Power Platform | Low-code transforming Digital Workplace

It is truly an interesting time we´re walking through with low-code enabling more and more Business Technologists across industries. From recovering business on pandemic caused issues, through uncertain times introduced by supply-chain challenges due to war situation in Ukraine, to adopting a new way of work: Going hybrid. Today, I´d like to share how low-code enabled a manufacturer to find solutions to evolving challenges.

Challenges, that mind sound familiar for many manufacturer, executing industry 4.0 strategy, transforming their business models in terms of sustainability, success and future employees and customer demand. Investing into their Smart Factory strategy while new challenges needs to be applied, many of them asking: How could this be applied in times of increasing pressure?

Power Platform to find solutions in evolving manufacturing challenges

Interviewing employees at the shop floor level on how digital transformation helped them achieving their personal goals while matching company given performance indicators, I was shared some interesting insights. From reservations like Why someone working at that shop floor would transform being a Business Technologist? (By the way, if you want to learn more about this term, check out an article I published back in March) To why companies still growing IT backlog by only requesting business demand and requirements on digital apps and processes to execute Digital Workplace strategy.

Not yet or fully including them in a Fusion Development strategy setup and therefore continue struggling with the lack of available developers and decreasing the IT Backlog.

Buzzwords like LCAP (Low-code application platforms), RPA (Robotic process automation), Digital Workplace, or latest Hyperautomation still seem far away from Front-line workers when asking employees to describe their day-to-day job. Though it´s time CDO´s and CIO´s to rethink the Digital Workplace.

Enterprise Organization rethink Digital Workplace

Above visual outlines some of the strategies to do so, starting by thinking Visual First and working in Asynchronous teams. Turning from Fixed Hours into a business model of Nonlinear schedule and changing measurement in terms of putting impact first. Those changes to implement, causing to revisit the Smart Factory architecture that was designed during Industry 4.0 adoption. Putting the employee first to unleash use-cases that failed in digital transformation, were poorly designed without taking into account the user experience or missed adoption because of only partly meeting requirements or changes introduced by external factors.

Power Platform to address new and white-spot areas in Smart Factory

When talking to the CIO and CDO of a manufacturer, together we revisited their Smart Factory house earlier designed to adapt Industry 4.0 standards and drive digital transformation. With the insights won based on interviewing the first-line workers and department leaders, we modified the architecture to include new solutions based on low-code tools used inside the Intelligent Operations Platform that can be adopted by, build and deployed by Business Technologists. Furthermore, we went through additional components and based on feedback collected, we mapped Power Platform (low-code) to be a good fit for closing further white-spot areas identified.

And after allowing some additional time to reflect and review, we even went through Gartner´s definition of Hyperautomation and came up with an umbrella to span all components of the Smart Factory architecture. All to continue enabling employees, increasing collaboration across teams and boost agility insight company, but remain safe by using the strength of an orchestrated platform that lowers maintenance efforts around Governance, security and identity management while dealing with trust management. This manufacturer revisits their strategy and execution plan more frequently than before and implemented key performance indicators to measure success on executing the implementation of this architecture – thanks to their earlier applied and executed Center of Excellence strategy. Of course, I am not allowed to share details here or mention names, but my conclusion is: It´s about time to rethink and revisit. What´s about your story and strategy? Until then,…

Power Platform | The Controversy on Dataverse

Not sure, if you´ve seen the Power CAT team recently publishing another video around easily moving from SharePoint to Dataverse, a discussion between Phil Topness and Sultan AlSharfi, Customer Success Manager – which kind of backfires the controversy ongoing around Dataverse.

I thought, why not sharing some insights from recent discussions with customers. Customers, typically coming from Microsoft 365 licensing and stepping into the world of low-code. Due to their licensing, many of them crawl and learn running by using data sources like Excel, SharePoint Lists or Dataverse for Teams.

Last one which often times after MVP/PoCs led to a broader discussion of keep using it and being assigned to the Teams channel hosting the app or upgrading to the „big brother“ which of course would cause investing into Power Platform individual licensing.

