Turbocharging Teams - Kevin Kieller and Dino Caputo

Turbocharging Teams - Episode 11: The Power Platform and Teams

30 Oct 2020

By Kevin Kieller and Dino Caputo

Turbocharging Teams focuses on tips and tricks to help you get the most out of using Microsoft Teams. In this episode, we discuss the Power Platform and then demonstrate how non-developers can use Power Apps to create applications that extend and automate business scenarios right inside of Microsoft Teams. We see this as a Teams "superpower" that all organizations should understand, explore and leverage. Additionally, we summarize new announcements related to Power Apps and Microsoft Teams from the late September 2020 Ignite conference.



Microsoft Team transcript Microsoft Stream Generated Automatic Transcript

Well, welcome to this episode of Turbocharging Teams where we're

really going to talk about one of my favorite ways to get the

most out of an turbocharged teams. Which is, you know, by

extending it using specifically power apps, but which is part of

the Microsoft Power platform and so, just to put this into

context, Microsoft has brought together a bunch of tools.

Turbocharging Teams - power platform


And they've called them all power in front of him so you

have power BI, which does business analytics power apps,

which we're going to focus for the most part on. You know that

for this episode, which allows you to create custom

applications in a low code way so you don't have to be a

professional developer, or potentially you don't even have

to be any type of developer and you can kind of see your way

through it. There's power automate which used to be

Microsoft Flow, and then they've

added other capabilities.. Probably will talk about that in

a subsequent episode and then power virtual agents, which lets

you create some virtual agents or some bots in an easy way. But

today we really want to talk about power apps, and so we're

going to drill down on that. You know, power apps turbocharges

teams because it allows you to.. As I said, through a low code.

Um, you know way? Create business applications so to

automate a number of regular business process is that maybe

manual now. So that's really you know part of digital

transformation according to. Microsoft, like the big company.

Turbocharging Teams - power platform


So 97% of the Fortune 500 is using some aspect of power

platform and then they Microsoft also commissioned a study with

Forrester. And in fact, the study was done right at the

beginning of the pandemic, so March 2020, and certainly

for organizations that were using power apps to automate

some business workflow.

They saw 188% return on investment over a three year

period of time. Once again, it doesn't require professional

developers. These aren't typically giant applications,

but you know smaller applications, but things that

you know members of your team or your organization do regularly.

So 74% reduction in app development costs because

typically these are done by. Microsoft and others called

Citizen developers or.

Um, or just really business people, and you know this is

really where I think I'm excited. I mean beyond all the

things that we've talked about in previous episodes where teams

help you with collaboration and communication. If you can

turbocharge teams using some of this application development

capabilities in this Forrester study, you know you saw 3 / 3

hours per week of an improvement in line of business employee

productivity. So that means that

you know. Each employee was saving 3 hours because things

that were previously manual. Now they can click on fewer buttons.

Or you know, one button and and the work is done so.

Let's turn it over to you, Dino to really talk about and really

to show people at a high.

Turbocharging Teams - power platform


How do you go about? You know creating an application?

Awesome, yeah, and I'm.

Like Super Super excited about this because I don't really

consider myself a developer.

At all but. You know, and just you know, when this was released

at Ignite, I said I'd like to really dive in and try building

an app and it true to form in this low code, no code.

Setting I set out to just see just how simple it might be

to create and up, and I'm going to try to walk you

through the steps I took.

So really what I wanted to do is create an application that

captured all the turbocharging teams episodes that we've been

recording, so you know somewhere we can go and add and edit,

delete episodes and post them at that type of thing so.

I went into teams and you know,. I quickly searched for find an

app and I looked for.

For power apps and you can see the preview is the 2nd icon in

and I just by simply clicking on it installed the Powerapps

preview into team so it spins away within a second you get new

screen that pops up saying hey teams and power apps is here and

you can go ahead and build your own app. Let's go ahead and

create an application. So I said yeah let's create an application

and it sure enough it asks me where do you want to put this

application. So I picked a team.. I said I'm going to put this in

our enable you see.

