Build 2021: Power Platform

Posted on May 25, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Dev, Microsoft 365 with 5 Comments

Microsoft’s Power Platform is a family of solutions helping users and developers create business solutions that integrate functionality data from multiple apps and services. At Build 2021 this week, the software giant is announcing the following updates to this platform:

Process Advisor. This new feature can recommend what processes to automate, and it adds insights into those automations so that users without a lot of coding experience can more easily automate repetitive tasks. Process Advisor is available in the per flow with attended RPA and per-user plans and is built on top of Power Automate.

Professional developer tools. Expanding the scope of the Power Platform, Microsoft is making more professional developer tools available to users. Power Platform is being integrated into the Microsoft 365 Developer plan, and there is a new stand-alone Power Apps Developer plan, plus a new Power Platform Fusion Development learning path. “When developers complete the learning path and certification, they will be equipped to deliver low-code solutions in their business and leverage citizen developers to deliver more quickly and effectively, saving time and resources,” Microsoft says.

Power BI integration. Users can now embed Microsoft Power BI analytics reports in a Jupyter Notebook, which is an open-source data visualization and development tool that includes documents with live code, equations, visualizations, and narrative text. Jupyter Notebook integration is now available in preview. Additionally, Power BI Premium, which lets analysts, developers, and business users turn data into insights, now offers new Automation APIs to automate the deployment of Power BI assets and integrate them into existing app deployment frameworks.

Power BI improvements. Microsoft Power BI Premium feature streaming dataflows and automatic aggregation when this feature goes live in preview in June. “Streaming dataflows will enable report creators to incorporate real-time data in a user-friendly and faster way than currently required,” Microsoft notes.

Power Fx improvements. Power Fx is Microsoft’s low-code open-source programming language, and it is being improved with support for three key scenarios: natural language transforms to Power Fx code, Power Fx code transforms to natural language, and offers programming by example where a user inputs an example of a data pattern that trains the model. This experience is powered by GPT-3, the world’s largest natural language model from OpenAI, running on Azure Machine Learning.

Power Virtual Agents improvements. Power Virtual Agents lets users with no coding experience create no-code conversational AI agents. Power Virtual Agents integration with Bot Framework Composer is now publicly available, helping users create event-driven dynamic dialogs to handle interruptions, cancellations, and context switching.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Build 2021: Power Platform”

  1. waethorn

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this whole platform just about creating dashboards for non-technical, executive chart-readers?

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