Power Apps Cards: Micro-apps with Macro Power

With the ever-growing requirement to capture data from users from a plethora of platforms, there is a need for a revolution in the data gathering and interaction experience. Boring forms that lack interactivity and only have basic functionality are no longer sufficient for a lot of modern business needs. A new player in the game was seen to be required, and this is where Power Apps Cards enter the fray.

What are Power Apps cards?

Power Apps Cards are modular, interactive components that function as micro-apps. They are designed to encapsulate data, processes, and UIs into a compact, reusable format that can be embedded across various applications. This encapsulation allows for a more streamlined and efficient approach to handling business tasks, which in turn benefits the end users as well as the process developers alike.

Features of Power Apps Cards

1. Intuitive drag-and-drop interface

With the power and reusability of these micro-app style cards, it would be fair to assume that the development of such pieces would be quite complicated. However, in keeping with the Power Platform style of accessible development, the creation of high-functionality cards can be achieved by using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Users can create sophisticated cards without the need for extensive programming knowledge, thus giving citizen developers the capability to tailor a card design to their requirements – without the need of external help. This democratisation of app creation opens up possibilities for a wider range of users to contribute to the app development process.

Intuitive Drag and drop creation interface

Figure 1: Intuitive Drag and drop creation interface

2. Smooth integration with various data sources and services

Power Apps cards are also built to integrate smoothly with a wide variety of data sources and services. Through the use of Power Platform connectors, these cards can securely access and display data from enterprise systems, including Microsoft’s own Dataverse, thus ensuring that users have the most relevant and up-to-date information at their disposal.

In addition, this integration capability by design does not stop at the data level, but also applies to the cards’ capability to be shared across multiple communicative platforms. Designed to be easily shared within Microsoft Teams and Outlook, these cards can not only facilitate better communication and collaboration within departments, but also allow for vastly improved interaction with client-facing data capture requirements. This easy distribution and access to cards ensures that vital business information can be readily available to all relevant parties, which is critical in a modern data-driven work environment.

Figure 2: Easy Distribution of an interactive Approval card, via a single play link

3. Power Fx integration for complex applications

With the overall theme so far being the ease of use and distribution of Power Apps Cards, assumptions could again be made; this time, perhaps the possible limitations into the level of complexity these cards can provide for more complicated business applications. However, with the integration of Power Fx, the advanced formula language of Power Apps, developers can embed complex business logic directly into their cards. This capability enables the creation of dynamic and responsive card elements that can react to user interactions in real-time, providing a more engaging user experience, as well as the possibility to create highly guided data capture.

Conclusion

Although relatively new to the Power Platform space, the introduction of Power Apps Cards has had a profound impact on business workflows. By enabling the quick creation and distribution of micro-apps, businesses can respond more rapidly to changing market conditions and internal demands. And with agility being so crucial in today’s fast-paced business environments, these cards will only ever grow to justify their use case in more and more business applications. Couple this with their ability to condense complex processes into manageable, shareable components, Power Apps Cards cannot just be seen as an innovation, but as a new standard in the world of business operations. And as they mature, it can only be expected to see even greater advancements in the way we work and collaborate using these snippets of brilliance.

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Tom Dunning
Published On: May 13th, 2024 Categories: Business Applications & Insights, Power Platform

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