Visual showing reasons of why Enterprises decide for Dataverse

Due to Creators or Business Technologists mentality – and most of the times in addition their knowledge about hosting and storing data – them not fully being aware of their options. Is it that Business Technologists wouldn´t care? Of course not, they care about their personal data IRL, so why shouldn´t they take care of business data at almost the same level? I´ve often times seen people making assumptions around Creators being „lazy“ on data. If you´re not forcing them to follow XYZ, then you could expect data breaches, leaks and so on.

Assumptions. Talking to Business Technologists and Code-first developers I – so far – did not found a person, not treating data respectfully. Instead they where so much in need of data, that they wished it would become much easier to respectfully treat and work with data, and avoid trapping into pitfalls around treatment of data.

Visual showing Microsoft´s vision of Collaborative Applications

No surprise, in many of my customer conversations, we talked about having or building Collaborative Apps. A category of app type, which outlines the need of data being available to everyone, everywhere. Being combined with business data mainly available in business applications layer, but those being siloed or not easily accessible for everyone. And of course, let´s not forget the action layer to this. Based on insights won from data, taking care of actions after making decisions.

I´ve asked code-first developers why for instance they prefer services like Azure SQL managed instances for hosting their data. They came up with a couple of reasons. I´ve continued asking them why they wouldn´t extend this to Dataverse. Them looking surprised at me, when I teached about Dataverse using Azure SQL Elastic Pools, Azure Cosmos DB, Indexing Service and many more. The obvious question was them asking:

So is Dataverse an Azure service?

Question raised by a Code-first developer

Well, Dataverse is a combo of multiple Azure services being exposed through an API layer to make it easy to request data from it, but also to allow it for being managed via the API layer.

Visual that shows the technical layout of what´s behind the Dataverse service

As a reader of my blog, you wouldn´t be surprised me upcoming with above visual that unpeels the Dataverse service from a technical stack.

Wrapping-up today´s article and turning back to the first visual provided that outlines a summary of reasons I collected during customer conversations drilling deeper into this service offer and exploring capabilities and features. Guess, if you haven´t yet explored them it´s your turn now. Until then,…

Power Platform | Gartner´s definition of Hyperautomation

Yesterday, I was talking about the challenges of having four generations in workforce today. This adding demand for a communication plan that spans departments or business units, but also spans generations. Today, I´d like to add to this topic another example of using industry acronyms and expecting everyone to be on the same page, without further description.

In this case talking about Gartner´s definition of Hyperautomation. While many thinking immediately of automation tools, robotic process automation & co., completely overlooking the part of multiple technologies being involved here.

Gartner visual – Beyond RPA: Your technology portfolio for Hyperautomation

Good news is, Microsoft´s Power Platform got you covered on this and orchestrated these tools already as an Enterprise fitting SaaS platform. In the following you find the visual you might have seen earlier during Microsoft Build introducing the new 5th pillar Power Pages to empower website development.

Visual showing the 5 main pillars of Power Platform plus using Dataverse

What you cannot find from the visual above though compared to the 12 technologies outlined by Gartner is the mapping between those. For instance:

  • RPA being mapped to Power Automate incl. AI Builder and Azure Services (VMs)
  • LCAP being either one of those 5 pillars above, but also including AI Builder
  • BPA being part of model-driven apps or even outside of apps – designed using Power Automate
  • iPaaS being offered by Azure as foundational backbone
  • AI/ML being offered by both AI Builder as well as using Azure Services and NLP offered by either Nuance or Azure Services
  • OCR being offered by using AI Builder or Azure Cognitive Services
  • IDP offered by Power Automate combined with the strength of either AI Builder or Azure Services
  • Task Mining being part of Power Automate as a component called „Process Advisor“
  • DMS being offered by Microsoft 365, SharePoint and Office 365
  • Conversational AI being offered by Power Virtual Agents paired with Nuance and/or Azure Bot Framework

So when designing a Hyperautomation orchestrated tool or platform approach – would you rather decide on tools and combine them using an integration framework or checkout the pre-combined strength of a platform and may consider making compromises here and there?

