Microsoft says PowerApps is is “an enterprise service for innovators” to connect, create and share business apps with your team
Called PowerApps, Microsoft said the product “helps businesses create employee-facing apps of all kinds, from the simplest app — like an employee survey — to long-lived, mission-critical apps that connect to line-of-business systems and cloud services and run on any device”.
PowerApps was unveiled at Microsoft’s European Convergence conference in Barcelona, alongside news of new Office 365 enterprise capabilities and Dynamics CRM 2016 going into general availability.
“PowerApps makes it easy to get an app up and running within minutes, with built-in data connections to SaaS services like Office 365, Dynamics, Salesforce, Dropbox and OneDrive in addition to on-premises business systems including SharePoint, SQL Server, Oracle databases, SAP and more,” said Microsoft.
“The service provides a familiar, Office-like experience for creating new business apps, templates to help get started quickly and a visual designer for automating workflows. These tools work in concert with enterprise-grade services for professional developers and IT professionals, so everyone can work together to unlock new business agility.”
Microsoft pointed to PowerApps as meeting the fundamental changes of the way businesses work. The platform heavily aligns with Nadella’s mobile first, cloud first strategy. The Windows 10 maker argued that app development has just been too slow to keep up the pace with employee demand, and whilst the enterprise can turn to SaaS offerings to solve problems all over the shop, “business app scenarios still remain on premise”.
“Too often, they’re not optimised for mobile, not easily integrated with other services, and not accessible when and where people need them most – on the device they want to use in that moment,” wrote Bill Staples, Microsoft’s VP of Application Platforms. “The business app category continues to lag behind consumer app scenarios in terms of richness and ubiquity.”
Microsoft reckons that PowerApps is the solution. The service is currently in a free preview mode, with the final version having the capability of being hooked up to Office 365 and Salesforce, to name just two.