Everything You Need to Know About the Power Platform – September 2020

With Ignite being this month there is a lot going on but let us be clear. The most important announcement this month is Project Oakdale. That is the code name of the Power Platform directly integrating with Microsoft Teams and it is a major game-changer. I will try to cover more than just that but to be fair it is all I care about. ? Also, some of the Technical Notes could have been considered news. Just soo much to cover.

Teams gets so much more powerful thanks to Project Oakdale

Project Oakdale is the code name for the new data platform in Teams. What does that mean? Now in Teams you can build custom apps, workflows, dashboards, and chatbots by using the new Tables data source all without additional licesnes. Under the hood you know the Tables are a lite version of the Common Data Service and the functionality is provided by Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents. You can read my full take and how to get started here – Start Building Custom Apps with No Code in Microsoft Teams

Power BI is a bit behind

If you read my article above you know I tease Power BI (PBI) is available but it hasn’t rolled out quite yet. Hopefully very soon; since it isn’t out yet I haven’t tested it but looks promising. The main benefit will be the ability to add your dashboards into Teams directly, no more switching tools. Also, several people have asked can PBI connect to the new tables in Project Oakdale. Not yet but very soon. You can read more about all of this here.

Power BI Premium can be purchased per user

With Ignite Microsoft also announced what they are calling Gen 2 of PBI. With this new rollout you will see some fundamental changes. For many people the change to a per-user license is the most exciting part but there is more. You will also see better performance, better scale, no limits on refreshes, and more. PBI is quite popular and very powerful. Making it more powerful and easier to license can only increase demand. Learn more here. There is also a nice license FAQ here for the new Premium.

Technical things to know:

Power BI embed in model-driven apps: I don’t build a lot of Model-Driven apps but if you do this is a nice addition.

Github actions in Power Platform: Not being a developer I still do not “git” the whole Github thing. But if that is your bag this is good news.

Azure API management connector: Another very developer sounding thing but has benefits for app makers. Developers build and publish an Azure API and with a couple clicks it publishes as a custom connector for us. This is cool!

New solution import: The Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) story gets better with more flexibility when importing solutions.

Move flows across environments: This is for solution aware flows and is for those of you looking at ALM.

UI Flows in CoE: UI Flows or Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is gaining a lot of traction. So it now easier to manage it. Want to know what they are all about check out RPA in a day training, free from Microsoft.

New Connectors: 16 new connectors for the Power Platform to report!