Building Power Apps with your Dynamics 365 Data

We’ve covered Microsoft’s Power Platform a few times now on the CRMD blog.  We started with an introduction to the platform as a whole, and then showcased our very own virtual agent, Penny our AI enhanced brandable chatbot designed specifically for Financial Services.  We were also able to do a deep dive into understanding the value of Power Automate, as well as uncovering what it means to be a Power BI Business User.   

In this blog, we’d like to take a look at Power Apps; What they are, how they can be used to help your business and explore how they interact with the data already in your Dynamics 365 system.   

What is/are Power Apps? 

Simply put, Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. Using Power Apps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored either in the underlying data platform of Microsoft Dataverse (more on that later) or in various online and on-premises data sources (SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, etc.) 

Graphical user interface, application

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What can Power Apps do? 

Apps built using Power Apps provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities to transform your manual business processes to digital, automated processes. Further, apps built using Power Apps have a responsive design, and can run seamlessly in browser or on mobile devices (phone or tablet).  Oh, and the best part?  These are low code/no code app developments.  Of course, Power Apps also provides an extensible platform that lets pro developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data. 

What is Microsoft Dataverse? 

Microsoft Dataverse lets you securely store and manage data that is used by business applications. Standard and custom tables within Dataverse provide a secure and cloud-based storage option for your data. Tables let you create a business-focused definition of your organization’s data for use within apps.  Using dataverse is easy to manage and secure, and provides productivity tools, rich metadata, and allows you to access your company’s Dynamics 365 data.   

How do Power Apps integrate with Dynamics 365? 

Dynamics 365 applications—such as Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, or Dynamics 365 Talent—also use Dataverse to store and secure the data they use. This enables you to build apps by using Power Apps and Dataverse directly against your core business data, which is already used within Dynamics 365, without the need for integration.   

The beauty of this is you can build apps directly against your company’s Dynamics 365 data, as well as take advantage of reusable business logic and rules to maintain data consistency.  Another bonus of creating Power Apps relying on the Dataverse is the reusable skills of users that it lends itself to.  Creating tables, forms, and charts are now common tasks you perform across your applications. 

Whether you are a low code / no code app maker, a Dataverse developer, or just looking to run some apps others in your company have created, Power Apps is a deeply customizable and extendible platform to optimize business processes.   

Looking for more information on building Power Apps or utilizing the Power Platform altogether?  Reach out to our experts.   

Kari McLaughlan

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