Microsoft is brining two of its services out of preview today. The Flow app integration platform and PowerApps app building tool are now generally available. Both of these services have been available in preview since April, and are among the companies most anticipated platforms.
In a blog post to announce the roll out, corporate VP James Philips discussed how popular Flow and PowerApps have been. There are some 160,000 users at 71,000 organizations between the two services.
Both platforms are available with Microsoft Dynamics 365, Office 365 Enterprise, Business Premium, and Essentials service levels.
PowerApps is a developer tool for cross-platform creation of apps for in-house solutions. It removes the need for complex coding, making enterprise app development easier. Microsoft says the services locks into any cloud service or data source on the Azure platform.
Users can also integrate the service into the Microsoft IFITT-type tool Flow. That functionality has previously been available offline (as an app) since Microsoft rolled out a preview in April. Now businesses can access the service directly in their web browser. Back in July, Microsoft also made PowerApps available as a web preview.
With the move to general availability, Microsoft has also announced the Common Data Model for PowerApps:
“The Common Data [Model] stores your key business data in a secure Microsoft Azure-hosted database, organizing it in a standardized but extensible form — customer, lead, opportunity, employee, invoice, inventory item, product, task, contact, calendar and so on,” Phillips wrote. “This standardization makes it easy to create new applications and workflows that derive value from your data. And PowerApps, Flow, and Power BI are natively aware of this common data model, making it that much easier.”
Flow is Microsoft’s IFTTT competitor. It allows users to set up automated tasks for various services. The platform was first introduced in April and has landed on iOS and Android in preview. The feature is focused on enterprise more than the consumer-focused IFTTT. It lets users create automated workflows between applications. The automated chains can offer notifications, data collection, and file synchronization.
“Microsoft Flow makes it easy to mash-up two or more different services. Today, it is publicly available as a preview, at no cost. We have connections to 35+ different services, including both Microsoft services like OneDrive and SharePoint, and public software services like Slack, Twitter and Salesforce.com, with more being added every week.”