The future of app development with Microsoft Power Platform

According to Gartner®, “By 2026, low-code development tools will account for 75 percent of new application development.”1 To help build those applications, professional developers are turning to Microsoft Power Platform. Microsoft Power Platform transforms the way developers work by providing a comprehensive low-code platform that increases their productivity and enables them to build solutions faster than ever before. Developers can use Microsoft Power Platform to create custom applications, automate processes, and manage information across their organizations.

Over the past three months, we have introduced AI capabilities that further revolutionized development and fundamentally reimagined how businesses and people work. These new AI-powered tools represent a once-in-a-generation transformation for our developer community, and we are excited to expand on this innovation at Microsoft Build 2023—browse the session catalog.

Today, we are proud to announce the public previews of Copilot in Microsoft Power Pages and Copilot in Microsoft Power BI, bringing powerful natural language authoring to website development and data insights. We’re also continuing to introduce game-changing AI capabilities across Microsoft Power Platform with the private preview of generative actions in Microsoft Power Virtual Agents for enhanced bot-building experiences and even more customization in Microsoft Power Automate.

Revolutionize how you build websites with Copilot in Power Pages

With Copilot in Power Pages, now in preview for US customers, we are using next-level generative AI to speed up the website-building process. Now, you can rapidly generate text using natural language descriptions, with Copilot assisting your digital copy editing.

You can also build data-centric forms by simply describing the type of form required. Copilot will build it for you by auto-generating tables in Microsoft Dataverse, in addition to allowing you to edit, remove, and add fields using natural language input.

Copilot in Power Pages can also generate webpage layouts, create images, and edit site themes for fast visual setup and customization to build websites your customers will love.

With a single click, you can also add a Power Virtual Agents chatbot into your Power Pages site, which uses generative AI to instantly respond to user questions. All of this is possible in minutes using natural language and intelligent suggestions, streamlining the process of creating a Power Pages site.

Learn more about AI-enabled website capabilities with Copilot in Power Pages.

Unlock the full potential of your data with Copilot in Power BI

With Copilot in Power BI in private preview, we are infusing the power of large language models into Power BI to help everyone move faster from data to insights. You can simply describe the visuals and insights you’re looking for and Copilot will do the rest.

Users can quickly create and tailor reports, generate and edit Data Analysis Expressions calculations, create narrative summaries, and ask questions about their data—all in conversational language. With the ability to easily tailor the tone, scope, and style of narratives and add them within reports, Power BI can also deliver data insights with greater impact through easy-to-understand text summaries.

Learn more about infusing AI into data insights with Copilot in Power BI.

Transform how bots are built with Power Virtual Agents and generative AI

With Power Virtual Agents, you can now create a bot that uses generative answers for rich, multi-turn conversations with your customers simply by pointing to data sources, content, and APIs. This capability is available in public preview for US customers.

Bots can now intelligently handle customer queries by searching through bases for the right answer.

When a user request requires taking an action such as calling an API or plug-in, a Microsoft Power Platform connector, or a Power Automate flow, the bot uses the new generative actions engine, in limited preview, to understand the user’s request. From there, it looks through its library of APIs, actions, and tools to identify those that can fulfill the request. The bot then self-assembles and chains them together, even chatting with the user for any additional information it needs to complete the request.

Builders will spend less time building conversations node-by-node from scratch and instead focus on curating knowledge sources and tools, changing the traditional way bots are built.

Experience a new, advanced authoring canvas in Power Virtual Agents

We are also announcing the general availability of the unified authoring canvas in Power Virtual Agents, which brings together the powerful capabilities of Microsoft Bot Framework Composer with the intuitive authoring experience of Power Virtual Agents. This step forward provides a single bot-authoring canvas for Microsoft.

Now, any member of the team from low-code makers to professional developers can collaborate within Power Virtual Agents using rich multi-author capabilities and the built-in code side-by-side editor. New capabilities include rich response authoring, the ability to add APIs or events to the bot, Microsoft Power Fx expressions, connections to Microsoft Azure services for custom natural language needs, and a host of powerful new generative AI capabilities.

Learn more about building bots with generative AI in Power Virtual Agents using the new unified authoring canvas.

Discover the next level of Power Automate customization

Power Automate supports developers exposing any web API with custom connectors and is constantly introducing new ways to create automation for organizations and administrators. Now, we are announcing a new way for developers to build custom actions in desktop flows with the Actions SDK, in public preview. This means that developers can extend the vast library of out-of-the-box actions available in desktop flows to interact with their commonly used or homegrown apps.

GIF depicting a maker adding custom actions to a working environment through Assets Library (preview) in Power Automate.

This new feature enables users to create, use, and manage custom actions in Power Automate for desktop. Through the new list of custom actions in the desktop flow designer, developers can accelerate how other people in their organization build automations with actions tailored to their unique applications.

Learn more about automating with Actions SDK in Power Automate.

We are also announcing the preview of Copilot in Power Automate, with a brand-new designer for cloud flows. These key features will create a unified experience, using natural language to accelerate creation of automation and enable developers to work smarter, not harder.

Learn more about accelerating development with Copilot in Power Automate.

Increase productivity for developers with Microsoft Power Platform

To further enhance developer productivity in Microsoft Power Platform, Managed Environments now comes with the ability to have a catalog of your enterprise-approved templates and components. Professional developers can publish artifacts such as apps, flows, and bots for their organization to use in their own solutions using the PAC CLI and GitHub actions. With every new component in the catalog, the entire organization will enjoy reduced time and cost for every new application.

IT admins can maintain and govern their app ecosystems and reduce duplication with a single place for makers and developers to share components that can be used across the organization. This creates an audit trail and accelerates the app-building process. 

GIF depicting that Managed Environments now comes with the ability to have a catalog of your enterprise approved templates and components.

Additionally, we are introducing several advancements across Copilot in Power Apps to further accelerate application development. Developers can use natural language to add screens and controls and quickly understand and load unstructured data from Excel. Copilot in Power Apps will also be able to work over the data in model-driven apps, enabling end users to get insight from huge volumes of information purely through conversation. It has never been easier to create an app from your existing data.

Learn more about increasing developer productivity with Microsoft Power Platform.

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Microsoft Build 2023

Join us to learn more about Microsoft Power Platform.

Learn what’s next with Microsoft Power Platform

Join us at Microsoft Build 2023 where we will host several sessions on Microsoft Power Platform.

We are proud to announce new developer capabilities across Microsoft Power Platform and can’t wait to share what we’re working on next:


Sources

1 Gartner, Forecast Analysis: Low-Code Development Technologies, Worldwide, Varsha Mehta, Fabrizio Biscotti, Paul Vincent, Jason Wong, Keith Guttridge, Oleksandr Matvitskyy, 27 October 2022

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.