What is the Power Platform?

Power Platform is a collection of low-code, no-code tools created by Microsoft that allows users to automate business processes, create custom apps, and analyze data. The platform includes five main components: Power Automate, Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, Power BI and Power Pages.

Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow) allows users to automate repetitive tasks and processes by creating custom workflows. These workflows can be created in two different environments: cloud-based and desktop-based.

A cloud-based flow is a workflow that is hosted on Microsoft’s cloud servers and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Cloud-based flows are typically used for automating tasks that involve external services or data, such as sending an email or creating a record in a database. They can also be triggered by events such as a new email arriving in a mailbox or a new record being added to a database.

Desktop flows are a type of robotic process automation (RPA) within Power Automate. Desktop flows are designed to automate repetitive, manual tasks on a user’s computer, such as data entry, copy-pasting, and file management tasks. They can be used to automate tasks across multiple applications, such as Microsoft Office, web browsers, and more. Desktop flows are created using the Power Automate Desktop app and can be run on a user’s computer.

In summary, while Cloud flows are hosted on Microsoft’s cloud servers and can automate tasks that involve external services or data, Desktop flows are PC-based and are used to automate repetitive tasks on a user’s computer.

Power Apps is a platform for creating custom business apps. It allows users to create and use apps that work on any device, and can be integrated with other apps and services. Power Apps is designed to be easy to use, even for people with no coding experience.

Canvas apps and model-driven apps are two different types of apps that can be built with Power Apps.

A canvas app is a blank slate that allows you to create an app from scratch by dragging and dropping various elements onto the screen. For example, you could create a canvas app for tracking employee expenses, where you could add text boxes for entering expenses, a button to submit the expense report, and a data source to store the information.

A model-driven app, on the other hand, uses a pre-built model or template to create an app. This type of app is best suited for creating business apps with a lot of data and forms, for example, a customer management app. The app automatically generates forms, views and charts based on the data model you choose.

Power Virtual Agents is a tool that allows users to create and manage chatbots for customer service and other purposes. It allows users to create a conversational flow and responses with no coding required. The chatbot can be integrated with other systems, such as Dynamics 365, to provide information and perform tasks.

Power BI is a business intelligence and data visualization tool that can be used to connect to, visualize, and analyze data from a variety of sources, including Excel, SQL Server, and cloud-based services. It can help users to gain insights, make data-driven decisions, and share interactive reports and dashboards with others.

Power Pages allows users to create and publish web pages quickly and easily. You can create forms, surveys, and landing pages with a drag-and-drop interface, and customize the look and feel using pre-built templates. Power Pages can be used to create a wide range of web pages, such as customer portals, employee self-service portals, and marketing landing pages. It provides a simple way for users to create and publish web pages without the need for IT or web development expertise.