Develop Low-Code/No-Code applications with Microsoft Power Platform

In the tech industry, they say that Low-Code and No-Code solutions represent the future of app development. It’s no surprise that companies tend to rely on this kind of approach, as it allows them to create business apps without writing a single line of code. Furthermore, these platforms enable users, or commonly referred to as “citizen developers”,  to design and customize apps based on their specific business needs. 

In this article, we define the concept of “Low-Code/No-Code,” and through the example of Microsoft’s Power Platform suite, we highlight the main benefits and features of this software development method.

What is Low-Code?

Low-Code is a software development method which enables automated code generation through visual building blocks such as point click, drag and drop and pull-down menu interfaces. Low-code perfectly combines manual coding and visual interfaces along with ready-made, pre-written universal blocks.

What is No-Code?

No-code is a rapid application development approach which allows non-developers to create apps without programming skills, with little effort and resources. No-code is a visual instrument and its main benefit is the possibility to create and customize the visual appearance of the software without coding.

Low-Code vs No-Code

The difference between low-code and no-code applications lies in the fact that low-code involves a combination of code and visual elements, while no-code is a 100% visual method. Low-code requires minimal knowledge of coding, whereas no-code can be used even without this preparation. Low-code allows for more advanced customization of the application and the execution of more sophisticated actions, while no-code can address less complex needs but in a shorter time frame.

Why are these software development methods important?

The business landscape is ever-changing, and the only way to stand out among all the competitors, is to constantly innovate. However, the desire to implement new ideas and start new projects is sometimes hindered by the lack of necessary capacity to bring them to life. Overcoming these challenges entails a solution that allows users to harness data and automate, act and analyze business processes. This is where Microsoft Power Platform comes into play.

Transform your workflow with Microsoft’s Low-Code/No-Code tools

Built on Azure, Power Platform is a highly secure, low-code platfom. It is data-driven and cost-effective, making it a great solution for businesses of all sizes. By automating daily tasks, it saves precious time and empowers companies to redirect resources toward innovation and crafting growth strategies.

In this article, we will delve into the main components and benefits that Power Platform provide for its users. Let’s unpack it!

Power Platform is all about Low-Code and No-Code!

With Microsoft Power Platform you’re no longer wired to the IT department for tackling a new project. This No-Code/Low-Code approach gives non-developers the possibility to build apps, solve problems using AI, and create workflows, regardless of their technical proficiency with data.

Incorporating Power Platform in your working process provides a connected experience. It forms a ‘spider web’ which intertwines several tools, specifically: Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents, which coexist alongside with Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other apps hosted by Azure.

The ultimate goal of this enterprise application SaaS platform is to optimize the business processes and build custom solutions tailored to your company’s specific needs, industry and roles. To simplify your business’ digital transformation, Power Platform provides 4 main tools, as previously mentioned and described below.

Discover impactful insights with Power BI

Now that companies are producing more data than ever, managing it becomes overwhelming. Enter Power BI, a powerful tool designed to streamline this process. It not only collects and processes raw data, but also transforms it into easily interpretable insights that can drive decision-making. Leveraging advanced AI capabilities, Power BI goes beyond basic analytics to uncover hidden patterns and anomalies, empowering users to delve deeper into their data and find suitable solutions.

Data feeds the business, and Power BI creates valuable and efficient models that provide consistency in reporting. This Business Intelligence tool also enables a comprehensive analysis of the reported data and drives your organization’s growth.

      • • Visualize real time dashboards and interactive reports

    Unlock the power of your data, discover trends, and gain valuable insights. Customize your dashboards and reports to suit your specific needs, ensuring that data is presented in a way that makes sense to you and your team.

          • • Share and collaborate

    Collaboration is the key to success, and Power BI makes it easy to share important reports and dashboards securely with team members or external stakeholders. With real-time collaboration features, everyone has access to the latest data, ensuring that your entire team is aligned and informed.

          • • Data Hub

    Power BI serves as a centralized data hub as it collects and connects a broad range of data from more than 500 sources, including on-premise data, cloud services and databases. When linked to Microsoft Cloud App Security and Microsoft Information Protection, enterprise data receives an added layer of protection, ensuring superior security and compliance.

          • • Real-time tracking

    Stay on top of your business with Power BI’s real-time tracking capabilities. Access your data from anywhere, at any time, and track performance metrics in real-time.

  • Power BI is available in 3 forms: Power BI Desktop (to create reports), Power BI Service (to view reports online) and Power BI Mobile Apps (to access dashboards on Windows, IOS and Android)

Advance efficiency with Power Automate

When completing basic tasks manually, many errors can occur, and one little mistake can disrupt the whole working process. Power Automate, previously known as Microsoft Flow, is the perfect cloud-based application for minimizing the human output and considerably reducing mistakes by delivering consistent results. You will no longer approach IT for help or use complex tools like SharePoint Designer, as you will be able to create workflows and quickly automate repetitive tasks with out-of-the-box templates.

