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Saturday, September 25, 2021

Microsoft fleshes out Power Apps

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Microsoft has expanded its Power Apps low-code development platform, introducing custom pages and app designer capabilities as well as app-sharing and new templates. These features were introduced on May 4.

The custom pages capability uses the Power Apps canvas for the UX and connects to more than 400 data sources, leveraging the Power Fx language for low-code logic. Custom pages can be embedded within model-driven applications, resulting in enterprise apps that combine grids and forms over the Microsoft Dataverse data storage platform.

These unified experiences can be built with a new Modern App Designer tool, to quickly assemble an application backed by Dataverse. Modern App Designer is to be available in public preview this month. With Modern App Designer, declaratively generated grids and forms can be dropped in by selecting a table. Apps can be previewed in the designer.

A new organization-wide app sharing capability allows users to build a Power App inside of Microsoft Teams and share it across all teams in an Azure Active Directory. App users no longer have to be members of the team that built the app. A “share with colleagues” feature enables sharing of these apps.

Also planned for release this month are more Power Apps templates for specific business purposes inside of Teams. These include Profile+, for profiling employees and their skills; Boards, for information discovery; and Discussions, for discussion topics. Power Apps already provides templates for issue reporting, bulletins, inspection, employee ideas, and milestones.

Microsoft detailed new governance controls for Power Apps and the Power Platform, covering endpoint filtering, tenant isolation, and tenant-wide analytics. The company said that information protection support for data in Power Apps is coming soon, and that plans are in the works to introduce connector action controls for data loss prevention. An April 2022 release of the Power Apps Studio authoring tool will provide a single place to build canvas applications and model-driven applications, Microsoft said.

Power Apps is a service for building custom business apps that connect to data and work across the web and mobile, without the expense and time needed for custom software development. Microsoft said 86 percent of Fortune 500 companies are now using Power Apps.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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