What’s New With Microsoft’s Power Platform in February 2023

Power Platform hero approved - 1

As part of Microsoft’s ongoing investment in its Power Platform, the company recently published its Power Platform 2023 release wave 1 plan, which details new features that will be released between April and September 2023. In the meantime, the company introduced several new features for PowerBI and Dataverse in February, so let’s take a look at the main highlights.

Power BI gets new reporting features and more

New reporting features have been added to Power BI, such as conditional formatting based on string fields. Formatting rules can be set up to color columns in a bar chart based on the string value specified.

In this example from Microsoft, the rule checks to see if the string value is “Audio” and colors the bar red if it evaluates to true. Additionally, users can format image height and width in a table or matrix, add indentation capabilities in a text box, and access new accessible report themes. You can check out some examples on the PowerBI blog.

Formatting rules can be set up to color columns in a PowerBI bar chart
Formatting rules can be set up to color columns in a bar chart (Image credit: Microsoft)

An upcoming security feature for Power BI is the enhancement of sensitivity labels and a Power BI app for Teams. Microsoft will support sensitivity labels in the service to classify and restrict data traveling from Power BI to Office, for example in an export or live connection in Excel. This will apply to sharing, dashboards and reports, and embedded visuals.

One way your security admin will be able to set this up is to specify which Azure Active Directory groups can access data with a certain label in Microsoft Purview Information Protection. Then a user will be able to apply that label to a report protecting data. This is set to enter public preview in June.

Dataverse improvements

To address delegation limitations in Power Apps, Microsoft has introduced new delegable capabilities for the RemoveIf and UpdateIf Power Fx functions for Dataverse. Since Dataverse is the primary data source for Power Apps, Microsoft has focused on making more functions delegable, such as Search. This feature will be generally available in April.

Microsoft is also improving the Dataverse experience, enabling users to use their SharePoint lists more effectively by accessing choices, Boolean, and attachment data. Personal environments, also known as developer environments, can be created at make.powerapps.com. Power Platform admins can govern the creation of personal environments and manage them within their tenants.

Makers can now build applications using Microsoft Dataverse in a personal environment without any added license cost. The personal environment allows makers to experience all the capabilities of Dataverse and is limited to 2GB storage per environment. This feature will also be available for public preview in April 2023.

Lastly, makers will be able to create virtual tables in Dataverse using existing data from sources such as SQL and SharePoint without migrating the data into Dataverse. This will allow makers to work with data from SQL directly in a model-driven app and create relationships between virtual tables and other Dataverse tables.

The process of creating virtual tables has been made easier with a guided, step-by-step wizard in Power Apps, making it accessible to all makers. This feature will allow makers to read and update data sourced in SQL and SharePoint and create new relationships with existing data.

Microsoft’s Power Platform retains its leading position in Gartner’s 2023 Magic Quadrant

Overall, all these improvements should make it easier for developers to work with data and create more powerful apps and reports. At this rate, Microsoft should remain a leader in the Low-Code Application field for years to come. Actually, the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for low-code app platforms recently confirmed Microsoft’s leading position in the market, naming them a leader for the fourth year in a row.

As an independent company, Gartner looks at a company’s “completeness of vision” combined with the “ability to execute” to determine their placement in their quadrant. They have evaluated Microsoft as high in both areas, therefore naming them a leader in the field. Microsoft believes this “underscores our command in the market, materialized in amazing innovations built by more than 7.4 million monthly active developers of Microsoft Power Platform.”