What is Power Apps? 

One of the 5 core elements of Microsoft’s Power Platform, Power Apps is a low-code application development tool that allows companies to create innovative custom solutions. Low-code application development provides the opportunity to design, develop and rollout apps without the need to write even a single line of code. Apps are created using a user-friendly drag and drop interface, empowering rapid solution development. 

What are Power Apps used for? 

Power Apps provides more than just a way to build business apps. Power Apps helps businesses build and use their own custom apps to solve business problems quickly and effectively. As Power Apps offers native integration with other elements of Power Platform, it offers vast customisation potential. For example, you can use Power Apps to build a tailored expense management app, that can then be integrated with low-code data visualisation tool, Power BI, to create and display interactive visualisations to enhance expense reports.  

What can you do with Microsoft Power Apps? 

As a flexible solution, Power Apps enables organisations to leverage low-code technology to create unique business solutions. To give you an idea of what your business can achieve with Power Apps, we’ve outlined some of the popular use cases below. 

Employee onboarding app – Streamline onboarding processes and reduce pressure on HR staff by integrating an employee onboarding app where you can provide employees access to important documents like employment contracts or company policies, upload their contact details and view onboarding progress. 

Timesheet app – Reduce reliance on manual tasks and emails by allowing employees to use a timesheet app to log their hours which can then accessed by managers and resourcing staff.  

Office booking app – Help hybrid employees coordinate their in-office days by allowing staff to book into the office or book a specific desk via an office booking app. 

Annual leave app – Accelerate annual leave requests using a Power App which allows workers to send requests for time off straight to managers, who can then approve or deny the request directly from the app.  

Inventory management app - Integrate a custom inventory management solution that helps staff monitor inventory by automating alerts for low stock, ensuring your business always has the resources required to fulfil orders in an efficient and timely manner. 

Project management app – Transform project management with an app that allows you to view and store all project details in one space. Track information like project status, task progress and budgets.  

If you would like to learn more about the potential business applications of Power Apps, check out some of our case studies linked below: 

South Dublin County Council – Driving Public Service Innovation with Power Platform 

IRFU – Returning to Play with Microsoft Power Platform 

What are the benefits of Power Apps? 

As a dynamic, low-code application development platform, Power Apps offers many benefits. Below we discuss some of the key advantages of building solutions using Power Apps. 

Rapid development and cost savings – Developing low-code applications that do not require writing a script of code requires much less time and company resources than traditional solution development. This means solutions can be designed, developed and integrated rapidly, and at a much lower cost than other solutions.  

Mobile optimised – Power Apps allows users to create apps with templates that are already optimised for mobile, tablet and desktop use. This means you do not need to spend time and effort configuring your app for use on different devices. 

Flexible design – The intuitive Power Apps interface allows users to customise their apps to suit their specific business needs, with the option to leverage connectors to integrate data from various sources and enhance the apps capabilities. Regardless of company size or sector, Power Apps offers a flexible way to design applications. 

Seamless integration – As a Microsoft solution, apps built on Power Apps can be seamlessly integrated with other Microsoft products to enable further functionality and consolidate data sources. This means you can integrate your app with your customer relationship management (CRM) system, document management solution or other elements of Power Platform, to name a few. 

Scalability – Power Apps facilitates the creation of apps of varying complexity, meaning as your organisation grows and develops more complex processes and needs, your Power App can be tailored to reflect this. 

What are the types of Power App?  

There are 2 different types of Power Apps which cater to different user needs and serve different purposes, canvas apps and model-driven apps. Canvas apps offer a more visual approach to app development, where the user essentially is given a blank canvas and can then use a drag-and-drop interface to customise the app as much as they need, controlling elements like layout, buttons and forms. On the other hand, model-driven apps are built on the Dataverse and offer a more data-driven approach to application design. The user interface is created based on the underlying data structure that is predefined by developers in the Dataverse. Whether you use a canvas or model-driven app will depend on your specific development goals and requirements and data complexity. However, in general canvas apps are a good option if you want to have more control over design interface and integration with various data sources like SQL, Excel or SharePoint, while model-driven apps may be more suitable if you are developing a more data-centric application. 

Who are Power Apps for? 

As no knowledge of complex coding languages is required, even users who do not come from a technical background are empowered to create tailored applications with Power Apps. Essentially, Power Apps can be used by any business or user that wants to quickly design and implement a custom application.  

When should I use Microsoft Power Apps? 

As low-code solutions such as those built via Power Apps are generally much less costly and quicker to develop than custom developed solutions, they are a good option if your business has a tight deadline for implementation and a restricted budget. However, whether you opt for Power Apps or custom development will ultimately depend on your specific solution requirements. If you require highly specialised, complex functionality from your solution, it is possible that you may want to go the custom development route. 

At Storm Technology, we have the expertise and experience required to help you successfully integrate Power Apps. To learn more, get in touch with one of our solution experts today.