The Power Platform is a suite of tools created by Microsoft that allow you to create custom business applications without writing any code. It comprises five main products: Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, Power Pages and Power Virtual Agents. These products are designed to work together seamlessly, enabling you to build powerful solutions that integrate with other Microsoft products like SharePoint and Teams.
Jobs in the Power Platform
There are several types of jobs that you can do in the Power Platform, such as:
- Power Platform Developer: Create custom business applications using Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents.
- Power Platform Administrator: Manage and maintain Power Platform environments.
- Power Platform Consultant: Work with clients to identify business problems and develop solutions using the Power Platform.
Now, let’s take a look at each product and what it can do:
Power Apps allows you to create custom business applications on any device. Think of it as building blocks, where you can create a form to capture data, then connect it to a data source and automate the approval process. With Power Apps, you can create anything from a simple data entry app to a complex solution that integrates with other Microsoft products.
Example: Imagine a team of field technicians who must capture customer information and report back to the office. You can create a Power App that allows them to input customer data and capture photos of their work. The data is then saved to a SharePoint list, accessible to everyone in the organization.
Power BI is a business analytics tool that allows you to visualize data and gain insights. Think of it as a data visualization tool where you can create a dashboard to display data in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand way. With Power BI, you can connect to multiple data sources, transform and clean the data, and create custom visuals that tell a story.
Example: Imagine you’re a sales manager who wants to track your team’s performance. You can create a Power BI dashboard showing the team’s sales by product, region, and quarter. You can also drill down into the data to see which products sell the most and which regions perform the best.
Power Automate allows you to automate repetitive tasks and workflows. Think of it as a digital assistant where you can create a flow to automate approvals, send emails, and create new records. With Power Automate, you can connect to multiple data sources, create triggers and actions, and monitor the flow in real time.
Example: Imagine you have a recruitment team that needs to review resumes and schedule interviews. You can create a Power Automate flow that automatically sends an email to the hiring manager when a new resume is received and creates a new record in SharePoint to track the progress of the recruitment process.
Power Virtual Agents
Power Virtual Agents allows you to create chatbots without any coding. Think of it as a virtual assistant, where you can create a chatbot to answer common questions and guide users through a process. With Power Virtual Agents, you can create a chatbot that integrates with other Microsoft products like Teams and can handle multiple languages.
Example: Imagine you’re an IT manager who wants to create a chatbot to handle common IT requests like password resets and software installation. You can create a Power Virtual Agent that guides users through resetting their password or installing software without needing a human IT technician.
Power Pages is a relatively new addition to the Power Platform. It is a low-code platform for building customized web pages that can interact with other Power Platform tools like Power Apps, Power BI, and Power Automate. With Power Pages, you can create dynamic web pages for your organization without requiring high technical expertise.
For example, imagine that your company wants to create a custom webpage for customers to view their orders and track their shipment status. With Power Pages, you could build a webpage with a login portal where customers can enter their information and view their orders. You could then connect this webpage to Power BI and Power Automate so that customers can receive real-time updates on their shipment status.
Power Pages is an excellent option for companies that want to create customized web pages but don’t have the resources to build a fully custom solution from scratch. You can quickly create a web page that meets your organization’s specific needs by leveraging the Power Platform and Power Pages.
SharePoint and Teams
SharePoint and Teams are critical to Power Platform Developers because they provide the underlying infrastructure to store data and collaborate with other team members. SharePoint is a document management and collaboration platform that allows you to store, organize, and share information within an organization. Teams is a chat-based collaboration tool that will enable you to collaborate with your team in real time.
Where to Start and Which Product to Choose
If you’re new to the Power Platform, I recommend starting with Power Apps. It’s the easiest to learn and provides a good foundation for understanding the other products. Power BI is a great option if you’re interested in business analytics. If you want to automate workflows, Power Automate is a good choice. And if you want to create chatbots, Power Virtual Agents is the product for you.
One good option to start with the Power Platform is to join the Collab365 Academy and take our 5-Day Vacation booking challenge or our Microsoft 365 Foundations course. The challenge and course will help you get hands-on experience with the Power Platform and learn how to create a custom vacation booking app using Power Apps, Power Automate, and SharePoint.
The Power Platform is a suite of tools that allows you to create custom business applications without writing any code. It comprises four main products: Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents. These products are designed to work seamlessly and integrate with other Microsoft products like SharePoint and Teams. Whether you’re a developer, administrator, or consultant, there are many opportunities in the Power Platform. So why not get started today and see how the Power Platform can help your business?