Power Platform (Low-code 3.0) and Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

That question you may answer when activating the full power of the four generations in your workforce today, process and task mining existing tools and software landscape and consider them to fully map your company´s cloud strategy. Above visual shows the 6 categories you could use during an assessment where 5 of them can be achieved using the strength of Power Platform – not exclusively, but in addition.

Hope to talk about your digital transformation story soon. Until then,…

Power Platform | Challenge of four generations in workforce

In my role as Global Black Belt, Power Platform at Microsoft one of my responsibilities is to discuss and design an adoption plan for low-code enablement across every company´s business unit including every employee to ensure digital transformation being a continuous investment. Lucky me, I do have a team helping with this.

Visual indicating current representation of generations being in workforce

One of our observations is, this task not being an easy one due to having four generations in workforce today and this causing internal challenges in communication but also implementing change management. What do I mean by this?

Let me provide you an example I´ve stepped into during vacation time, though not being exclusive to it. While visiting a couple of whisky distilleries in Ireland, almost every time the tour ended up by having the tour guide asking for an assessment via social media – well in current times, an obvious ask. Though the way of asking for it surprised me.

Everyone, though not being trained by the same trainer, used a phrase that was almost identical like this:

If you´ve enjoyed the tour, my name is X and I would love to see your review and rating on my skills via our social media channels tagging our company. If you haven´t enjoyed the tour, my name is (name of a colleague or non-existing „john doe“) and…

Tour guides during Distillery visits

Is it a generation issue, I thought reflecting on this? I would assess many of the tour guides being either Generation Y or Z. But of course, as outlined, this isn´t exclusive for being part of a Distillery Tour.

Identifying and assessing Power Platform use cases

When for instance working with companies on their adoption plans, part of it is to write-down their way of how to identify and assess use-cases. And while talking to various members of a Center of Excellence team who should be responsible for this task, I did find differences in between the generations talking to each other.

But before providing an example, let me first outline the goals and objectives of the above visual. It shows a methodology that can be used to identify and assess Power Platform use-cases (known as prism-model) and outlines identifying them is not being a two dimensional job between assessing them for being of low-, medium- or high business value. Nor is it a fact for identifying them by feasibility. It highlights this job being multi-dimensional as for assessment reasons, key dimensions like scope, data and degree should be added as well.

Back to providing an example from real live, I could share that Generation Y and Z pretty rapidly upcoming with use-cases identified that raised them asking:

  • Why is it like this?
  • Why don´t we use digital processes for this?
  • Why don´t we use a software / an app for this?
  • Why is this exclusive to a Desktop PC?

Furthermore, Generation Z adding if this isn´t solved for me – them not being interested and simply switching to something else to accommodate their needs.

Funny enough, Generation X is capable of providing the insights why it has been like this for years, why it cannot be switched or why it shouldn´t be touched. But they are also capable of providing more insights when it comes up to certain processes in terms of the data being involved or a degree of automation being needed. Not saying that Generation Y didn´t offered that as well, though many times due to being employed longer in a company, there´s more insights and stories to tell around a use-case.

All those Generations by the way agreed, without a strong sponsor which in many cases is a Baby Boomer, change management fails or is almost incomplete.

Visual showing examples of Microsoft´s App development spectrum presented by Microsoft during MS Build’22

This reminded me of how important communication between generations is and assumptions should be avoided, instead observations could lead to better results. Same is for instance, when it comes to Fusion Development being part of the adoption journey. A study called out 81% of those companies implementing low code caused a stronger collaboration.

As we see the four generations being in workforce adapting to the new normal of hybrid work & co., I would be interested in your thoughts and observations. Please let me know in the comments or share via PM.

Until then,…

Power Platform | crawl, run & BUILD

Microsoft Build is upcoming and it is planned as a hybrid event this time, which allows to either join sessions from anywhere you prefer or join a regional spotlight and meet in person with other developers. The motto is:

Come together at Microsoft Build May 24–26 2022, to explore the latest innovations in code and application development—and to gain insights from peers and experts from around the world.

Microsoft Build Landing Page

Hybrid, that reminds me of something. Yours, being a creator will also learn more about Microsoft´s Power Platform capabilities – 39 sessions according to my last visit and checking out the agenda.

