Effective Integration of Microsoft PowerApps into Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Ecosystem

Introduction

PowerApps is an initiative by Microsoft that allows developers and nontechnical users to build mobile applications from selectable templates.  PowerApps is a suite of apps, services, connectors, and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs.  Using PowerApps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored either in the underlying data platform (Microsoft Dataverse, previously Common Data Service) or in various online and on-premises data sources (SharePoint, Excel, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, SQL Server, and many more).  Using Microsoft Azure, the platform as a service offering, and built-on development tools that target nontechnical users, one can create, manage, and share business apps on iOS, Android, and Windows devices.  Microsoft rolled out PowerApps in late 2015.

Objectives

The objective of PowerApps is to enable business users to build new capabilities via apps, without requiring coding expertise or knowledge.  Microsoft offers an intuitive visual design for PowerApps, with drag-and-drop functionality and a familiar look and feel taken from applications like PowerPoint.  Apps built using PowerApps provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities to transform your manual business processes to digital, automated processes through Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.  Further, apps built using PowerApps have a responsive design, and can run seamlessly in browser or on mobile devices (phone or tablet).  PowerApps “democratizes” the custom business app building experience by enabling users to build feature-rich, custom business apps without writing code into the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.  PowerApps also provides an extensible platform that lets pro-developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data that makes Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central efficient and enable business growth.

Apart from the direct application in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, PowerApps has connections to various Microsoft-based and third-party applications, including Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint, and OneDrive in the Office 365 productivity suite, as well as Dropbox, Google Docs, SAP, and Oracle. Application programming interfaces to enable these data connections, as well as the apps themselves are hosted on Microsoft Azure.

Creation of Apps for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Of the several business features of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, the most noted ones are Sales processing, procurement processing and financials.  PowerApps use the underlying data platform of these business features to store and secure data, which are called Dataverse. This enables you to build apps using PowerApps against your core business data already used within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central without the need for custom integration.

Dataverse lets you securely store and manage data used by business applications like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Dataverse stores data within a set of entities. An entity is a set of records used to store data, like a table stores data within a database.

Dataverse includes a base set of standard entities that cover typical scenarios, but you can also create custom entities specific to your organization and populate them with data using Power Query. App makers can then use this data to build rich applications using PowerApps.

With regards to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, building an app typically involves data from more than one source, while this can sometimes be done at the application level, there are also cases for integrating this data together into a common store allows for an easier app building experience, and a single set of logic to maintain and operate over the data. Dataverse allows data to be integrated from multiple sources into a single store which can then be used in PowerApps, Power Automate and Power BI, along with data already available from the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central core.

SIROCo Support:

Take your business growth to the next level through Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. SIROCo is one of the most accomplished leaders in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central implementation through extensive support for attaining optimum business threshold.  Our engineers shall guide you through all the processes of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ecosystem including the PowerApps.