PowerApps Screengrab

Microsoft PowerApps is launched under the codename Project Kratos. It is a service for developers or any other individual in the organization to build business apps. This will enable any lay-man to create a business oriented application without any knowledge of code or syntax. This newly launched service is officially available in preview. Although, the preview is available only to invited members and an individual requires permission from his IT department to use the service.

As stated by Bill Staples, even in this mobile revolution, business apps have been slow to keep up with employee demand. Companies are progressively using software-as-a-service for Customer Relationship Management, Human Resource Management, using Microsoft Dynamics, Workday or Concur, the majority of business app scenarios still remain dependent on corporate connected PCs. These apps are not suitable for mobile use and are not accessible from desired device or location. Thus business apps still trail behind consumer apps in terms of accessibility and richness.

There are not enough skilled mobile developers to fulfil the demand of business app scenarios. Moreover, with an increasing amount of business data across native systems and to SaaS clouds, it is challenging to consume related data from the app. So under Project Kratos, PowerApps is launched to address these problems and to make app sharing easier among various platforms.

Microsoft PowerApps will enable individuals to connect, create and share business apps with their colleagues on any device in minutes. The tooling framework is the core part of PowerApps is based on Project Siena business development tools which were started by Microsoft few years ago. Besides PowerApps can connect to cloud services as Office 365, Salesforce, Dynamics CRM, OneDrive and Dropbox and on-premises systems such as SQL Server, SharePoint, Oracle Database, SAP, etc.

PowerApps relies on Azure App Service for its operations. Additionally, it helps in building other APIs to enrich an existing business system. It also provides data security and privacy controls to manage data access and maintain corporate policies. The apps are accessible on iOS, Android, and Windows platform along with the web.

Google also worked on a similar kind of service earlier, wherein it clearly distinguished personal apps and business apps. Google also provided their device- Nexus- to test the service in the initial phase. This way employee can keep track of their personal data, while using business apps to connect to their team.

PowerApps will drastically change the development of business apps, making it less time consuming. It will move scenarios from on-premises systems to centered in the cloud and delivering it to mobile devices.

Microsoft PowerApps is expected to be categorized in three tiers- Free, Standard, and Enterprise. Free tier will allow unlimited app creation and use 2 cloud data sources per user, Standard tier will allow unlimited app creation and use with unlimited cloud data sources- suitable for team working with SaaS tools, and Enterprise tier for unlimited app creation and use with unlimited cloud data sources and on-premises systems across the enterprise.

Microsoft has not revealed any pricing information during the preview phase, it will be unveiled during the launch of a full-version in the market.