What is Microsoft Power Platform?

August 6, 2019 Tony Castellano

In today’s world of big data and advanced analytics, could your business use an easier way to leverage data and automate processes? Microsoft Power Platform may be the answer you’ve been looking for. What is the Microsoft Power Platform?

Traditionally, developing customized functionality for business solutions has required a large commitment of time, money, and expertise. If your organization needs effective ways to leverage data that’s collected throughout your systems to improve productivity, accelerate processes and extend insight—Microsoft Power Platform is a tool that puts the power to innovate into your hands with NO CODING required!


Bridging Solutions with the Common Data Model

The Microsoft Power Platform works using a Common Data Model in order to unify your entities and data across all your business processes and enable interoperability among apps. The Common Data Model provides a single, customizable metadata definition. This makes it easier to create new apps, build robust reports, and connect business functions ranging from marketing and sales to finance and operations. Use pre-determined entities or customize your own.

Power Platform works because Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power Apps, Power BI, and Azure all support storing data using the Common Data Model, allowing you to unify information across your business. In addition, open source standard definitions can be used alongside customized schema to meet your business needs with precision.

Microsoft Power Platform allows you to access all your business data under the Common Data Model, then makes it easy to build apps and workflows around that information. It does this with 3 main tools:


1. Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence and advanced analytics platform with built-in visuals and countless options for analyzing and displaying relevant data in real-time. You can use Power BI to embed interactive data visuals into your other Microsoft business solutions, such as drillable dashboards with reports, charts, KPIs, and more.


2. Power Automate (formerly Microsoft Flow)

Power Automate makes it easy to create workflows and automate processes between multiple business applications. Hundreds of built-in connector templates make it easy to synchronize and automate actions across your entire business management system. With Power Automate, you can get notifications, make approvals from one place, collect information, synchronize data, and more.


3. Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps is a tool which leverages a Common Data Service (described below) so users can build custom apps or extend and customize existing ones. You can design apps with a point and click approach – no coding needed. The solution offers templates for common business needs, or you can start from scratch. For more complex app development, Power Apps also offers pro-developer extensibility.


What is the Common Data Service

Microsoft Power Platform’s Common Data Service is built into Power Apps, and it’s based on the foundation of the Common Data Model. This means users can easily create enterprise-grade apps without the traditional challenges and limits that developers face when connecting multiple disparate solutions.

The Common Data Service standardizes your data through the Common Data Model, and then allows you or third parties to build on a set of over 200 standard business entities. You can also customize the model to your unique business needs by creating custom entities and fields.

Additionally, pro developers can use code plugins and the Common Data Service software development kit (SDK) to build apps and create more extensive customizations.


The Advantages of Microsoft Power Platform

Power Platform uses the Common Data Model in combination with Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate so you can analyze, act on, and automate business data and processes. By being able to understand your data, integrate all of your platforms, and build custom applications and workflows, you’ll gain a whole new world of functionality, all of which can be created without coding. Power Platform puts innovation into the hands of ordinary users.

If you’re considering whether it might benefit your business, we recommend finding a technology partner who has experience implementing Power Platform. Western Computer can help analyze your needs and implement the appropriate solutions. In addition to providing expert guidance, we offer help with licensing, customizations, integrations, support, and more.


Watch our OnDemand webinar:  


Introducing Microsofts Power Platform for D365


About the Author

Tony Castellano

As Western Computer's VP of Sales, Tony oversees sales and business processes to ensure that the company's large customer base is supported.

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