Azure + Power Platform – feature values added

Hybrid, which means you can also learn how Fusion Teams development is successfully implemented in many enterprise organizations and Power Platform being used by any creator – code-first or low-code. IT and Business Technologists setting up a strategy for success and accelerated innovation in digital transformation. Using both the value added features of Power Platform (low-code) and Azure (code-first) and create collaborative applications and combine systems of records with systems of actions.

Lowering their implementation costs in workload modernization by following the principles of the Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure combined with Power Platform Adoption Framework and accelerate the cloud adoption in total. But let´s also not forget the value of including those resources migrated to IaaS or remain on-premises as outlined in the following visual. Connected using the Connectors Framework capabilities of Power Platform.

Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure + Power Platform (low-code 3.0)

Hybrid, the new way of working – Future Work as some are outlining it in their recent shows like Intel Vision 2022. Hybrid, the future of coding and creating together in Fusion development teams. Building the next generation of apps.

Developers + Business Technologists meet

Apps, that use the elastic scalability of cloud based storage, combine strengths of different services and create collaborative, AI-infused applications that allows to interact and team-up wherever and however needed.

I am looking forward to watch a couple of this years Microsoft´s Build event and check-out the latest vision around Low-code 3.0 that Microsoft´s VP of Power Apps Ryan Cunningham recently shared in an interview from Power CAT Team. Until then,…

Power Platform | Dataverse reservations

Back in March, I published my last article unpeeling the Dataverse service as part of Power Platform. In April I got the chance to visit European Power Platform Conference in Berlin and spend time with our Power Platform community for further exchange. Dataverse being part of those conversations as well.

Feedback from our community about Dataverse

I spend time attending many session, coffee breaks and one thing that stood out was a session delivered by Chris Huntingford and Antti Pajunen talking about the Dataverse service from a different view. I´ve summarized and remodeled one of their slides above, which they used to kick-off the controverse views that seems to exist in the field. On the non-beloved side to the right, you can see me adding some categories which I think are pretty important, when addressing and transparently discussing those points.

Dataverse – much more than a database

A key learning – many conversations start by comparing Dataverse from the data side of the house with other (lower priced) data sources being used to store app data. Well, that tells me there needs to be more words spread that Dataverse is way more than a database. This also reflects back on the topic of licensing which I categorized as „costs“. Architects and any creator should obviously know more about Dataverse in detail. Same as it is true for any other service.

Dataverse – A SaaS backbone for Power Platform Services

Another key-learning – What was a no-brainer for the Dynamics creators, isn´t a no-brainer to Power Platform creators. And this resonates well with the fact that when talking about the implementation and adoption of Power Platform, one of the first topics would be an implementation of a Center of Excellence. A team that should help in first phase to come up with a good environment strategy. And when saying environment (surprise, surprise) – one of the first asks is: With or without Dataverse service?

As I´ve outlined in my previous articles unpeeling this service, it´s not obvious to start from security and management side first. As creator, you may not ask about the environment hosting your app, flow, chatbot, portal or report – you just start creating and therefore may think data-first.

Dataverse as low-code backend

And yes, if the team responsible for your environment allowed for using Dataverse, it´s indeed the data part you enter the Power Apps Studio as an example and navigate to Data section. But as Chris and Antti mentioned as well – it´s not obvious to have this service activated – or is it?

Dataverse – Focus on innovating an let Microsoft care of the rest

When reading through MuleSoft´s 2022 Connectivity Benchmark Report it´s interesting to read about the majority of customer interactions being digital, though organizations still struggling to provide connected experiences. Well a challenge for them could be the amount of data siloes that raised through previous years, making it a huge challenge to combine systems, take insights out of data and serve customers in a kind of 360° view. Dataverse doesn´t mean to start a „big-data“ project, copy data from each source into a Dataverse just to consume it. But this isn´t known, if you just start using Power Apps Studio and make your first experiences with Dataverse.

To provide an example – when entering the Dataverse tables in Power Apps Studio, there´s a filter set to „default“ which limit the amount of tables a creator would see. If you´re not trained on this surface, you probably wouldn´t recognize that there´re way more tables available to you, once you set the filter to „all“ for instance.

