New year, so what's new? - Microsoft's Power Platform April Release 2019

Microsoft's Business Applications Group Corporate Vice President James Phillips recently released a blog post detailing the latest news for Microsoft's Power Platform, including a downloadable PDF concerning the 2019 April Release Notes. Phillips offered a description of the upcoming updates for the three services offered within the Power Platform and revered the community he's been working with to improve the Platform.

For those who have missed the popularity of Microsoft's Power Platform - the self-service solutions on offer focus on utilising data connected from all manner of systems to be analysed, automated and actioned.

The first, and our personal favourite, is Power BI - Microsoft's business intelligence solution which connects to data, allows you to shape your data within the solution and then transform it into visualisations. It's easy to wax lyrical about the myriad of problems Power BI solves but we believe one of the solution's most notable capabilities is the capability to connect to hundreds of online and on-premise systems. This includes legacy systems which have previously been locked, allowing users a new world of opportunities to use their data. Every month new APIs are being built and the possibilities that come with these connections are endless. From April - September this year Microsoft are releasing updates which will greatly improve the user interface and integration possibilities of Power BI.

In addition to Power BI, Microsoft's PowerApps looks to be steadily improving. PowerApps allows users to easily build high quality apps without code. The significance of this cannot be understated - just recently at a conference in Glasgow we watched as a speaker transformed data in Power BI and created a functioning app in PowerApps in less than 40 minutes. This coming year, Microsoft are vastly improving the capabilities for app makers with nearly 30 new features. PowerApps is set to create a big storm.

The final of the Power Platform is Microsoft Flow. Flow works with Power BI and PowerApps to go further by automating complicated business processes and workflows. These workflows work within the cloud and can integrate with events from the hundreds of systems that Power BI supports.

It's clear with their new releases that Microsoft are not only looking to introduce new capabilities, but improve, simplify and unify the user experience. This has a key importance for new users of the Power Platform - it's clear Microsoft are looking to make Power BI, Power Apps and Flow accessible to the masses. Within his post, Phillips even stresses the lack of technical and IT backgrounds of users of the Power Platform that he's been meeting within the Power Platform community.

We're excited to see the developments that come with Microsoft's Power Platform this year and to see how companies can utilise these to improve their business.

You can read the full details of the April 2019 Release notes here.

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