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Using PowerApps vs. Traditional App Development Approach

As developers begin to use PowerApps for development, questions arise in their minds as to the differences between Traditional App Development Approach vs. using PowerApps. This article summarizes some of the differences between these approaches. The following categories are a good way to compare the two approaches:

Each of these have their own strengths and weaknesses. This comparison should help you decide the appropriate framework for your projects. The PowerApps approach has worked very well for some of my complex projects that required integration with Yammer and Office 365.

Category

PowerApps

Traditional Development

Development Effort

Used for creating Rich Business Applications without extensive code writing

Requires specialized development skills

User Interface Customization

Commonly used controls are available and new controls are added regularly

Much granular control of page design, user experience, and extensive controls library

Responsive Design

Natively supports mobile and tablet devices across all platforms

Requires framework support (example:  Bootstrap) and effort to achieve responsive design.  Often, native mobile apps need to be developed.

Integration

Leverage Out-Of-The-Box connectors available from Microsoft

Significant effort required and often a third party product with connectors may be required.

Extensibility

For complex business apps, capture business logic as custom REST APIs, and interact with external web pages while maintaining context

Complete flexibility provided by frameworks

Automation

Simplifies decision making process by providing notifications, collecting data and automating approvals

No out of box integration with workflow engines, custom implementation required

Reporting

Sophisticated reports and dashboards capability to provide data visualizations and insights via Power-BI

JavaScript reporting libraries available (e.g. D3) for visualizations, add significant complexity

I recently migrated a Salesforce application and replaced it with PowerApps, Flow and Power-BI. I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

Niraj Tenany

About Niraj Tenany

Niraj is Chief Executive Officer and a Co-founder of Netwoven, responsible for the strategic vision and direction. Niraj has been working with Fortune 500 companies to implement large-scale enterprise systems for the past 25 years.

Prior to founding Netwoven, Niraj led a profitable Enterprise Applications Consulting Practice at Microsoft. His team implemented large scale deployments of enterprise applications like Siebel, Ariba, and SAP with Fortune 500 customers. Niraj’s team also led the design and implementation of OLAP solutions based on the Microsoft platform. Prior to joining Microsoft, Niraj led a profitable Business Intelligence Consulting practice with Oracle Consulting Services.

Niraj has also worked with startup organizations in senior management positions. Niraj was the Director of Consulting Services at Zaplet, a Kleiner Perkins funded company.

Niraj holds a BS in Computer Science from Birla Institute of Technology, India, an MS in Computer Science from State University of New York (SUNY), and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in North Carolina.

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