Another example is the recent announced capability of simplifying access to virtual tables via virtual connection providers. Azure Active Directory user information for instance being accessible via a virtual table via Dataverse. So is Dataverse a kind of a data warehouse – without being monolythic?

Dataverse – What´s in that box?

That´s where creators and architects would need more technical information around the Dataverse service. You might have come across one of the above visuals that outlines included features and capabilities of the Dataverse service. Categorized in the following:

  • Security
  • Logic
  • Data
  • Storage
  • Integration

For each of them you would find tons of documentation available – sometimes not even obvious to be found when doing a research via Power Platform. And because of this, we need more guidance around Dataverse. More clarity and an open discussion forum which doesn´t start with above visualized and categorized „non-beloved“ statements. Same as I asked attendees of the European Power Platform Conference, where do you start your creation process from? Security- or Data-perspective? Or something else? Let me know in the comments or feedback via social channels. Until then,…

Power Platform | Dataverse treasures unpeeled

Hands-up, who didn´t thought about data first, when reading the term Dataverse? In my previous article on Dataverse hidden treasures, I started to unpeel the service and provide more insights on those features that Dataverse should be additionally known for. We started with the category of Environment Lifecycle features and what better way to continue by first offering a visual again:

Dataverse | Hidden treasures – Part I

Before jumping in our next category, did you know that according to a field survey from Mulesoft, the number of projects IT was asked to deliver in 2021 increased by 40%, though almost 52% of them could not be delivered in time and a prominent reason for this is the ability of integration?

  1. Integration

Dataverse doesn´t only allow for storing data, it allows for accessing data in various ways. For instance, did you know that configuring access on data for extended analytics is just a few clicks away with Azure Synapse Link for Dataverse? Citizen Analysts could easily use Synapse Studio to build views on data or even transform data using Apache Spark. Enriched or transformed data can be easily visualized then using Power BI capabilities which closes the loop. You may think this isn´t needed or neither is something for low-code development? Well, think about multiple control towers examples where users need to have quick access on accurate and just-in-time data to make and drive decisions. Here´re some types if you´d like to do a research:

  • Logistics control towers
  • Operational control towers
  • Transportation control towers
  • Analytical control towers
  • Inventory control towers
  • Supply-chain control towers
  • Project control towers
  • Financial control towers

Next, let´s add another category

  1. Security

Following conversations around Dataverse, many times the role-based security access model is where folks struggle with and I have to admit, it´s not easy to understand and read across all documentation. A good starting point is here. Even though I would request this opener saying „Dataverse uses a role-based security model to help secure access to the database.“ Technically not wrong, I would prefer first to talk about securing the environment itself with this security model. And this becomes even clearer, if you walk through the sections Environments without a Dataverse database and the following section Environments with a Dataverse database. It outlines the better flexibility you get considering using Dataverse for Environment security. Or simply said: 2 roles compared to possible 10!

Furthermore, your company might have special regulations that would force to self-manage encryption keys. While your company is protected via „auto-pilot“ by Microsoft storing and managing the database encryption key for your environments – so you don’t have to, the manage keys feature in the Power Platform admin center gives administrators the ability to self-manage the database encryption key that is associated with the Dataverse tenant. You can learn more about this here.

  1. Compliance

Often times Security and Compliance could be seen as a single category. In this case, I´ve split both of them and you´ll get why in the following context. Let me highlight a feature again – in this case Auditing. This could become quite handy, if to answer a question like who deleted this record? Or in other cases, what has been the previous value of a field that got updated?

Dataverse | Additional Hidden Treasures

But that´s not all, above visual shows use that there are additional features in some earlier mentioned categories as well as additional ones. Based on that, you may understand why we should no longer map Dataverse to a data(base) service only. Instead we need to familiarize with the full spectrum of service offers to evaluate using Dataverse in our Organization and when to use the additional available data services.

While this takes time to explore, there´s no „wait until I know it all“ – instead a grow with your level of maturity is possible. Looking forward to drill into more categories in future. Until then,…

Power Platform | Business Technologists impact

In my previous article, I shared with you a first set of thoughts around Business Technologists that Chris and I shared during Power Platform 24 event. Today, I´d like to add the missing parts we covered in our session and I´d be interested in your thoughts of Business Technologists impact.

