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Summit North America Preview: Combining the capabilities of PowerApps, Flow, and Power BI

by Linda Rosencrance
Contributing Writer, MSDW

Editor's Note: is collaborating with the User Group Summit North America to explore the upcoming conference in a series of preview articles.

Although October may still seem like a long ways off, preparations have already begun for User Group Summit North America, October 15-18, in Orlando. One of those preparing is Lori Valone, technology and tools architect at Teradata, a San Diego company which providing data intelligence products and services. In addition to speaking at the event, she'll be attending for the first time. Valone shared some of her plans to present and discuss her Power Platform work.

Leveraging the elements of the Power Platform together

Working with Teradata, Valone is the in-house expert on building tools with the Power Platform. She began with Flow, then expanded into using PowerApps.

PowerApps was able to fill in some of the gaps left by Flow. I really got hooked on PowerApps and have been leveraging it recently, building a program management application. I'll grab it to migrate some data … I also have been using it prototype things more frequently. When we've needed to provide an example of how something should work for developers, I can completely model it [better than I could with] flat screenshots in just a couple days.

Attending her first PowerApps-related conference earlier this year, Valone had the opportunity to network and meet experts whose videos and guidance had helped her learn to the Power Platform. She created two proposals for talks: One was accepted for SharePoint Saturday Charlotte, while the other was chosen for Summit North America.

PowerApps, Flow and Power BI: I'm using all of them integrated together. [My presentation] talks about using all of these tools together. The session is called "Better Together: Leveraging Power BI, PowerApps, Flow and Teams." It will focus on the program management app as the example. The core application is built in Power Apps, but also uses Flow to do reminders and automated reporting on a scheduled basis and Power BI to do detailed reporting for things like project status and charters. PowerApps was originally designed for mobile, but I use it exclusively on desktop. Getting data out of the application isn’t Power Apps strong suit but Power BI provides this functionality. The app's launched through a tab in Teams so people can get to it very easily and not have to hunt down the application.

For other Power Platform users of any level of experience, Valone recommends starting small and pursuing iterative development, "going for reinforcements" from the community when needed. From time to time she has found and reported bugs to Microsoft.

It is an evolving product and you have to be prepared that sometime things happen you didn't expect and may not intend. Anytime you have a continually growing product that's always a risk.

Looking to the future of the Power Platform

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.