Microsoft, during its Build developer event, unveiled a Power Platform, Microsoft’s low-code development platform meant to make it easier for business to create apps without requiring advanced programming skills. This year, Microsoft is introducing Power Pages, a low-code website builder, as well as Power Apps Express Design.
Power Pages is a brand-new addition to the Power Platform family, that makes way for businesses to easily create modern and secure websites using the low-code platform. Users can start designing a website from the ground up, adding text, video, images, forms, and so on, or you can use one of the templates Microsoft offers to get started. While it’s meant to be friendly for low-code users, it also integrates with Visual Studio Code, Azure DevOps, and GitHub so you can use these code-first tools for more advanced capabilities.
Another big piece of news is the Power Apps also come with an Express Design feature that makes it possible to feed any design input – such as a PDF file, designs from Figma, or even a hand-drawn design – into Power Apps and see it come to life as a proper app with working controls and data storage. You can add more screens to the app by adding more images.
Microsoft also announced Power Virtual Agents 2.0, the next iteration of its simplified bot creation tool that’s part of the Power Platform. That brings together the simple low-code capabilities of Power Virtual Agents and the advanced capabilities of the Azure Bot Framework Composer, creating a unified experience for all kinds of developers.
Another new capability is Datamart in Power BI, which makes it easier to build datasets with data from different sources. Datamart uses Power Query to take in information from these different sources and automatically generates a dataset that can be used to build reports.
“Microsoft is also making it easier for ISVs to build Power Automate capabilities in their own apps with an updated Power Automate Embed SDK including a pay-as-you-go model for Power Automate, which enables ISVs to pay for Power Automate on behalf of their customers, as they would with an Azure service.” As told by XDA Developers
The Technical Embed SDK is available to test today, but more information about the pay-as-you-go plan is coming in July at Microsoft Inspire.
Microsoft also announced hosted RPA (robotic process automation) bots, enabling process automation in the cloud. Hosted (or unattended) RPA bots can be created using a set of basic parameters hosted in virtual machines powered by Azure, scaling as needed for different RPA scenarios.