What is Microsoft Power Platform?

By: Microtek Learning

365

Microsoft Power Platform

It is a platform with minimum code requirements which runs on O365, Azure, D365, and Standalone Applications.

Microsoft Power Platform has the following products:

  • Power BI: It connects to your data to do power analytics
  • Power Apps: It allows you to take action on your data
  • Power Automate: It automates business processes
  • Common Data Service: It helps to build a chat box

These products are developed on three technical components. 

  • Data connectors: They that allow you to connect with different data sources on the web or on-premises.
  • AI builder: AI builder allows you to infuse artificial intelligence in any business process without requiring a developer or a data scientist.
  • Common Data Service: It allows you to model your business data and secure it, and then share it across all power platform components.

Let us take a close look at the MS Power Platform products:

Power apps:

This allows you to build highly customized applications with role-based access control with data from one or multiple sources.

It also has a model-driven app that automatically gathers the data model and business processes.

When you want to share those business processes with people outside of the organization we can use the power portals.

Power Automate: 

You can automate business processes across the organization which is called business process automation. 

With Power Automate you can trigger actions for approvals and business process workflow for process management.

Also, there is Robotic process automation or RPA that allows you to connect to multiple systems even if they do not have an API.

Power BI:

Power BI training allows you to connect to multiple data sources at the same time with Microsoft or non-Microsoft back-ends. t has a very customized dashboard that is interactive. You can use AI to give you recommendations on how you can interpret your data without requiring a database analyst.

Power Virtual Agents: 

It follows the self-service no-code or citizen development approach. It enables the subject matter expert to create powerful virtual agents without the need for data scientists or developers.

You can create custom workflows and integrate the virtual agent with the number of services. The virtual agent will take the action on behalf of the customer and the process is carried out automatically.

Customers can use conversational metrics and dashboards to analyze the work by the virtual agent. They get detailed AI-driven insights to improve the Bot performance.

Common data Service: 

It allows you to build a very complex database structure with high levels of security with minimum code. It does not require a database analyst hence you can jump start and build apps using a standard data model. That is shared across all Microsoft Business applications that can be infused in the business logic and security mode.

Data Connectors

Data Connectors are shared across multiple products. These are the same connectors that are used in Power Automate, Power Apps, and Logic Apps. It shares the same security components like data loss prevention policies and authentication.

There are about 400 connectors that are available on the marketplace. But apart from this, you can create your custom connector. The custom API can be connected to any API and shared across the Power Platform.

Data Sources for connectors

When creating a use case you will have different choices of back-end data sources.

There are two types of data sources

Tabular Data: This data source uses a structured table format to return the data. The power apps read from this structured table and display them. Power apps can either delete, create and edit data from it. 

Function-based data: Functions are used to interact with the data source. These functions are used to retrieve data from the tables. It also offers various other actions like sending an email, updating a task, giving permissions, and creating events

Components of Connectors

Once the data source is established and configured the connector has two types of operations that can be used:

Triggers:

Triggers are only used in power automation so they can prompt a flow to begin. These triggers are based on a particular or like an alarm set for a particular event to occur. They also can be based on particular actions like creating a new record in a table or receiving an email. A trigger is always needed to determine the workflow when to run. The trigger can be a button with a flow mobile app or even a button in excels, D365, or SharePoint.

Actions:                                 

Once the flow is triggered you can have multiple sets of actions. Actions are prompted by the user or a trigger in the Power Automate and Power Apps. Due to some functions, the actions allow interaction with the data source. Example: sending an email in your workflow or application.

As soon as you have a trigger you can have different actions.

Functional Architecture of Microsoft Power Platform

 

Microsoft Power Platform

 

  • When we think of any business solutions that want to build in low code, one needs to begin with Data and Services.
  • Connect to the common data service for apps if you require Relationship Table or role-based access control. You will need to automate backups and have connectors. Here the Common Service Data is often the best place to start with.
  • But sometimes you already have data or services. You can connect that data in reading or writing capabilities using an on-premises data gateway. But if your business process requires something that does not fall in those categories, then there are over 400 connectors to Microsoft and Non-Microsoft Products. Also if none of those 400 connectors give a solution, you can always customize the connectors as per requirement.
  • Once you have the data sources that you need for your use case, the next thing to look after is business processes. 
  • To transform and analyze the data we need the AI builder. It determines what is the meaning or sentiment related to that data.
  • Some of the systems do not have an API to connect to. It is where the connector is too complex to build or does not exist. This is where Robotic Process Automation will allow interacting with that database through the user interface.
  • The Automation with Power Automate is basically the business process automation or BPA. You can connect to any system that has API, define triggers and actions.

This is the basic walk-through of the functional architecture and service available with Microsoft Power Platform Training

Microsoft is now providing updated courses and certification for the Power Platform. 

You can visit Microtek Learning to check the Pl-900 Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals Training and certification courses.

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