6 min read

New ways of development with copilots and Microsoft Power Platform

At Microsoft Build 2024, we’re delivering a new set of features for Copilot that enable organizations to achieve their business goals, from Team Copilot to powerful advancements for developers to customize Microsoft Copilot with extensions and connectors or build their own. We’re excited to share the latest AI innovations for Microsoft Power Platform, which empowers developers to create copilots that orchestrate business processes. Microsoft Copilot already works alongside you, and now your copilot will also be able to work for you, proactively, independently, and asynchronously responding to data and events in the background to automate business processes. These new capabilities enable you to build copilots that acts as agents that can run business processes and associated tasks, transforming how you approach organizational efficiency.

Customers are already achieving innovation and efficiency with Microsoft Power Platform and Copilot. Cineplex, a prominent media and entertainment company in Canada, has revolutionized its operations by leveraging Microsoft Power Platform products to drive automation across various departments, from finance to guest services, saving the company over 30,000 hours annually.   

Create custom copilots with new agent capabilities with Microsoft Copilot Studio

With Microsoft Copilot Studio, we’re introducing new agent capabilities that enable copilots to orchestrate tasks and functions. Developers provide their copilot with a defined task, equip it with the necessary knowledge and actions, and then Copilot Studio orchestrates dynamic workflows and acts behind the scenes to seamlessly integrate them to automate the task. These capabilities in Copilot Studio are available for customers in limited private preview. It’s early days, and we look forward to learning alongside our customers before wider availability later this year.  

Consider the customer success function, which involves many repetitive tasks. A copilot can help new customers navigate through an onboarding experience, offer training and relevant resource guides, seek feedback that can shape future enhancements, and respond promptly when a customer flags a concern.

These new capabilities allow you to delegate authority to your copilot to automate long-running business processes, reason over actions and user input, leverage memory, learn based on user feedback, record exception requests, and ask for help when it encounters unfamiliar situations. Now, your copilot can recall past conversations to add relevant context and deliver new levels of personalization to experiences that revolutionize how your work gets done. And your copilot follows tight guardrails so you always stay in control.

Whether you’re building using natural language, starting from a template, or using topics to define and control copilot responses, these advancements—together with our commitment to security and responsible AI—mean that Copilot Studio provides an optimal approach for you to build and manage your own custom copilots. 

empowering responsible AI practices

Learn more

New Copilot connectors make it easy for developers to integrate and innovate

In addition, Copilot Studio is introducing Copilot connectors to simplify how developers connect their business and collaboration data to their copilots. Copilot connectors include more than 1,400 Microsoft Power Platform connectors, Microsoft Graph connectors, and Power Query connectors—with Microsoft Fabric integrations coming soon. This makes it possible for copilots to use various data sources, including public websites, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Dataverse tables, Microsoft Fabric OneLake, and Microsoft Graph, as well as leading third-party apps. IT teams will soon be able to curate and manage available Copilot connectors to ensure their developers are using a trusted catalog.

A screenshot of Copilot connector options allowing you to start with over a thousand out-of-box connectors to build your copilot and extend Microsoft Copilot with your business data, apps, and workflows with Copilot connectors in Copilot Studio.

New capabilities coming soon to Copilot Studio will also allow developers to publish their copilots as Copilot extensions. These extensions expand the actions that Microsoft Copilot can take on the user’s behalf, customize grounding knowledge with relevant business data, and enable hand-off to other copilots.

Introducing AI flows in Power Automate

We’re also bringing enhancements to Power Automate by delivering new AI-powered automation tools. With AI flows, automation shifts from rules-based to AI-based automation that is adaptive and outcome-based. And with the new AI recorder, desktop flows are getting smarter and more intuitive too. Just show and tell—with your voice—and AI recorder will automate for you.  

Today in Power Automate, you can rapidly and easily build cloud and desktop flows. With AI flows, a new type of workflow, available in an early access program, provides an entirely new approach to process automation that uses generative AI to streamline operations and reduce costs. Now, Power Automate can interpret process objectives, generate automation plans, autonomously select actions, and validate outcomes—all while allowing for easy adjustments. Developers can set guardrails to control the boundaries of autonomy for the AI flow, ensuring safe execution. AI flows make it easier to create more resilient and more capable automations.

AI recorder allows developers to develop robotic process automations (RPA) through screen sharing and voice coaching, leveraging multi-modal understanding for comprehensive training. Using AI, the Power Automate recorder captures the user’s desktop process through voice and video, completing UI automation in minutes, instead of days. This combination of visual and voice allows AI recorder to more easily adapt to changes. For example, it can promptly detect UI changes in app interfaces and then any necessary edits can be made using natural language with Copilot. This feature is available in an early access program.

Microsoft Power Platform invests in new capabilities for professional developers

As AI and Copilot dramatically shift how apps are developed, the developer skills become even more critical. From debugging, to security, to troubleshooting, developers will play an even more pivotal part in providing technical expertise and oversight. This will be particularly important as the sheer number of solutions and apps being built skyrockets with Copilot.

Microsoft Power Apps already empowers professional developers to create modern enterprise applications at scale with ease and efficiency―supporting developers to do their best work using a combination of Copilot, code, and low-code. We’re excited to share new enhancements, demonstrating our investment to make sure that Power Apps continues to be a critical tool in any ProDev’s toolkit.

With native Git integration, developers can synchronize their Power Apps environment with Git repositories. And unlike previous application lifecycle management (ALM) tools, Git integration and pipelines in Microsoft Power Platform are readily available and drive consistency in ALM processes and governance across projects. Additionally, the ability to work directly with code in Microsoft Power Apps Studio further increases effectiveness. From within Power Apps Studio, developers can now view and use source code in a readable YAML format, create templates for screens, reuse code, and store files in a code repository. This all contributes to a more efficient app-development process. 

Experience the future of automation and innovation today

What is low-code?

Learn more

As technology advances at a swift pace, the combination of generative AI and low-code is fundamentally changing how developers build solutions. The growing shift from coding to developing with natural language promises to be as transformative as the impact of cloud platforms and open-source software. In this AI era, low-code technology is essential for your developer toolchain and enables you to easily build generative AI-powered applications and copilots.

Try Copilot Studio and Power Automate to start building solutions that drive efficiency and productivity in your organization today. The Power Apps Developer Plan unleashes your imagination to create powerful apps that transform the way you work. Don’t wait―join the revolution and start building with low-code and AI today.

Lastly, we want to invite you to our community conferences this year:

  • The European Power Platform Conference (EPPC) will take place in Brussels, Belgium, June 11 through 13, 2024 at SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre. Register here.
  • The Power Platform Community Conference (PPCC) will take place in Las Vegas, United States, September 18 through 20, 2024 at MGM Grand. Register here.
Greenish-yellow squiggly line that is animated to look as though it's moving.

Microsoft Copilot

Copilot already works alongside you; now your copilot will also be able to work for you.

Check out these blogs and sessions at Build