We are back again with another round up from Microsoft Build 2023 – but this time it’s Microsoft Power Platform edition! With this year’s European Power Platform Conference just around the corner, and with anticipation at an all time high, we felt it necessary to give you guys a round up of the Power Platform specific announcements from the Microsoft Build Conference last month. In this blog post, we will delve a little deeper into what is coming in the Power Platform space over the coming weeks and months, and how these advancements may be beneficial to you, your work, and your organisation. We will cover the latest cutting-edge announcements that are heading your way in the world of Power Platform. Discover how these game changing innovations will supercharge your work. So buckle up as we bring you the latest buzz from the developer powerhouse event of the year!
What is Microsoft Build?
If you are fresh to the developer world, (or have just been living under a rock), and you don’t know what Microsoft Build is, then let us give you a quick rundown. Organised by Microsoft, this conference brings together developers, software engineers, and technology enthusiasts from around the world. Microsoft Build is THE annual powerhouse event designed for developers and technology enthusiasts alike. It serves as a platform for Microsoft to showcase their latest tools, technologies, and innovations in the software development space. The event focuses on empowering developers to create cutting-edge applications and solutions using Microsoft’s platforms, services, and frameworks. Microsoft Build aims to inspire and empower developers by providing them with insights, resources, and guidance to enhance their skills and stay updated with the rapidly evolving technology landscape. It is a highly anticipated event for anyone involved or interested in software development and innovation within the Microsoft ecosystem.
What was Announced for Microsoft Power Platform at Microsoft Build 2023?
In the world of technology, AI reigns supreme, so naturally it took center stage at this year’s gathering. As Microsoft strives to empower developers across the globe, their mission remains firm — and that is to enable every developer to harness the power of any programming language, code on any operating system, and unleash their applications anywhere. So Let’s get right into what’s coming down the line for Microsoft Power Platform Developers.
NEW ENHANCEMENTS SUPERCHARGE DATA-DRIVEN APP DEVELOPMENT
Microsoft Dataverse is revolutionising the speed at which developers can bring their data-driven apps to the market. With a host of powerful new features now available in preview, developers can expect to see significant improvements in three key areas:
(1) Development of Data-Driven Apps – Developers can now seamlessly create apps and then effortlessly build user interfaces on top of the data used. Additionally, developers can leverage Power Fx to create custom plugins within Dataverse. These plugins allow developers to write business logic and define triggers and actions, mirroring actions found in other systems such as SQL Stored Procedures.
(2) Streamlined Data Insights – Developers can now take advantage of a suite of tools within Dataverse that enhance data quality. Now developers can ensure that their apps are built on accurate and reliable data, enabling more intelligent insights and actions. Additionally, developers can now use a web-based SQL editor in Power Apps Studio to query Dataverse tables. This means developers can write familiar SQL queries to explore, filter, aggregate, sort, join, and group data directly within Power Apps.
(3) Enterprise-Grade Trust
With the new IP Firewall feature, developers can apply robust access controls to protect sensitive information. IP Firewall enables real-time analysis and enforcement of IP addresses for every request, ensuring that only authorised parties can access the data.
2. Power Pages
INTRODUCING COPILOT TO POWER PAGES
Microsoft is bringing Copilot to Power Pages and is unleashing the power of next generation AI which is set to transform how businesses craft and launch data-centric websites. With Copilot now available in preview, users can unlock a new level of productivity and accelerate the website building process. Imagine generating text, creating complex forms, implementing contextual chatbots, designing web page layouts, and customising image and site themes—all within minutes. Copilot in Power Pages makes this possible by eliminating the need for tedious manual work.
3. Power Virtual Agents
POWER VIRTUAL AGENTS UNLEASHES NEW AI CAPABILITIES
Get ready to supercharge your chatbot development with the latest features and updates in Power Virtual Agents. Microsoft is pushing the boundaries of AI to help developers create even smarter chatbots that deliver exceptional user experiences. Let’s dive into the exciting new capabilities:
(1) Dynamic Dialogue Generation
Power Virtual Agents can now generate dialogue and complete actions dynamically. No more manual authoring of conversational logic! By chaining together pre-built connectors, custom connectors, Power Automate flows, and existing Power Virtual Agents topics, bots can fulfill requests and handle slot filling and entity extraction. This powerful feature offers endless possibilities for intelligent and context-aware conversations. Note that this feature is currently available in limited preview.
