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World of No Code possibilities: Microsoft PowerApps Part 1

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

Before I share what powerapps or Microsoft power platform is, let's see how software was developed traditionally in an organization! ( or maybe today)



Obox is a company with 500+ employees. Obox is into the food and beverage industry with around 100+ work cafes around the country. The operations head at Obox, Ronaldo realizes he needs a business app for his auditors to raise audits while visiting the outlets over the weekdays. ( Don't Google, Obox doesn't really exist :P)



Let's see the various options available for Ronaldo:


Let's explore various options in detail and challenges with various options:


Decision 1

Ranaldo has 2 options here:


Option 1: Build Internally

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

If Ranaldo goes with option 1, he realizes how cumbersome it had been for them to develop software internally earlier for a small approval process internally. They faced the following issues, which they hadn't anticipated earlier:

Choosing technology was a difficult task. It doesn't take time for technology to get obsolete/deprecated.Maintaining software was another challenge. Maintaining source code repositories, fixing production bugs, complex configurations, backups, recovery planes, etc.Yes, developers do leave soon. IT industry is one of the industries having the highest attrition rate, man!

Option 2: Go with a vendor

Now Ronaldo thinks about outsourcing the app development to external IT vendors.

Again Ronaldo needs to make another decision here:


Decision 2


Option 1: Custom App created by Vendor


Let's see both scenarios in detail:


If the vendor develops this app, there's a lot of dependencies that Obox will be having in the future on this vendor.They need to spend on infrastructure to host this app. But Ronaldo doesn't understand one thing why should we be maintaining IT servers when our primary business is about cafes?Source code maintenance is required. Ronaldo now needs someone who performs all these activities like source code maintenance, knowledge transfer, etc.Developing separate apps for web, mobile tablet devices. Maintaining their source codes separately. Are we talking about mobile apps( Android/IOS need separate maintenance oh yes, till you aren't going with hybrid)


Option 2: Buy From SAAS Vendor


What If Ronaldo decides to buy licenses of the existing SAAS app? This could be a more viable option today for digital transformation (adoption). The application would run in the cloud.

Ronaldo needs to make another decision! Oh man, decision making is so difficult. But this is the going to be the final decision to made ;)


Decision 3


Option 1: Cloud-Ready App (Buy From SAAS Vendor)

There could be scenarios that they realize at a later time when end users are using this app. But because they have already signed up for a general app, it would be difficult to incorporate changes later to the app, depends on the SAAS provider*.Integration: Obox is a 10-year-old organization they already have been storing a ton of data on legacy database/applications. How smoothly will this new app integrate with other applications? Will it be a cumbersome process and require additional development effort?Viable options available here are like SalesForce, Zoho, Dynamics 365, etc.


Option 2: Quickly Tailored App ( Ronaldo gets an idea)

Idea!

One morning Ronaldo is sipping a coffee in his office with a colleague. He shares with his colleagues about his plan to roll out a new auditing app for the cafe outlets. Also how difficult he is facing with making an informed decision, coming from a non-technical background. One of his colleagues informs there is another alternative now available for developing No code/Low code business apps. Obox has already been using office 365 as the collaboration platform. Microsoft has released a new platform for developing apps known as Microsoft PowerApps. Which would easily solve most of his concerns like:

PowerApps is a platform and not just an application that integrates out of the box with 200 + other applications.Empower customers with the right tools and the right option to move faster on customer Digital transformation (adoption). The development effort would be reduced as apps could be developed involving no or least coding.That it's far more about client enablement and coaching than writing code.In many cases, even business stakeholders could solve their own problems by becoming citizen developers. ( PowerApps has it's own language- excel like formulas)The business stakeholders actually own the platform and it empowers their own team to have a future solution ready without having any dependency on third-party vendors/partners.

After hearing this, Ronaldo starts assessing this new tool Microsoft PowerApps they already have. Soon the development is started for the auditing app with a combination of developers from Obox and vendor. The decision finally made, Yeahhh!!!!

In World of No Code possibilities: Microsoft PowerApps Part 2 we will see the power-app which is developed within a span of a month, 30 days. After which it successfully gets moved to the production.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. All thoughts presented here our of mine or fellow developers. They do not represent any legal entity. We would be soon releasing the next part of this article, so stay tuned. Ronaldo will be back soon!

Please feel free to provide any suggestions or comments.

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