  1. Impact on Digital Transformation journey

While Chris and I shared some examples of possible Power Platform usage scenarios, we all know that Digital Transformation is way more than just using low-code tools. First, it starts by having an idea or promoting and idea somebody else was upcoming with and driving the idea to a possible outcome. Business Technologists typically would know about how they could achieve this. One way to consider would be to run a Design Thinking workshop with their team members.

How to uncover business ideas and drive them to outcomes

This straight-forward method would help to unfold business problems by first taking out the technology component and understand and define the challenge itself. While running through the Design phase next, diverge and decode the challenge, your team members end-up in prototyping and validating a solution. You may ask yourself, why this is an important step for Digital Transformation?

A typical design-fail, when missing a clear definition of the challenge

Chris and I shared a common example, many of us might have already been into. In this case it was about a design fail that was done due to leaving the definition of the challenge way too early. There might be many reasons for this, but it outlines a Digital Transformation not being a straight-forward journey. The costs that occurred due to selecting the wrong tool first hand might be low, but combined with the effect of loosing time and wasting resources, the impact in fact could have been way higher.

  1. Impact on Adoption journey

Either tool you are going to introduce to improve Digital Transformation will cause an associated adoption journey. Low-code tools, like Power Platform, is no exception here. Business Technologists do play an important role within. Let me recap on what Chris and I shared.

Typical Power Platform Adoption journey of an enterprise company

We talked about the importance of Fusion Development teams to be established for a 2.5 times more likely to accelerate digital business transformation. Additionally, we showed above visual that outlines the adoption journey path for both business and technology members of a company. And we shared the six important phases, each of them containing goals and outcomes. Business Technologists whose primary job entails technology work or whose primary job is done through technology work (see Gartner´s definition) significantly speed up the adoption due to their impact on adoption journey. For example by

  • helping to define business success criteria.
  • coordinating learning paths attendance by employees
  • supporting business value assessments
  • building champions and establishing a community
  • participate in Center of Excellence teams

This is just to name a few examples. Business Technologists impact on democratizing digital delivery post-pandemic will be essential for building new businesses, driving innovations or generating higher business outcomes.

With that let me close this session wrap-up of the Power Platform 24 event. Thanks again Chris aka Maker Man for joining forces with Fusion Fellow and help demystify the rise of Business Technologists.

Update: The video is up and you can watch the recording of our session on 365.training by a click on the video icon and login or sign-up.

Until then,…

Power Platform | Rise of Business Technologists

Just had the pleasure to kick off the Power Platform 24 community event with my good friend Chris Huntingford aka Maker Man – a 24hours of Power Platform content delivery from experts around the globe talking D365 and Power Platform. Well, it wasn´t planned to kick off the event, but our session has been selected to do so. And what happens if long-time friends meet for having a chat?

The Rise of Business Technologists

They start first sharing news and what they´ve recently came across – in this case an article about Business Technologists that was published by Gartner the other day. And while continue having a chat around the background of being known for Maker Man now – it starts escalating quickly, a new session is born and Fusion Fellow joins the super hero family to explore a new terminology and share findings with the community.

  1. What or who is a Business Technologist?

Did you know – 4 out of 5 Technologists working in business areas outside of IT and according to Gartner research 41% of employees can be described as Business Technologists already. Gartner´s definition of a Business Technologist can be found here.

Does it allow of a hypothesis of saying almost half of our community members can be called or described as Business Technologists?

Chris Huntingford, Power Platform 24

Well numbers might vary by industry, but nevertheless it should be obvious that Business Technologists surround us, if we cannot call ourselves for being one. But maybe it´s easier to understand, if we think about some typical examples.

Business Technologists found in Manufacturing

In this case sharing with you typical roles that can be found in Manufacturing industry and that can be described as Business Technologists, depending on their primary job entails or is done through technology work.

