What is PowerApps? A Primer on a Simplified and Futuristic Solution for App Development

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Emerging business requirements have necessitated a wide range of applications across various functions, with the key requirements of ease of usage, mobility, and security. With that comes a need for an increased technical workforce with the right skills to envision and develop Apps for diverse needs. This need makes the process of App development time and cost-intensive, creating a need for a simplified platform that reduces dependency on technical resources.

In comes Microsoft’s PowerApps, a part of the Power Platform suite. It offers a perfect solution with its low-code/no-code development model, which enables even novice or citizen developers to quickly create Apps for a wide range of business requirements. Built for ease of usage and reduced technical dependency, PowerApps paves the way for rapid App development with substantial time and cost savings. Let’s explore “What is PowerApps” and how it’s fast becoming a game changer in the App development spectrum.

What is PowerApps

PowerApps is an application that supports rapid App development with the minor use of coding. Amongst other App development tools, it scores high on flexibility, scalability, and extensibility. The application includes embedded business logic and workflow design capabilities that transform manual operations into sophisticated Apps. Apps built using PowerApps are responsive and work with various devices- laptops, tablets, or mobiles.

Key Features:

Pre-built Templates

Users can use a wide range of pre-built templates for common business functions to jumpstart their development process. Using templates does away with the need to build from scratch, making it easy for novice users.

Drag and Drop Interface

The application includes a visual interface to drag and drop components to build an App framework. This interface does away with the complexities of creating screens and complex coding for embedding logic.

Extensive Data Connectivity

PowerApps has an extensive range of connectors to hundreds of data sources. This connectivity extends beyond Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and includes external applications such as Salesforce, and various other on-prem or custom data sources. 

Using Microsoft Dataverse with PowerApps, users can securely connect to multiple data sources and easily store and manage data. PowerApps also easily connects with cloud-based applications and data sources such as SQL Server, Dropbox, Google Drive, and many more.


PowerApps uses Dataverse to store and manage business data securely. Users can choose from a set of defined standard entities or create their custom entity. Dataverse is more of a data layer with storage capabilities and does away with the need to create an external database for the App.

Dataverse comes with extensive security features such as open and restricted access modes, defining and implementing user roles, creating permission sets, and much more to secure data used by the App.

Simplified Development

PowerApps simplifies App development with a wide range of embeddable controls and components that does away with complex coding and saves costs and time for developing an App. Users can build a canvas App where they can drag and drop elements into the App canvas.

The other option is the model-driven App, where users use a component-based architecture from Dataverse, which determines the layout and functionality of the App. Model-driven Apps suit complex business operations and require a bit of coding.

Scaling with Azure

Apps built with PowerApps easily extend with Azure, creating full-fledged enterprise solutions for aggregating your business needs. Scaling with Azure also gives the advantage of using Azure DevOps, Artificial Intelligence capabilities, and a reusable component architecture that drives greater efficacy.

In addition to Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365, PowerApps also easily interfaces with other Power Platform components such as Power BI, including intuitive dashboards, Power Automate for embedding automation into Apps, and much more.

PowerApps also facilitates the design of responsive websites that integrate with data stored in Dataverse. This interface makes it a vital choice for App development for businesses running on the Microsoft technology stack.

AI Builder

PowerApps includes the AI-Builder, enabling users to use AI-powered features outlined below:

  • Developing Apps in natural language using OpenAI GPT-3 to generate Power Fx formulas
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)-Understanding and processing text and key phrases
  • Image detection
  • Predictive features that help forecast business models, and future outcomes
  • Sentiment analysis-across a wide range of user data, such as user interactions
  • Entity Extraction

Why are PowerApps vital for both established and emerging businesses?

Consider a business looking to start towards digital transformation by revamping its existing operations. This exercise will need to transform manual and outdated digital processes into easy-to-use applications. This process requires considerable in-house technical expertise or an expensive association with an application development service provider. With either cost, resource, or time-intensive, PowerApps gives an easy solution by enabling individual users to develop low-code applications with little technical knowledge.

PowerApps saves development costs, expensive software licensing, in-house technical training, and hiring the right talent. Importantly, it helps end-users develop the exact application for the workflow they require. PowerApps drives innovation, mobility, operational efficiency, productivity, and efficacy in business functions.

Security and Governance in PowerApps

PowerApps, as a part of Power Platform, comes with enterprise-grade security that includes role assignment, data security, access controls, and deep authentication capabilities. Extensive Data Loss Prevention (DLP) rules ensure the safety and integrity of business data and protect it from unauthorized access. They are configurable by PowerApps administrators by defining rules specific to an organization and ensuring overall security and accurate usage of Apps within the environment.

The above features of PowerApps have made it one of the most popular and viable choices for App development. PowerApps has been recognized as a leader in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms1 for the fourth successive time. This award is a standing testimony of its efficacy and ease of usage, putting the power of low-code App development into the hands of every user.

We hope our blog has given you insights on “What is PowerApps” and how it transforms business operations. For more information on leveraging PowerApps for your business, contact us at info@microexcel.com , and we will be glad to help you.

Our vast expertise in Microsoft Technology gives you the perfect impetus for your business sustenance and growth. Our solutions transform you into a digitally mature enterprise. In addition to complex PowerApps development services, we specialize in the below App types.

  1. Responsive PowerApps
  2. Tabbed and Complex Apps with several business rules
  3. Complex Custom SharePoint List forms
  4. Model-driven and Canvas Apps with Dataverse
  5. PowerApps in Teams


1: https://info.microsoft.com/ww-landing-2023-mq-for-enterprise-low-code-application-platforms.html?lcid=en-us