Turbocharging Teams - power platform


A team and I hit the create button and I anxiously

awaited to see what would happen next so.

Brings me to a black, a sort of

a blank temp. Location really starts the foundation of it. You

need a data set to pull from and. I just picked a blank table for

example. So I.

Added a Turbo charging teams topics table and this is very

much an Excel like feel. I just quickly built out.

I have 12345 columns here, you know, episode name and number.

The link to our recordings, whether we published it or not,

there's a slider switch and then a recording date. So what's cool

about this is, you know, I could choose the name was just a text

format. I could define how long it was. The episode number, I

just. It's just a number field that you can pick.

Link to recording. It's a standard URL field. I added a

slider for weather was published or not, and then a date field

and you can see the plus icon there. You can again just easily

add another column if you like and I found this like extremely

simple to use. And if at all used Excel you can go ahead and

do this so this as you're building it out it's constantly

saving so you don't have to worry about like where this is

going or doing that.

I should point out that you can connect. You can build out an

app and connect it to any data set. So whether it's an Excel

file or maybe a share point list that you already have.

So I didn't want to start diving into any more complicated

examples, so I just said, hey, let's just try to build

something from scratch. So we go to the next, the next slide.

I then I've created this data set, so now what? So now we're

going to create a wrap and.

Apps application on the left pane.

Turbocharging Teams - power platform


I just said I'm going to

let's drag a vertical Gallery in, which is just a Gallery of

this data, and so I said it says. OK, well, what kind of where's

your data source? And I'm course. I'm going to pick the

turbocharging topics that I just

built out. And soon as I did that, it's like magic. All of

this data just gets presented on my blank canvas and you

can see all the turbocharging teams episodes there. So

right away it's like. OK, that's instant gratification.

I've got something working.

So we go to the next slide. So now that I've got my data

showing, I'm like OK, well, I want to be able to add new

episodes in my application. And maybe added them and do some

other stuff so.

Turbocharging Teams - power platform


I said I'd like to add a form to my data set so

I dragged over the form and the form will prompt you to what

data set you want to connect to tune again. I picked the

turbocharging teams and then magically these boxes appear.

These form boxes appear where I can add and edit data, and so

then I'm like OK. Well, I'm going to put some buttons in and

things like that to modify, so if we go to the next slide.

I then found I could add a button plus button to and then I

linked logic to it.

Turbocharging Teams - power platform


So from this you could go into power apps and

define what you want that to do.. So in this case I said.

I wanted to put this form into an edit mode of this data and

then I added, you know an add button below so that I could add

the details of this episode. In this case we're recording this

is episode 9 Turbo charging teams and today's date is Friday

happens to be Friday, October 2nd. We haven't published this

yet, but we're recording it now and there's no link so you know

I could add this stuff in and hit add and it would appear in

the data set on the left hand side in the Gallery that I had

posted. And then just for laughs, I said, well, what if I

want to delete an episode? I put

a trash can on? You know that it would. My intent would be the

highlighted application data field on the left would be

deleted if you click that.. That's when you do a really bad

job. Yeah, we really. If we really screw up they will delete

it. OK, that's right.

So if we go to the next slide, here is the actual application.

So once I've built all this out.

Turbocharging Teams - power platform


I'm now going to say publish to teams and when I do that it just

again just beautifully just appears in the team. So here's

here's the application. The completed application. I would

say from start to finish. I might have to spend maybe an

hour and 15 minutes.

Just you know, creating things. I probably now that

I've gone through at once could probably do this in

about 10 minutes. Here's the completed application in our

in our turbocharging teams team and you can see it's a

tab that I built out called. Turbo charging teams and then

so when I go to this tab the app just appears an we can

manipulate our data data here so.

Really super. Citing it, it's what it made clearly evident to

me was that you know, without without any kind of solid

development background, you can go and build an application.

