Turbocharging Teams - Episode 11: The Power Platform and Teams
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.