Power Platform Overview
The Microsoft Power Platform is a rapid low-code development platform. It enables the creation of end-to-end business solutions in a low-code/no-code environment. The benefit of this is that solutions can be created in the Power Platform by ‘citizen developers’ rather than by highly paid and expertly skilled IT Developers, in a fraction of the time. The Power Platform is typically considered to comprise the following 4 elements;
- Power BI
- Power Apps
- Power Automate
- Power Virtual Agents
In addition, the Power Platform provides the ability to very quickly deploy websites, or ‘portals’. These portals can be used to provide external access to Power Apps, or D365 applications.
Each of the 4 applications listed above contains many features and has the potential to provide huge business benefit. And this is described further on the individual pages linked above. However they’d all be pretty useless without some kind of data. So, when working with the Power Platform, or any of its components, a data source of some kind is required. This can either be the Microsoft Dataverse, which is integrated directly with the Power Platform or an external data source.
External data sources are normally accessed via a ‘connector’ which can be either custom or out of the box. This means that although there are hundreds of connectors available out of the box, it’s also possible to make your own. Full information on how to do this is provided by Microsoft.
Microsoft provide great learning materials for any aspiring Power Platform developer on the Microsoft Learn website. In fact I have picked up most of my Power Platform knowledge there! Microsoft Learn is a totally free resource, and I would recommend checking it out if you haven’t already done so. Materials on Microsoft Learn come in a variety of formats, to suit all learning styles. And once you have mastered a particular area, you can take exams to certify your proficiency.