What are PowerApps?
Did you know you can build your own custom line of business applications to extend the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions—including Dynamics 365 for Sales, Service, Field Service, Marketing, and Talent—without needing to know coding or to hire a developer who does?
Originally released in 2015, Microsoft has developed its powerful PowerApps tool to help businesses do just that, as well as (with the right licenses) to create applications outside of Dynamics 365.
Even if you haven’t heard of it yet, if you’re running Dynamics 365, chances are you’re already licensed for PowerApps. Which means with a little insight and know how, you could get started building your own mobile apps or web-based applications today!
What is PowerApps
According to Microsoft, PowerApps is a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs.
In plain speak for the nonprogrammers reading this?
You can create your own computer programs to meet your business needs without knowing much about computer coding or software design. Think building forms, defining processes and setting business rules.
How would I use PowerApps for my business
PowerApps is generally used to create apps that solve business problems for task and role-specific scenarios like inspections, field sales enablement, prospect to cash and integrated marketing views, according to Microsoft.
If you have the time and ambition to learn the tool, you can use PowerApps’ pre-built templates in Canvas mode, which leverages a drag-and-drop interface, to create lightweight apps yourself.
These are typically created for a simple, quick-use purpose. Perhaps you’re creating a form to gather information for expense reporting or budgeting purposes, or a cost estimator that generates an estimate based on simple form inputs.
However more realistically, particularly for busy non-technical professionals, businesses typically turn to a Microsoft-certified IT partner who can expertly use PowerApps to more simply and rapidly build immersive applications from scratch in the tool’s Model-driven mode—without the high costs associated with traditional development.
These heavier-use apps automatically generate a great user interface (UI) that is responsive across devices. Potential uses are limitless—and often involve bridging the gap between multiple Dynamics 365 applications and data sources within a continuous business. Apps can also be embedded into existing applications, such as SharePoint and Teams.
How do I get started making apps with PowerApps
Access PowerApps through your Office 365 Admin Center.
Whether you’re looking to leverage the tool’s Canvas or Model-driven modes to start building, you can find a host of tutorials through Microsoft’s dedicated PowerApps YouTube channel.
Learn more about Microsoft D365