After a rewarding journey hand-in-hand with the many customers and partners who participated in our preview programs (thank you!), we’re excited to announce the general availability of Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. Beginning Tuesday, both services will be available to users around the world and in 42 languages. Both PowerApps and Flow will be included with Dynamics 365 and in the subscriptions of millions of Office 365 Enterprise and Business Premium and Essentials users.
PowerApps and Flow join Microsoft Power BI to create what we on the team refer to as the power trio. Collectively they allow “power users” (read: non-developers) to get done what would have in the past required programming skills, with each playing a specific role:
- Microsoft PowerApps – rapidly build web and mobile business applications without coding
- Microsoft Flow – automate business processes through simple configuration
- Microsoft Power BI – analyze and visualize the data that drives your business
These services are designed to work together and each embodies our “five seconds to sign up, five minutes to wow!” mantra – meaning it’s simple to get started and quickly achieve results. But don’t let the simplicity fool you – these services are incredibly powerful, and by harnessing the power of the Microsoft Cloud, we believe they will allow our partners and customers to transform their business processes in a way that was previously too difficult, too costly or both. In fact, we’re already seeing it happen – more on that below.
PowerApps now also includes the Common Data Service, a unifying backbone for your business data. The Common Data Service stores your key business data in a secure Microsoft Azure-hosted database, organizing it in a standardized but extensible form – customer, lead, opportunity, employee, invoice, inventory item, product, task, contact, calendar and so on. This standardization makes it easy to create new applications and workflows that derive value from your data. And PowerApps, Flow and Power BI are natively aware of this common data model, making it that much easier.
In addition to their standalone value, PowerApps and Flow work together with Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics 365, and through a large and growing family of built-in connectors with hundreds of other popular business applications and database systems. You can even connect to applications and data residing at your own facilities through the on-premise data gateway. Through these integrations, users can easily build applications and orchestrate workflows spanning business processes and joining data previously locked up in silos.
Our family of power services is backed by the full power of Microsoft Azure. Not only are these services hosted on Azure, but they are integrated and composable with our professional developer, integration, and analytics offerings on Azure. For example, a developer might build an Azure Function using Java or Python that can serve as a building block used by a PowerApps creator. A professional integrator can create a workflow hosted on an on-premises Microsoft BizTalk Server triggered by a Microsoft Flow, via our cloud-to-on-premises gateway. This ability for power users and professional developers to work collaboratively to solve business problems is a unique and powerful hallmark of our business application platform.
But the most exciting part of the platform is what we’re seeing you, our partners and customers, doing with it! We introduced the public preview of PowerApps and Flow in April. In the six months since, we have seen an exploding community of application creators emerge – over 160,000 users from 71,000 organizations in 145 countries have created web and mobile applications and automated their own workflows. Here are two examples I really enjoyed learning about:
- Integrated Power Systems (IPS), an industry leader in electric motor upkeep, used PowerApps to completely reimagine how they run their business – from delivering quotes to their customers to automating their core electric motor inspection and repair processes.
“In collaboration with our trusted Microsoft partner we reimagined our previous data collection, work logging and report generation processes, improving productivity by an estimated 15 percent in the factories that have implemented the PowerApps-based solution,” said Scott Melzer, vice president of IT and Purchasing at IPS.
- TransAlta, a multi-national energy company headquartered in Alberta, Canada, used PowerApps in combination with Azure and Microsoft SharePoint to create a decision-making tool which can calculate the economic viability of sending an immediate response to service requests outside their core operating hours.
“Not only have we solved an important business problem, we have delivered the solution at a fraction of the traditional IT project cost – both from an implementation and a TCO perspective. The solution paid for itself in a mere two weeks!” said Nipa Chakravarti, Vice President of Information Technology at TransAlta.
In addition to customers, we’ve seen our partner ecosystem deeply engage with PowerApps and Flow during the preview. In a new solution catalog we’re also launching today you can find solutions our partners have built for assisted sales, employee onboarding, quality control and many more.
On behalf of the entire team, I want to thank all of our 160,000+ creators and partners who’ve helped steer our development efforts. Your feedback has been invaluable! But we’re just getting started. Please keep the feedback flowing. We’re building this for you and driving our development decisions based on your guidance.
For more information, please visit the follow resources:
- Read more about the new capabilities in Microsoft Flow
- Sign up for Microsoft Flow and start automating your own workflows