Microsoft made quite a buzz in 2016 by announcing true integration between their stalwart SharePoint platform and two of the newest offerings in their O365 space, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. If this integration announcement has flown under your radar, it might be time to take a hard look at how Microsoft has improved your organization’s ability to build true productivity gains into your digital workspace. Microsoft’s “mobile first” and “cloud first” mantras really shine in this latest integration offering.
Recap & Refresher
Most people have heard of SharePoint, Microsoft’s communication, collaboration, document management, enterprise search, web-based “do-it-all” platform. SharePoint was a server-centric (“on-premise”) application through 2013, and continues to be with the latest version, SharePoint 2016. However, with the advent of Office 365, Microsoft released their cloud-based version of SharePoint, SharePoint Online (SPO). With SPO, O365 users got all the excellent value of SharePoint without the massive datacenter footprint and the necessary attention to maintenance windows, patching, downtime, disaster recovery, etc.
The recent addition of PowerApps and Microsoft Flow to the O365 suite of applications have greatly improved the business value of the offering.
PowerApps enables your business to create custom business apps without writing a line of code.
Its modular approach to business application development and slick design palette make it easy for business “Subject Matter Owners” to create their own business solution. Add your IT team to the mix and get top-notch business process automation. With “mobility” and “cloud” integration baked in from the start, PowerApps brings to your organization a “rapid application development” (RAD) platform that quickly delivers user solutions to the field where they are needed.
Microsoft Flow is a cloud-based service that makes it practical and simple for line-of-business users to build workflows that automate time-consuming business tasks and processes across applications and services.
Like PowerApps, Microsoft Flow’s modular construction and design palette make it easy to deliver custom workflow solutions to your business users quickly… again with no coding.
So, with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow you can automate workflows and quickly build custom apps that suit their specific needs. Integrate those two productivity tools into SharePoint and now you have a rich, robust platform where you can truly transform your organization’s workflow and business process automation. Combining these three products into one integrated solution means:
- You’ll be able to launch PowerApps directly from the SharePoint mobile app
- Modern document libraries will be data sources for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow
- For Microsoft Flow, you’ll be able to run any flow on demand for a specific document or list item, in addition to waiting for an automated trigger to fire
- Using the data gateway, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow with work with on-premise data in SQL and SharePoint as simply as cloud-based data
- Deeper integration of Power BI with SharePoint Online
- And many more
Example: Using a PowerApps form to work with items in a SharePoint list
Governance, Strategy, Plan, Trusted Partner
As with any technology decision, you need a roadmap that will ensure the successful implementation. You need a strategy and plan to turn vision into reality. You need policies, procedures, guidelines to ensure that your organization makes the most effective use of the technology. And you need someone to help get you started with quick wins that show true business value. You need an experience partner, and that’s where FlexManage can help. We’ve helped many of our clients take advantage of new, unfamiliar technology in an organized, efficient, and productive manner, and we can do the same for you.