Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow helping customers change the way they develop custom business apps

Apr 17, 2017   |   Mason Cheung

Authored by Kees Hertogh, Senior Director, Product Marketing

In just five short months since announcing general availability, Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow have seen tremendous growth and continue to gain traction with customers worldwide who have embraced the ability to rapidly build web and mobile applications and automate their business processes – all without the need for programming skills.

Customers are delivering business-critical scenarios

Customers are digitally transforming the way they approach business processes by leveraging PowerApps and Flow to automate manual tasks, connect data and put the power of enterprise applications in the hands of the business users. Customers including NASCAR, IPS, National Trust and Transalta are using PowerApps and Flow for employee-facing and business-critical scenarios. From equipping field workers with rich data to digitizing tasks and processes, PowerApps and Flow are helping these companies become dramatically faster and more efficient in their development of business applications. For example, Integrated Power Services (IPS) is a leading servicer of large-scale electric motors and generators across North America for continuous process industries like power generation. With PowerApps and Flow, the business process of servicing a wind turbine or hydroelectric generator is now managed step-by-step with rich tablet applications on the shop floor, dramatically increasing efficiency of the operation and visibility to their end customers. What used to be a paper- and whiteboard-based process has now been digitally transformed rapidly and at far lower cost than imaginable with traditional custom software development.

Soaring adoption with SharePoint users

SharePoint customers are benefitting from deeper contextual integration of Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow within SharePoint Online, taking advantage of increased team collaboration and task automation capabilities. The recent added integration for Microsoft Flow with SharePoint document libraries, along with the ability to run Flows on-demand from SharePoint, expand the opportunities for business process automation and fill the needs of even more users. Now, tapping into large SharePoint lists to filter through data where it originates is providing PowerApps creators the ability to deliver apps with increasing complexity, and across large enterprise systems.

Reaching the deskless workforce

Meeting the needs of frontline workers just got easier with the announcement of the Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow inclusion in the Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan that will roll out in the next few weeks. This means that retail employees, service workers and staff that rely on shared workstations can now stay more connected and productive through PowerApps and Flow scenarios. Many deskless workers resort to manual processes and outdated tools out of necessity. Now with faster, easier app creation and workflow automation, the days of tracking inventory and maintaining changing work schedules on a clipboard are in the past.

Enhanced features delivered in close collaboration with customers

Microsoft Flow is rapidly delivering new functionality and iterating with customers. Today, Microsoft Flow is announcing modernized approval processes for businesses of all sizes, with the ability to create an approval process in seconds using rich templates and a smooth mobile experience for approving or rejecting requests on the go, and the ability to surface actions directly in other Microsoft products like Outlook. Additional features to support dynamic team productivity are being added at a rapid pace. Shareable digital button triggers, as well as  physical buttons that connect Flow to the real world now enable faster, richer flows. Collaborative flow creation and management, key for many essential business processes, is reaching general availability today.

Microsoft PowerApps has made recent enhancements to key functionality that will enable a richer and more engaging user experience. Now just point and click to easily create more advanced applications connected to the Common Data Service with the new entity forms feature. Customers can also now embed PowerApps in Power BI dashboards, embed streaming video and deliver in-app push notifications, in addition to a host of other user-requested features.

Professional developers and partners are amplifying power user capabilities

Professional developers and Microsoft partners are amplifying developer impact and arming power users with building blocks by integrating their own services with Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. In addition to the more than 100 different connectors that come out-of-the- box, professional developers can expose any REST- based end-point using custom APIs for power users to easily take advantage of. New services for developers enable an easier experience to register Azure functions and App Services.

With this accelerating momentum for Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow, customers are transforming the way they deliver custom business applications and automate business processes. We look forward to continuing to help customers directly turn their business expertise into rich solutions and drive their own digital transformation forward.

To learn more about these updates, please visit the Microsoft Flow and Microsoft PowerApps blogs.

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