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What's New with Power Platform - August 2021 Edition

As mentioned last month, the Power Platform release wave two commenced in August. While not all of the planned features were released on schedule, some useful updates were made to model-driven apps.

Model-Driven

Last month we discussed polymorphic lookups in Dataverse (Preview). This month, the changes come in the form of advanced lookups in model-driven apps. Advanced lookups allow users to see more information in the row to easily select the appropriate record. In addition, users can switch views, sort data, select multiple rows, filter out items owned by other users, and explore other data without losing context. 

Model-Driven Unified Interface dialog experience

Quickly edit and share multiple rows simultaneously in model-driven apps with the new Unified Interface dialog experience. Both functionalities are fully supported on the mobile experience, reducing dependency on the web client.  

Quality of life Power Automate improvements

More detailed error messages in Power Automate lead to less guesswork and more problem solving. New Power Automate changes will improve connectivity error messages by giving detailed explanations and actionable solutions. The goal is to reduce the number of times builders need to contact support by providing detailed steps toward resolving errors. 

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Connect some more

Power automate has expanded its list of connectors even further. They have partnered with 13 new organizations to introduce some more connectors for greater solution flexibility. These connectors vary significantly in their functionality and applicability. These connectors can provide help with HR solutions, can assist with e-sign solutions, or provide document automation/processing. These connectors serve a variety of purposes, and regardless of your business solution needs, you ought to check them out. 

Power BI Updates

As with last month, Power BI has not been forgotten. There have been a host of new Power BI updates, with one of the most anticipated being REST API support for DAX Queries. This will allow you to perform more detailed queries against Power BI. New connectors and connector updates are another fun feature that has been added. There are also some less consequential, but equally impactful changes, such as improvements to Date-Time expressions, which will allow you to combine date and time with one function, rather than having to combine separate date and time values. Improved shape formatting will allow you to have greater design flexibility with the Shape card. All great news for you data analysts out there! 

Coming soon with the Power Platform release wave two: 

New theme functionality is planned to be released for public preview in September.

Themes!!

While the details of this are still unclear, it could end up being a drastic improvement to branding and design for apps. These updates compliment the changes implemented to code components and component libraries.  Changes to application lifecycle management (ALM) support in components will allow users to package and ship updates to these resources using Dataverse solutions.  

Check marks the spot

AI form processing is expected to start recognizing check boxes! This may seem like a minor change but it could greatly increase the type of forms that could be collected automatically, such as surveys, and will allow for more in-depth information collection. 

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