8 Powerful Updates Coming to Power Platform this October 2021
Yet again, Microsoft succeeds in striking the right balance between some ground-breaking developments and feature enhancements for Dynamics 365 Power Platform. For this year, Power Platform is shaping up to be more efficient for the developers and more intuitive for the end-users.
Here’s a rundown of the top 8 upcoming Power Platform features from your trusted advisor:
1. Easily build apps with a Unified and modern Power Apps designer
The most compelling update for us in Power Apps is the Unified and modern Power Apps designer, allowing users to easily build an app with forms, views, and dashboards. Users can take advantage of the intuitive capabilities of canvas apps. Also, the new maker portal will offer full customising power, making the classic designer deprecated.
2. Advanced lookup capabilities in model-driven Power Apps
Another exciting feature is Advanced lookup capabilities in model-driven Power Apps. Multi-table lookups, a long awaited and much requested feature, are now live (Preview) for use via API. Multi-table lookups allow the creation of a holistic lookup in one table that looks up records in multiple other tables. This provides greater flexibility in retrieving data within your environment, reducing development time for your apps with a streamlined user interface.
All in all, this release provides notable developments for Power Apps developers of all skill levels, enhancing the sophistication and usability of apps across the web and mobile devices.
3. Power Apps Studio- Use AI to help simplify the app authoring experience
This new feature uses AI to simplify the authoring experience within Power Apps Studio. Microsoft recently announced Power Fx, an open-source formula language that will be used across the Power Platform. However, it will take time for citizen makers to fully learn and embrace this formula language. To remove the hurdle of rapid app development, Microsoft is leveraging the power of AI which will enable makers to use natural language to type in expected behavior or input the desired format, and Power Apps will automatically generate formulas for makers to apply.
4. Build reports with Dataverse data using a new one-click feature
Quite a lot of things are happening with this tool but, our top pick here is the ability to build reports with Dataverse data using a new one-click feature. This tool, which enters public preview in October 2021, will reduce lags when connecting to Dataverse with a model in Power BI. Get a new, and easy way to generate Power BI report quickly and start gaining insights from your data!
5. Ability to Export to Excel improvements for table and matrix visuals
The new “Ability to Export to Excel improvements for table and matrix visuals” feature will retain the structure of Power BI visuals in a crosstab format when data is exported from a table or matrix to CSV or XLSX files. This increases flexibility for users who might not have access to edit the report or who are less familiar with Power BI and prefer to analyse data in Excel. This will decrease the time spent on reformatting data (especially hierarchical data) in Excel.
6.Power BI integration with PowerPoint
Power BI will now enable Microsoft PowerPoint users to integrate Power BI report content into their presentations. You can embed report pages or a specific bookmarked report view, modify filters and interact with the content without the need to leave PowerPoint! Users who have access to the presentation will be able to view the content, and users who also have Power BI will be able to interact and refresh that content. (Public preview from January 2022)
7. Introducing Power Automate machine runtime (Preview)
Back in May 2021, Microsoft introduced direct connectivity between Power Automate and machines which allowed users seamless connection between their machine to the cloud and run desktop flows without the use of the separate On-Premises Data Gateway. With new release, Microsoft is launching a new machine-runtime app dedicated to manage your machine settings.
Benefits of this app include:
- A clearer and easier user interface to register and manage your machine
- The capability to create your machine group directly from the machine-runtime app
- An independent app that redefines roles between the Power Automate Desktop app (for the creation and testing of your desktop flows) and the machine-runtime app (for machine configuration to trigger desktop flows through Power Automate).
- A direct access to the troubleshoot tool (preview) to get your logs and change the user account your machine connectivity is running as.
Note: To install the new machine-runtime app, you just need to download the latest version of Power Automate Desktop and select the install the machine-runtime option.
8. Enhancements in ‘Power Virtual Agents’
Lots of impressive enhancements updated in Power Virtual Agents in this release, such as:
- developments in the authoring experience with topic suggestions from bot sessions
- power apps portals integration
- data loss prevention options
- proactive bot update messaging in Microsoft Teams, and more.
What’s more? Microsoft is also building on the Power Automate integration with advanced error handling and new topic trigger management to enhance your bot’s triggering abilities.
What did you think of the new Power update? Let us know which feature(s) you are excited about getting your hands on.
Check out our blog on the highlights from the 2021 second release for Microsoft Dynamics 365 & Power Platform
Want to find out how you can reap the benefits of the latest updates within your organisation?
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