For Microsoft Power Platform, connectors are the highways that allow information to travel to and from all the services in our customers’ technology ecosystem. By bundling application programming interface (API) connectivity with sets of prebuilt actions and triggers, connectors become building blocks for low-code development that allow developers to build richer apps and workflows. Once built, developers can spend more time on the high-value development activities that make solutions unique and less time on foundational necessities like API development and integration.
Today, I want to acknowledge and celebrate the community of developers, partners, and publishers who have helped us reach an exciting milestone—1,000 certified connectors. That is 1,000 highways our customers can use to connect apps, services, and data sources in the cloud—immediately useable out-of-the-box in Microsoft Power Platform. Thanks to the continued dedication and passion from our low-code community, it has never been easier to accelerate the development of solutions that enhance productivity and streamline business processes.
View our current catalog of certified connectors.
A collection that continues to grow at an accelerated rate
Seven years ago, we began building connectors in-house, focusing predominantly on products within the Microsoft ecosystem and a few key third-party products with broad market applicability. It didn’t take long to find that our customers’ appetite for connectors was greater than we had originally imagined, and far greater than we could keep up with alone. The number of new services was ever expanding, customers began tailoring their low-code platform for industry specific use cases, and niche markets required connectors for highly specialized applications.
Fortunately, we were able to lean on our broader community and developed a certification program for partners and publishers to work together with our internal teams to build, test, contribute, and publish new connectors. This enabled our ecosystem to skyrocket to 1,000 certified connectors, the last 300 of which came in the last year alone. Combined, they deliver more than 12,000 actions available to developers for building new solutions.
Navigating our ecosystem of connectors
For those less familiar with our connectors, the Microsoft Power Platform certified connector ecosystem services Power Apps, Power Automate, and Azure Logic Apps by default and is starting to expand its reach into other services, like Microsoft Viva Sales and Microsoft Teams. Our connectors can also connect to on-premises systems via gateways to enable on-premise applications equally. “Certified” refers to the immediately available out-of-the-box connectors available for users by default (contrasting the “custom connectors,” which are available on a per-environment basis).
Of the certified connectors, there are three main types: first-party, verified publisher, and independent publisher.
- First-party connectors are connectors made in house by Microsoft. Most of these connectors represent Microsoft services like SharePoint, Excel, and Dataverse. However, a few Microsoft-made connectors include other large external services like LinkedIn and YouTube.
- Verified publisher connectors are created by third-party enterprises that leverage the APIs that they own to grow extensibility between Microsoft Power Platform and their services, like Autodesk, one of our more recent additions.
- Independent publisher connectors are made by “independent publishers,” who can be anyone. IPs (for short) can be MVPs, citizen developers, students, employees, anyone! The conditions are that they are leveraging open-sourced APIs rather than an API to a service they own. Despite not representing a corporation, there are hundreds of rich use case scenario IP connectors in our ecosystem, including OpenAI, WhatsApp, and Discord.
Each certified connector starts off as a custom connector within the publisher’s personal environment. The publisher can then submit their connector to our GitHub, where they are then introduced to the connectors certification team. These individuals are the core group at Microsoft who help each of the hundreds of partners take their connector from an idea to a reality through support, validation, and testing until each of them is deployed for the public and considered fully certified.
Taking the next step on your low-code journey
Many of our customers begin their low-code journey with Microsoft Power Platform and a small set of connectors to mission critical systems, like enterprise resource planning or customer relationship management. This can be a great way to realize value and demonstrate returns very quickly. What happens after the first project, however, is particularly exciting. Our customers realize how broadly their team can expand the benefits of low-code across other areas of the business because connectors are already available to accelerate development, and they begin to tap into undiscovered value across their organization.
Whether you’re just beginning to explore low-code solutions or looking to expand your existing low-code footprint to maximize the potential of your people and your data, our ever-growing catalog of connectors is there to make each step faster and easier. Check out these resources if you are looking for a little inspiration for where to go next.