Powerlab Podcast

This year's Top Five Microsoft Power Platform updates from our podcast hosts

22 September 2023

There’s only one quarter of 2023 left, and our Power Lab podcast has provided a wealth of insights on the Microsoft Power Platform so far. Our hosts Kristof and Lennert have put together their own Top Five of features. They’re happy to share these favorites and also to hint at what else is still on their Microsoft Power Platform wishlist for the year.

1. Power Platform Pipelines – Kristof’s favorite

In this year’s second episode, we discussed the power of Power Platform pipelines. This feature makes the ALM process a lot easier, without the added technical complications of setting up Azure DevOps. It is a user-friendly solution that is accessible to citizen developers. Watch this segment here.

2. Copilot in Power Platform – Lennert’s favorite

Our fourth episode discussed the revolutionary Copilot feature, where Microsoft has fully committed to using AI to help us with app development. Copilot allows you to build Power Apps and Power Automate flows faster than ever, even if you aren’t very technically inclined. We certainly haven't heard the last of this!! Watch this segment here.

3. Improved Variables and Collections in Canvas Designer – Lennert’s favorite

In our fifth episode, we shared our enthusiasm for the improvements in Canvas Designer's variables and collections. Everything is now clearly organized in ways that make sense, greatly increasing ease of use for both developers and citizen developers. A good overview is very handy, especially when several people are working on the same app together. It can also be useful to developers expanding or adapting an app later on, as it makes it easier for us to reconstruct how the app was set up. Watch this segment here.

4. Canvas Apps' Offline Mode – Lennert’s favorite

Our sixth episode highlighted the usefulness of the canvas apps' offline mode. As this functionality is now integrated with Dataverse by default, it is no longer necessary to build offline functionalities with SaveData/LoadData features yourself. This is a big step forward for canvas apps, especially in situations without a reliable internet connection, e.g., technicians who are always on the road. Watch this segment here.

5. GPT Features in Power Automate – Kristof’s favorite

In our seventh episode, we were fascinated by Power Automate’s integration of GPT features. These new connectors make good use of AI, to automatically extract data from email, for instance. This is a real game changer with regard to the optimal collection of core data. Watch this segment here.

Anything else on your wish list for the last few months of this year?

Kristof’s Wishlist Item: Easier styling management in canvas apps

Currently, it can be difficult to apply a corporate identity throughout an app. Each component must be styled separately, and while we have become very creative with variables for color codes, it still costs us a lot of time. Instead, I’d like to be able to define a kind of "style sheet" to add colors based on several classes. Components could have a kind of "template" model that only requires a one-time definition of the correct color codes. If you could then assign these color codes to app components by type, that would be a fast, user-friendly way to produce an app with a consistent layout for all components. Bonus points if such themes could also be exported from and imported to other apps!

Lennert's Wishlist Item: A standard way to build multilingual applications

This may be a very Belgian issue, but a standardized way to build multilingual applications within the Power Platform would be fantastic. Although there are certain options available now, they are not exactly simple to set up in canvas apps, and can be very time-consuming. Multilingualism would make it easier for us to address regulations and compliance requirements, especially in industries, companies or institutions where multilingual interfaces are a legal requirement. Going a step further, it might even be possible for AI to suggest automated translations.

Given these insights into our hosts’ favorite features and desires, we eagerly await their upcoming episodes. Don’t miss them! Use your favorite channel to subscribe.

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