Best practices: Collaborating and co-developing apps using Power Apps
Digital transformation as a mechanism for improving business efficiency is a key component in the success of most organizations today. Yet often, the business-focused domain experts are unable to create apps with the functionality that they want, whereas developers may struggle to understand the commercial and process implications of the code they’re asked to build. In consequence, there can be a disconnect between an organization’s business imperatives and the subsequent implementation of that company’s applications.
However, enabling organizations to truly support business growth takes more than just a top-notch development team; it requires the participation of business-savvy individuals to drive the creation of solutions that an organization can use to maintain its competitive advantage.
Microsoft Power Apps, part of Microsoft Power Platform, enables app makers (business technologists or individuals with business domain experience) to build and deploy low-code or no-code applications within fusion teams. Fusion teams unite business technologists, professional developers, and IT departments into a joint venture that can deliver production-ready digital products. These blended teams can accelerate development cycles and release products more quickly that provide the solutions that users need today.
This content provides guidance for multidisciplinary teams to define and adopt co-development best practices that help promote collaboration, accelerate scalable development, reduce organizational silos, and optimize application delivery of low-code applications when using Power Apps.
What is an enterprise low-code application platform?
Power Apps is an example of an enterprise low-code application platform. Low-code application platforms are rapid application development and deployment environments that use either low-code or no-code techniques to create multi-platform apps. Non-technical users (makers) can use low-code application platform to design and build simplified apps in enterprise environments without requiring explicit programming knowledge.
Typically, an enterprise low-code application platform includes the following functionality:
- Application metadata to define the information that the app stores and displays
- A runtime interpreter to process this metadata when the app runs
- A WYSIWYG user interface that simplifies and speeds up app deployment
- Optional programming extensions, which professional developers can use to enhance the app’s functionality
Low-code application platform will also provide:
- Simultaneous UI development in both desktop and mobile formats.
- App design templates for pages, business processes, and rules.
- A built-in secure database.
- One-button application deployment and sharing.
Challenges of low-code application co-development
Because low-code application platform provides a mechanism for makers or business technologists to create business apps, the ability to start prototyping apps in isolation can also provide challenges for IT departments, including siloing and a growth in shadow IT projects. In consequence, it's important to understand how low-code app development can work alongside traditional coded business apps; indeed, must both sides work together to create multidisciplinary or fusion team, which provides the best approach for optimal business application co-development. Diverse fusion teams can bring together different perspectives and ideas, leading to better and more successful outcomes.
Achieving successful low-code application co-development
Microsoft Dataverse provides a shared data language for business and analytics applications. Fusion teams can use Dataverse to co-develop applications.
An example of this approach is Success Hub, an internal Microsoft implementation of Dataverse with over 50 business apps co-developed by 20+ multi-role teams using a shared environment comprising of a single instance of Dataverse, thereby balancing agility and governance. This environment seamlessly blends technology and commercial domain expertise to create business applications with thousands of monthly active users.
Low-code development using Power Apps
Power Apps provides an innovative approach that enables business-focused personnel to use low- or no-code approaches to create and deploy apps within their organization. Professional developers can then collaborate with these makers to enhance and refine these apps within fusion teams, consisting of both business and technical staff. Power Apps enables organizations to incorporate low-code apps into their application development lifecycles.
Advantages of Power Apps
Power Apps provides a fully featured low-code and no-code development environment suitable for use by single individuals all the way up to full multi-role fusion teams working in all sizes of organization. With a robust feature set, an extensive number of integrations, a wide array of user interface options, a comprehensive set of templates for various business needs, and powerful mobile functionality, Power Apps provides everything a maker might need to solve business challenges while supporting enhancements from professional developers.
Microsoft Power Platform family
- Power BI – make informed confident business decisions by putting data-driven insights into everyone’s hands.
- Power Pages – quickly create low-code business websites for delivering vital information and services to your customers.
- Power Automate – boost business productivity by giving everyone the ability to automate organizational processes.
- Power Virtual Agents – easily build chat bots to engage conversationally with your customers and employees, all without requiring coding.
This content concentrates on how Power Apps enables businesses to benefit from new, more integrated ways of working, starting with establishing an effective collaboration model. The fusion team model supports multi-role collaboration generating an advanced way to building apps involving both domain and specialist knowledge and experience.