with GitHub Actions to develop, test, and deliver Power Platform solutions. Enabling your code-first and low-code teams to work together seamlessly as a fusion team or having line of sight over a center of excellence is now easier than ever before. This feature is available for preview October 2020.
- Power Virtual Agents and Azure Bot Framework. Building on our momentum from Microsoft Build, bot makers will now be able to use Azure development tools like Bot Framework Composer to create custom dialogs and directly add them to Power Virtual Agents bots. These dialogs can be saved, hosted, and executed together with Power Virtual Agents bot content, which provides a simpler way to extend bot capabilities with custom code and does not require additional Azure hosting, deployment, or billing complexities. This feature is available for preview fall 2020.
- RPA took another leap forward with Power Automate. Power Automate Desktop is the newest addition to the RPA capabilities in Power Automate. Building on the momentum of our acquisition of Softomotive at Microsoft Inspire, developers can automate desktop activities using the diverse set of connectors available with Power Automate Desktop including SAP, websites, legacy terminals like mainframes and AS/400, Java apps, and Citrix. With hundreds of built-in actions for apps and workflows available in the desktop software or through APIs, including managing resources in Azure, it’s easy for developers and teams to automate manual work and save time during development, testing, and deployment. This feature is available for preview today at Microsoft Ignite, read additional details in our blog post, “Jumpstart your business with Power Automate’s new desktop RPA solution“.
As we continue to adapt, we will need more custom applications faster than ever before. Power Platform, Azure, and GitHub provide an unrivaled combination of rapid application development tools to help people achieve their goals.
Resources to help you get started with Power Apps and Azure
- Attend the upcoming rapid application development webinar
- Read our blog post, “Rapid applications development with Microsoft Power Platform and Azure“
- Learn more about how Power Apps and Azure are better together
- Rapid application development with Azure and Power Apps
- Read our blog post, “Extend and innovate legacy systems with Robotic Process Automation“
- Learn more about low-code and code-first application lifecycle management
- Learn more about how to empower business users with custom UX controls built by pro developers
- Easily take advantage of existing data sources and business logic
- Use T-SQL endpoint for the Common Data Service
- Read our blog post, “Introducing Project Oakdale, a new low-code data platform for Microsoft Teams“
- Read our blog post, “Power Virtual Agents and Bot Framework – enabling everyone to build intelligent chatbots“
- Read our blog post, “Learn more about how Power Platform and Teams is the remote work platform for all developers“
- Explore Power Apps free for 30 days
- And if you are new to Azure, you can create your free Azure account today—get started with 12 months of free services and Azure credits