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This is the first part of a series of blog posts around the Microsoft Power Platform. In this post, we provide an introduction to the Power Platform. Stay tuned for subsequent posts on how it adds business value, how to manage/govern your Power Platform solutions, and more!

The Microsoft Power Platform is a set of low-code tools that you can use together to create solutions. These solutions are often best suited to help facilitate departmental processes but can certainly be leveraged at the enterprise as well. With a combination of a rich user interface, a powerful workflow engine, and an enlightening Analytics component, the possibilities are endless. Let’s break it down into its components:

• Power BI
• Power Apps
• Power Automate
• Power Virtual Agents
• Power Pages

Power BI

Power BI is a powerful and flexible way to view and transform your data across a variety of data sources. It started out as PowerPivot in 2009 and then later Power Query was added. They joined together as Power BI in 2015. It is the elder tool in the Power Platform.

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Not only can you connect to a host of data sources (including your on-premises data sources, Excel files, flat files, and SharePoint content), you can transform the data, set up models, and then create dashboards. You can easily tie together data from several data sources into one dashboard. These dashboards can be easily viewed via a mobile device and allow for drill down into the data.

Power Apps

Power Apps are used to create web applications. They allow your users to interact with your data in a way that lets them focus on getting work done. Power Apps was released in 2016, but it has roots in previous Microsoft tools such as InfoPath (gasp!).

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Power Apps can be used to quickly provide a custom user interface on a SharePoint list, but they can do so much more. They are great for putting a mobile-friendly user interface on top of your existing data sources.

Power Automate

Formerly Microsoft Flow, Power Automate is used to create automated workflows for your organization. Power Automate was released in 2016 but has roots in SharePoint workflow which goes way back.

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In Power Automate you create Flows. They don’t tend to have a user interface, but they can be triggered by and interact with other Power Platform tools. The most obvious one is Power Apps where you can have the Flows perform background tasks as part of the solution. Power Automate can also have approval workflows. This is typical with email notifications, but also with notifications and cards in Teams to make your collaboration more Teams-centric. Most of the power is in the cloud, but there are also desktop flows. As with everything in the Power Platform, Power Automate plays very nicely with Microsoft 365 content (Exchange, SharePoint, Teams), but also a ton of other data sources.

Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents are a way to create bots (aka chatbots) to engage your workforce and clients via chat. Like Power Pages, it’s one of the newer kids on the block.

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Power Virtual Agents can create AI-powered bots that can be used on your website or used within Microsoft Teams. They allow for a conversation with a system instead of a traditional user interface They can even interact with Power Automate to kick off flows or return data!

Power Pages

The most recent addition to the family, Power Pages provides a way to quickly create business websites.

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Power Pages lets you start with templates and design studio, but you can build up to more advanced capabilities using developer tools. All this while enjoying a platform that supports security and governance.


The Power Platform helps you quickly create a working prototype or a full solution. Like chocolate and peanut butter, these tools are even better when used together!

Power Platform solutions are ideal for departmental solutions. Given their low-code and mobile-friendly nature, the barrier to entry is low. Of course, they are great at connecting to and interacting with your Microsoft 365 data, but there are countless connectors, so you are only limited by your imagination.

Stay posted for the next blog post in this series to learn why the Power Platform makes sense for your business.


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