This is just a simple example, but the Sky is the limit. You

can start creating things and publish thing. Publish them

right to team so.

This to me Kevin. I don't know, just it just sort of

unleashes, unleashes the power of teams because you're

already working in it and now you can start building these

simple applications and even more complicated ones I would


So this is super super exciting.

Yeah, no, and I I think the key thing is is like that. That's a

great overview of just how simple it is to create this

application framework. I think the key thing is, as you pointed

out, you know people stay right in teams, so there's not that

whole context shift that people think about. And then while this

one didn't have a lot of business line of business logic

on each of these fields, you know for some specific line of

business application you could put very specific logic.

That you know, make sure that the values made sense, right?

So yeah, I mean, that's that's you know that where is

where you know the people can do that. He's where I spent a

ton of time like for example, this episode number actually

is a calculated field, so I went out and researched. How

do I make this field disco and so I kind of went on to

wrap it all, but it was kind of fun, but it effectively.

Built some logic in that said when I click when the form is in

edit mode so when somebody presses the plus button then go

in for the episode number go and find the last go to the data

source that you created. Find the very last and the actual

term is lost. Last episode and then increment the number by one

and So what would happen is when you hit plus the episode number

is already pre populated so I was like again, it just was like

that was pretty cool because you know you can't screw up the

numbers and it's already done for you but it just it outlined

how much power this really has and it sort of opens your eyes

and like there's a lot of the art of what's possible is quite

quite large here. Yeah, so so you know. I mean power apps.

Have been around for awhile and you know what you know what was

new and exciting from Ignite 2020 just to kind of summarize


Turbocharging Teams - power platform


So Powerapps right now is an application that's right in

teams. As Dino showed you before was kind of separate and you see

the direction that Microsoft taking bringing the applications

into teams. So you can you know people can stay in teams you

know. I think previously a lot of people would live in let's

say outlook. I spent the whole day with email and

calendaring. You know now teams as the hub where work

gets done. Microsoft is kind of stepping up and making sure

that you can stay in there.

You know that relational database capabilities that Dino

took you through that was something that was, like

codenamed Project Oakdale.

You know that's built on, you know, for more program you know

kind of programmer, developer centric people that's built on

the common data services, which was a little intimidating and

and you know it. It was confusing. And so as Dino

pointed out, they built.

This this relational database capabilities in a. I think you'd

gave a great description is very. Excel like, so it's it's just

straightforward. Both define the table if you find you need to

add a column overtime. If you know adding data. It was

interesting because I created this simple one just to keep

track of trailers for up and coming movies. Or you know maybe

I should have been more likely watch so many movies. Yeah,

there you go exactly so.

But you know, it is very straightforward, so that was

that was definitely new. And

then. You know, I at the beginning talked about the

broader power platform with power BI power, automate power,

virtual agents. All of those as well are coming like you see by

number one with power apps and you know those are being

integrated into teams so that you can do all of those things

across the whole power platform brand. Staying inside a team. So

lots of exciting capabilities.. An intruder form, you know

Microsoft is bundling all this

together because. You know power apps and power, automate

and power, virtual agents and power BI. They really

truthfully all do work together as part of the power

platform. And that's where maybe that's the Super

turbocharging teams. I don't know, but but certainly power

apps take a look at it. That's what we wanted to get across

is say hey, this exists? Do exactly what Dino did. If

you're interested, go create a simple app. There's lots of

documentation. It's very straightforward.

And see how that can help your organization, and with that that

wraps up this episode of turbocharging teams I'm I'm sure

we're going to come back and talk and share some other

examples around power apps in the power platform, but if

there's specific questions or something that you'd

specifically like to see, please feel free to get in touch an

once again. Do go try this this new capability out because back

to that Forrester study, you can save 3.2 hours per week per

employee and. That's you know, really where Microsoft Teams can

make a huge difference for your organization until next time.

Stay safe. And take care.

Thanks bye everyone.

Turbocharging Teams - power platform



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