PowerApps: Create Mobile Business Apps with Ease

If you have purchased an Office 365 Enterprise E1 or higher subscription, you may have noticed the PowerApps functionality. How can you leverage PowerApps for business?

PowerApps creates mobile apps that run in almost any browser environment, and on all mobile operating systems – iOS, Android and Windows. Developed as a Platform as a Service (PaaS), PowerApps can be accessed as a web version or as an app.

Why PowerApps?

The advantage of PowerApps is the easy access and flexibility it allows to run on every mobile operating system, saving hours of development work and reducing costs. Normally, businesses develop different apps for each system at extra cost. Not anymore.

The mobile business apps run through the PowerApps environment, which acts as a mobile container for applications with cross-platform functionality. Furthermore, PowerApps leverages Microsoft’s cloud benefits, e.g. regular updates and new features.

Note that PowerApps was developed to create mobile business apps for an organisation’s internal use only, meaning the apps are not for external publishing for consumer consumption. This is mostly due to the licensing model and technical limitations.

Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools that deliver insights throughout your organization. Connect to hundreds of data sources, simplify data prep, and drive ad hoc analysis. Produce beautiful reports, then publish them for your organization to consume on the web and across mobile devices. Everyone can create personalized dashboards with a unique, 360-degree view of their business. And scale across the enterprise, with governance and security built-in.

How to Create Apps in PowerApps

Creating applications with PowerApps is easy. All the functionality is virtually no-code. You do not need coding experience. Everything is created using a drag-and-drop interface with different controls, fields and forms, media resources, and screens to finalise the mobile app. Create, publish and share in seconds within the organisation!

You can use PowerApps to create various applications from simple to complex. PowerApps stores data directly inside the app, but it can also connect to external data sources. By default, it uses simple logic designed using Excel formulas but allows custom business logic.

PowerApps does have its limitations. Developers cannot add any custom coding (HTML, JavaScript, C#) to the apps. However, some restrictions allow the platform to better maintain stability and security. Restricting custom coding can be a positive thing.

PowerApps comes with the Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise licensing, but it can also be purchased as a separate license to extend Dynamics 365 capabilities, for example. Depending on your enterprise license, some features may be limited or not available.

Find out more about PowerApps documentation and licensing on Powerapps.com.

Check out our new Office 365 and Dynamics 365 pricing page for licensing info.

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