Microsoft Power Apps. A Platform that lets you build apps without compromise.

By August 13, 2020September 21st, 2021News

Is this bold statement by Microsoft mere marketing jargon or has Microsoft delivered a truly limitless low code development platform? The short answer is no. However, Microsoft has come closer than ever before, certainly closer than its rivals, to providing a universal low-code development platform. Now I live and breathe by Pro and Con lists so in this article we will explore the areas where Microsoft Power Apps lives up to its expectations and where it falls short of them.

Is this bold statement by Microsoft mere marketing jargon or has Microsoft delivered a truly limitless low code development platform?

Brandon Delahoussaye

Project Manager at Alitek Consulting

“Microsoft Power Apps. A Platform that lets you build apps without compromise.” 1

Is this bold statement by Microsoft mere marketing jargon or has Microsoft delivered a truly limitless low code development platform?

The short answer is no. However, Microsoft has come closer than ever before, certainly closer than its rivals, to providing a universal low-code development platform. Now I live and breathe by Pro and Con lists so in this article we will explore the areas where Microsoft Power Apps lives up to its expectations and where it falls short of them.

Before we begin, let’s define what a low-code development platform is and why it is being presented as a big part of the current Microsoft ecosystem. Low-code is a visual development approach to application development. This approach allows developers, and possibly technical business users, to develop applications for web and mobile devices. The ability to use drag-and-drop components along with model driven logic through a graphic user interface, “democratizes” the application development process and allows for faster business focused application development. According to Gartner, “By 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity.”2

As a low-code development platform, Power Apps has several advantages/PROS that I would like to point out. These include:

  • Low code knowledge needed (however, code logic is a plus)
  • Apps are mobile ready out of the box
  • Fully customizable
  • Easier knowledge transfer compared to custom solutions
  • Strong integration with other O365 products
  • Drag and drop interface
  • Little to no ongoing maintenance cost (assuming your users already have an O365 account)

On the challenges/CONS side, it is important to note that Power Apps is a cloud-based tool. And as with any cloud-based platform there are limitations, of which Power Apps is no exception. However once we understand these limits, we can leverage the platform to design creative solutions that will overcome them.

A few common challenges include:

  • Overcoming the delegation limit of 2,000 records in a SharePoint query.
  • Building a functional Power App that does not require every user to carry a premium Power Apps license.
  • Allowing the Power App to launch without requiring user authentication every time.
  • Only one admin able to edit a Power App at a time.
  • Cloud platforms often come with performance challenges. Since there is no feasible way to do what I have heard a few times in my career, “throw more resources at it”, a premium is placed on intelligent and efficient design.

If you are interested in learning more about how we technically solved three common Power App challenges, checkout Take Power Apps to the next level: Overcoming Common Limitations.

Bottom line, if you are looking to increase the ROI on your Office 365 investment, Power Apps is a great tool to leverage. Having a low-code platform in the Office 365 ecosystem provides a way for organizations to quickly connect information and applications to meet critical business needs. For any Power Apps (or O365 questions for that matter) related questions, please contact us at [email protected].

1 Power Apps Marketing Material. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/

2 Gartner, Inc. “Low-Code Development Technologies Evaluation Guide”, February 26, 2019, Paul Vincent, Mark Driver, Jason Wong

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About Alitek

Alitek is a leader in information based digital transformations. We help organizations improve business outcomes, increase efficiency, and reduce risk, through better management of information. Our experienced team works with you to build a unique strategic plan based on your specific needs, no matter the size of your company.