For those not conversant with Microsoft's Power Platform, it is a low-code/no-code development technology aimed at bridging the gap between the number of professional developers available to build solutions and the growing number of solutions that needs to be built. Power Platform was designed for citizen developers - those who love building tech solutions but do not which to go through the long traditional path of learning how to utilize programming tools.
Power Platform empowers you with the superhero ability to build enterprise applications, automate processes, visualize data, build intelligent bots and even create user-friendly websites without code in minutes. Cool right?
The Learning Power Platform curriculum is designed to help students build solutions with Microsoft's Power Platform. This curriculum covers 4 of the 5 Power Platform tools - Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Pages. If you would love to see the entire curriculum and have access to the learning resources for each day, visit aka.ms/30DL-PowerPlatformReview
We kicked off Day 1 with an introduction into the capabilities of Microsoft's Power Platform. Someleze Diko a Cloud Advocate at Microsoft highlighted the unbeatable power of Power Platform to bring together and empower students regardless of their tech background to build solutions with Power Platform. His session walked us through a journey which highlighted how each of these tools connect towards building efficient and reliable solutions.
* Power Apps: Power Apps is a suite of apps, connectors and data sources that enables you build business apps with or without code in minutes.
* Power Automate: Power Automate enables you automate actions across the most common apps and services. It enables you connect to more than 500 services.
* Power BI: You might want to visualize data stored from actions carried out via Power Apps and Power Automate. This is where Power BI comes in. You can create dashboards and interactive reports.
* Power Pages: With Power Pages you can build secure, user-friendly, low-code/no-code external-facing webpages for your solution. These webpages work seamlessly across all web browsers and devices.
* Power Virtual Agents: Adding a bot to your website is a great way to engage your visitors, respond to their questions and queries in real time, then collect and store those responses for feedback purposes.
Someleze ended his session with some resources you should explore. Check out the session on-demand below.
Toba Gbeleyi's Introduction to Dataverse and SharePoint helped us understand how we can utilize sharepoint and dataverse while building our low-code/no-code solutions on Power Platform.
- Dataverse allows data to be integrated from multiple sources into a single store, which can then be used either in Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, Power Pages, or Power Virtual Agents. Dataverse provides support for SharePoint. Dataverse is easy to manage, secure, and contains tools to increase productivity and ensure data accessibility.
- SharePoint is a web-based platform that empowers you with a rich collaboration environment for people inside and outside your organization to work together. Best part is you can customize to suit the needs of your organization by utilizing the out-of-box features and functionalities.
Here's the session on-demand:
Now it's time to dive proper into Microsoft's Power Platform. We begin our journey with Power Virtual Agents. Salmah Lasisi a Power Platform Developer at Infinion Technologies introduces us to the capabilities of Microsoft's Power Virtual Agent. Power Virtual Agent enables you build powerful intelligent bots that can respond to questions or queries from your customers, employees or visitors utilizing your website or service. Power Virtual Agents makes is easy for anyone to create chatbots without the need of a developer or data scientist.
Bots built with Power Virtual Agents can be integrated either as standalone web applications or used within other approved applications like Microsoft Teams. While building your PVA bot, you would come across some terms which Salmah explained in-depth.
- Topics: They define how conversations work out. They are made up of trigger phrases and nodes. Trigger phrases could be keywords, questions, or group of words the user inputs in the bot. These are usually related to a specific issue. Nodes define how the bot would respond to a specific trigger phrase and what it should do.
- Entities: They are used to store information that belong to the same category. With the right amount of information, bots can intelligently recognize and understand user's inputs even if the exact phrases inputted are not listed as trigger phrases.
Here is the recording of the session below.
We're done learning the basics of Power Virtual Agents, now let's get to experiment. In this session, we build a store locator bot alongside Salmah Lasisi. The bot makes it easy for customers living in 2 cities in Nigeria - Lagos and Abuja to find the location of her future store.
Love to build one too? Check out the recording below and follow along. Don't forget to let us know how building yours went by sharing a screenshot on Twitter using the hashtag #30DaysOfLearning.
The next tool in Microsoft's Power Platform we would be learning about is Power Automate. Power Automate makes it easy for you to automate repetitive tasks quickly utilizing low-code, drag-and-drop tools and more than 500 connectors and services. With Power Automate, you can automate processes anywhere anytime either through your desktop, the web or your mobile device.
In this session, Japhlet Nwamu utilizes one of the thousands of pre-built templates on Power Automate to build an automation that makes it easy for employees of an organization to submit leave requests within minutes. The automated system collects the responses submitted and triggers an approval. The approval is set to send a message of the responses submitted to the assigned admin, probably someone at HR or a Manager via email or Microsoft Teams. Which platform the assigned admin gets the notification from first, he or she can decide to approve or reject.
Immediately he approves, the details are automatically logged into SharePoint and can be accessed anytime. If because of some missing requirements the request is rejected, a mail is sent to the employee informing him or her of the rejection.
Within minutes, we have been able to build an automated system that saves our company lots of time and money. I'm sure you would love to experiment and build yours too. Here's the recording to that session below. Don't forget to share your solution with us on social media using the hashtag #30DaysOfLearning.
Check out the additional resources below to continue utilizing this guided learning content.