(2) Azure Conversational Language Understanding (CLU) Integration
Available in preview, Power Virtual Agents integrates Azure CLU, allowing builders to bring their own custom language models into the chatbot framework. CLU integration allows you to leverage dialogue triggering, interruptions, “did you mean” suggestions, and slot filling. You will also be able to create and map CLU intents and entities to Power Virtual Agents topics.
(3) Expanded Features
Previously announced features in Power Virtual Agents have received significant enhancements. Conversation boosters now support SharePoint and OneDrive URLs, enabling richer content in chatbot conversations. Additionally, Copilot in Power Virtual Agents has graduated from preview and is now generally available.
4. Power Automate
NEW METHODS OF LEVERAGING AUTOMATION IN POWER AUTOMATE
Microsoft Power Automate is introducing a range of new features and enhancements that empower developers and administrators to create and orchestrate automation like never before. Let’s explore these exciting updates:
Users can now leverage a new side panel to make changes and interact with Copilot, enhancing collaboration and boosting development speed. With Copilot by your side, automation creation becomes faster and more intuitive.
(2) Custom Actions SDK
Custom Actions SDK (available in preview) empowers users to create, utilise, and manage custom actions specifically tailored for Power Automate for desktop. Developers can take advantage of a dedicated assets library within the Power Automate for desktop designer to accelerate automation development.
(3) Work Queues
Work queues, (also available in preview), provide a robust solution for storing process-relevant data and decoupling complex processes and automations. This allows for asynchronous communication and prioritized data processing, ensuring each item is exclusively processed within agreed Service Level Agreements (SLAs).
(4) Describe It to Design It
This feature now understands parameters and automatically fills in configuration values allowing users to minimise manual configuration efforts. Power Automate intelligently suggests values for required parameters, reducing setup time and increasing productivity.
(5) Format Data by Examples
This feature empowers users to demonstrate their desired input and output values to Power Automate. With this information, Power Automate suggests the appropriate expressions to achieve the desired formatting. This user-friendly capability simplifies complex data formatting and enables users to achieve the desired output effortlessly.
5. Power Apps
NEW FEATURES IN POWER APPS
Power Apps now offers Catalog, a preview feature that allows developers and makers to publish and share building blocks for their apps. This reduces development time and costs while enabling IT admins to govern app ecosystems and ensure compliance.
Copilot in Power Apps receives advancements, including the ability to create complex multi-screen apps, process data, and generate descriptions for apps and solutions. It streamlines app development, saves time on repetitive tasks, and enhances understanding of data.
Let’s Tie it All Together…
In this blog post, we’ve explored the exciting new enhancements in Microsoft Dataverse, Power Pages, Power Virtual Agents, Power Automate, and Power Apps. These updates are set to revolutionise data-driven app development, website building, chatbot capabilities, and automation orchestration.
Dataverse introduces powerful features for developers to seamlessly create data-driven apps and build user interfaces on top of the data. Power Pages introduces Copilot, a next-generation AI assistant that transforms website building and eliminating tedious manual work. Power Virtual Agents unveils new AI capabilities, including dynamic dialogue generation. Conversation boosters now support SharePoint and OneDrive URLs, and Copilot is generally available. Power Automate introduces Copilot and a refreshed cloud flow designer, empowering users to accelerate automation development and improve collaboration. Power Apps introduces Catalog, enabling developers and makers to share app building blocks, reducing development time and costs while ensuring compliance. Finally, Copilot in Power Apps advances with features like creating complex multi-screen apps, processing data, and generating app descriptions.
These exciting innovations empower developers and users to unlock the full potential of their data, streamline workflows, and create exceptional user experiences. You can be sure some of these exciting announcements and features will be talked about at The European Power Platform Conference in 2 weeks time so make sure you grab your tickets so you don’t miss out! We definitely won’t be missing out that’s for sure!
Tickets available here.