Skip to main content

Energize your Intranet with Microsoft Power Apps and Customer Voice

Power Apps model designer

This is a followup to my earlier post "Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps" which discussed the discontinuation of the InfoPath form tool which was previously used in conjunction with SharePoint for many internal corporate applications typical on an intranet. Since then, Microsoft renamed the Forms Pro product Dynamics 365 Customer Voice. This is not to be confused with Microsoft's Voice of the Customer product which was deprecated in July 2020 to be replaced by Forms Pro. 

Power Apps is the platform on which Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps, at least those apps derived from what was formerly called Dynamics CRM, are built.  You can use Power Apps to create two types of apps -- canvas apps which are designed in a drag-and-drop fashion for relatively simple standalone needs and model-driven apps which are based on the Dynamics 365 Unified Interface and which can support sophisticated workflows in the same way that they are handled by Dynamics 365. 

I feel that intranets have fallen out of fashion a bit, and we do not hear as much as we once did about products like SharePoint which are geared toward internal use.  Instead, the focus has shifted to real time collaboration powered by Microsoft Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting and other products.

The need for internal apps remains, and the appeal of low code/no code technology is strong.  Your internal apps may have fewer users than customer apps, and you may value flexibility as your internal processes change.  Power Apps is a great way to automate internal work flows such as:

  • Routing and approval. Timesheets, vacations, expenses and other data need automated workflows for approval, and Power Apps canvas apps can be simple to build, with all the functions you may need. 
  • Request tracking. Power Apps forms can gather information from employees to kick off a request workflow such as resource requests.  You may also want to consider Dynamics 365 Customer Service for this, especially if you want a knowledge base and a pre-built tech support portal. 
  • External lookups and integrations.  Power Apps can simplify accessing other databases for quick lookups which are accessed in teams or SharePoint. 

Microsoft offers several ways to integrate your apps with one another.  SharePoint can offer access to corporate documentation, document management for version control, simple lists of data and other content. Teams provides an interface which may be used as the jumping off point for these Power Apps. 


Popular posts from this blog

Power Apps Portal: The Successor to Microsoft Dynamics Portal

In case you have been reviewing Microsoft's new pricing for its Dynamics products which was released this month and have been unable to find Dynamics Portal, it has been rebranded as Power Apps Portal and shifted to the Power Apps side of the Microsoft product family. Rebranding the portal product underscores the importance of app scenarios involving external users such as customers and suppliers.  It also provides a simpler interface than Dynamics 365 for occasional users. The new portal pricing is based on the number of unique users who log into the portal each month (for authenticated users) and on the number of page views for anonymous users.  "A login provides an external authenticated user access to a single portal for up to 24 hours. Multiple logins during the 24-hour period count as 1 billable login. Internal users can be licensed either by the PowerApps per app or per users plans, or a qualifying Dynamics 365 subscription." Pricing starts at $200/mo

Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps

Source:  https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/infopath/ Microsoft has offered a number of forms automation products over the years, and the most long running was InfoPath which was released as part of Office 2003.  InfoPath is a powerful and flexible product that stores user data in XML while offering form features such as rules, data validation, scripting, and integration with SharePoint.  The popularity of SharePoint resulted in many organizations standardizing on InfoPath for forms, especially internal forms which are hosted on an intranet such as employee reviews, leave and payment requests, and human resources forms. Microsoft has discontinued InfoPath, with mainstream support ending July 13th, 2021, and extended support ending July 14th, 2026. Microsoft has named Power Apps as the successor to InfoPath .  Power Apps has much in common with InfoPath.  Both products include integration with SharePoint.  Both are geared toward the citizen developer and do not require advan

5 Best Things about the Unified Interface for Microsoft Dynamics 365

The latest version of Microsoft Dynamics 365 moves most of the core functionality of sales and customer service to a new user interface - The Unified Interface client.  This user interface is not completely new as it was gradually introduced for the Hub features such as the Customer Service Hub in recent versions of the product. The new interface is quite different from the previous interface which was used from Dynamics CRM 2013 to 2018 with a few incremental changes.  This is the Unified Interface, using a form from InfoStrat's Grants Manager Plus Solution. Here is the same record shown in the previous interface which Microsoft calls Classic. Here are the top 5 features that I like best about the Unified Interface: Better menus and navigation . The sitemap on the left is more helpful than the classic menus for larger, more complex solution. Lefthand menu shortcuts are a great use of space and help users access the most popular areas.  Better subgrids .  Sub