  1. What drives a Business Technologist?

If we do want to better understand what key drivers a Business Technologist has, I would encourage everyone to have an interview with one of them. Obviously, calling yourself one it could be fun activity to collect your Wants & Needs, same as your Challenges.

Summary of John, a Chief Supply Chain Officer & Vice President of Supply Chain Management

At Power 24, we introduced you to John and we were outlining his Bio, the typical projects he´s been working on. Furthermore, we added his Wants & Needs – one of them being to balance customer service commitments with the right inventory levels and mix at the right place to reduce costs. We added some of his Challenges as well, in this case naming the lack of ability to identify supply chain risks and inability to effectively track and trace products and raw materials through the value chain.

  1. Where´s the difference in being a Business Technologist?

As Chris and I outlined during our session, a Business Technologist would use technology to implement changes. They won´t except the fact of missing technology to better address their Wants & Needs. Neither they would think about there won´t be solutions to their challenges.

Power Platform usage scenarios by industry roles

We´ve highlighted a couple of Power Platform usage scenarios by roles we´ve introduced earlier. Business Technologists using low-code tools to design solutions for their business problem, deploy them in production or act in a co-development with others to finalize their solution for production readiness. This rapid development plus the lowered costs to it, is what drives business innovation and digital transformation.

In a follow-up article, I am going to continue talking about the importance of Business Technologists. If you couldn´t attend the meeting, I hope you´ll find some time for re-watching it. Thanks to 365.training for hosting the live event and recordings. If you´re interested in the deck we´ve been presenting, please find it here. Until then,…

Power Platform | Hidden treasures of Dataverse

If you haven´t been able to catch-up with March edition of Power Platform Virtual Happy Hour, you´ve missed a lovely discussion ongoing with April Dunnam and Paul Murana around Dataverse. Being challenged by both hosts Alison Mulligan and Carl Cookson it was a debate of Dataverse being used when starting with Power Platform or if other data sources like Excel or SharePoint shouldn´t be considered an easier start for „customers“.
Paul mentioned being in the MVP community and communication channels, this Dataverse debates obviously being around due to Dynamics 365, but him having customers not using any of those solutions, in fact looking for integration scenarios with ERP legacy software and pushing or pulling data to Power Platform instead.

When challenged by Chris Huntingford around Dataverse hidden treasures around Governance and Security capabilities pop-up in customer conversations, Paul made a fair statement:

I haven´t had that conversation, because I don´t have customers capable of asking around those…

Paul M. – Power Platform Virtual Happy Hour, March 2022 edition

Chris adding to this depending on his observations in customer talks:

From a strategic perspective of where Microsoft is going with this product, regardless of being lovers of SharePoint, Excel, SQL or any other databases, more in general consensus of people just don´t know what they don´t know and there´s limited blogs talking about it, shouldn´t we start talking about those values?

Chris H. – Power Platform Virtual Happy Hour, March 2022 edition

my motivation for today´s article was born, start talking about the hidden treasures of Dataverse. Many times Dataverse is mentioned in Power Platform conversations, you´ll recognize this being mapped to the data services only (think database) – so immediately being mapped to those capabilities surrounding an app creation process.

Dataverse hidden treasures – Part I

To help broaden the conversation and step away from just data services, Dataverse being known for, above visual provides a first overview of hidden treasures, Dataverse also should be known for. As categories makes searching and filtering content a lot easier, those can be found in bold font before each item. As still categories don´t ensure finding content easily, when being used for a search, I am going to highlight those with useful links that I am using in my daily conversation.

  1. Environment Lifecycle

What may or may not sound familiar should be part of every company´s strategy. Customers building either canvas or model-driven applications or portals may want to profit from performance improvements shipped. Those (at least two times a year) may got extensions that are commonly known for Release waves. How you want to handle deploying those and informing your users around this, is part of your general environment strategy. Another feature set that mission critical applications being hosted in environments can´t miss from an IT strategy perspective are the Backup, Copy or Point-in-time Restore and Disaster Recovery features. A good way of familiarizing with this, is starting here within public documentation.

In my next episode, I am going to continue on additional categories and this way provide you the chance of even familiarizing yourself with the Power Virtual Happy Hour episode. Until then,…