Using this no-code solution will definitely make you wonder how you managed your activities without Power Automate before. This powerful flow engine enbles five types of flows to run:

      • Automated flow: The flow is activated by a certain action or event, for example when a SharePoint list is changed or someone mentions your company on social media, it sends a notification email.
      • Instant flow: With a simple click of a button, users cand manually initiate a flow on either mobile or desktop version of the app. It can be, for example, a reminder for the upcoming team meeting.
      • • Programmed flow: The flow can be scheduled and independently run at a specific time.
      • • Business process flow: The flow provides no-code guidance for users to complete specific actions without training, using visual indicators only.
      • • UI flow: Suitable for automating repetitive tasks with the capabilities of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

The smooth worlflow ocurrs across multiple applications because Power Automate includes over 300 connectors and uses data from Microsoft and non-Microsoft apps, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Twitter, and more.

Tailor Low-Code/No-Code solutions with Power Apps

With Power Apps you can build professional solutions starting from scratch, and with some help from the Copilot feature, it’s even easier to finish your app. Start by describing the app you want and AI will design it for you, or you can simply harness AI suggestions and build it your way.

Power Apps is not only about building web and mobile applications in a low-code mode, but also about security and GDPR compliance.  If we’ve already convinced you to give it a try, let’s explore the three types of applications within Power Apps:

Canvas Apps

Using the drag and drop interface, a Canvas App is built from scratch. Start with your data sources, whether it’s SharePoint, CDS or Excel, or use a template, a sample app. A Canvas app it’s considered to be the ‘traditional’ app, but it’s very easy to create as it starts with a blank screen that can be customized as you desire. Last but not least, make sure that your application meets your needs and suites your requirements.

Model-Driven Apps

In a Model-Driven App, the creator has less customization options compared to a Canvas App. It is suitable for scenarios where the business logic is more complex. A Model-driven app is suitable for complex data models, sophisticated business processes and data related activities that need a proper management. You create the building blocks of your app, and Power Apps designs the look.

Copilot Studio – more than a rebrand for Power Virtual Agents

At Microsoft Ignite 2023,  the fusion of formerly Power Virtual Agents (service within Microsoft Power Platform) and Copilot Studio was announced. Back in 2019, when the launch of Microsoft Power Virtual Agents occurred, no one estimated the significant changes within conversational AI and chatbot market, 5 years later.

But here we are, in the momentum of Generative AI, where chatbots function based on sophisticated language models and mimic humans in a way that goes beyond simple templates. Generative AI chatbots have the ability to understand context, infer meaning, and adapt to the nuances of human interaction.

Power Virtual Agents laid the foundation, but Copilot is the structure rising upon it. As for its final height, we can’t say, but one thing’s for sure – it’s destined to be a skyscraper.

Want to read more about it? Check our recent article about Microsoft Copilot.

Why should you use Microsoft Power Platform 2024?

The answer is simple – because it’s a no-code/low-code solution for your business. You’re no longer tied to the IT department and many decision-making capabilities are handed to all kind of workers within the company. These non-IT professionals can easily create apps that sustain and simplify their activity flow in just a few steps.

One of 2024’s keywords is, without any doubt, automation. To avoid time and energy waste, automated processes will be implemented in each company that aims to remain competitive in today’s market. Also, Power Platform is a flexible cloud-based platform which allows users to access all the tools from any device and easily collaborate with the team by working and sharing information at any time.

Let the numbers do the talking

There is no better way to talk about the efficiency of a platform or a tool rather than bringing into the conversation some statistics. Let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • • More than 7.5 million developers worldwide are using Microsoft Power Platform to create impactful things for their organization;
  • • Gartner predicts that in 2024, 65% of application development projects will rely on low-code development;
  • • A study conducted by Forrester Consulting revealed that users of Microsoft Power Automate and Microsoft Power Apps experienced a 362% ROI over three years;
  • • The same study indicates 70% reduction in app development costs;
  • 15% average improvement in business process efficiencies in the 3rd year.

Linksoft can help you get started

Embark on your Microsoft Power Platform journey today! Our team offers valuable expertise and support to seamlessly integrate the Power Platform into your company. We provide comprehensive training for your team and expert guidance in creating tailored solutions that meet your unique needs.

Get in touch with us now, and let’s craft the perfect strategy for your business!

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Request a demo

Have a Dynamics 365 consultant contact you.

Send a request >

Call us directly

Available Monday-Friday
07 AM to 4 PM GMT

+40 771 303 125 >