The Microsoft Power Platform might be best known as a set of cloud services for business analysts and so-called “citizen developers,” but Microsoft believes that professional developers can take advantage of it, too.
To this end, Redmond has introduced a T-SQL endpoint to its Common Data Service, a cloud-based storage service that is used by the Dynamics 365 business applications, allowing developers to build applications that query their company’s core business data just as if it were stored in a SQL Server database.
The Power Platform, which has more than 3.5 million monthly active developers according to Microsoft, features four elements:
- Power Apps, a graphical, no-code environment for creating web and mobile apps that offers pre-built templates, drag-and-drop capabilities, and quick deployment. Access is provided out-of-the-box to more than 350 data sources, such as SAP and Salesforce
- Power Automate, a robotic process automation tool
- Power BI, for analysing and visualising data
- Power Virtual Agents, a chatbot authoring environment
While the Power Platform is known as a set of tools for non-coders, Microsoft is emphasising that professional developers can use it to supplement their traditional workflow, with the Power Platform tools working alongside tools such as the Visual Studio IDE, the Visual Studio Code editor, and GitHub.
Developers can quickly assemble apps with Power Apps and then supplement the functionality with custom business logic, visualisation, or artificial intelligence.
Also, the June release of Power Apps will offer additional support for Service Principal authentication, covering build tasks, quality checks, solutioning, and environment management. Similar capabilities will be offered for later this year for deploying code to GitHub.