Microsoft wants to make creating mobile business apps easier with PowerApps [Update]

Update Micosoft has now launched the official PowerApps app for Windows 10 in the Windows Store.

Original story: Microsoft has just announced a new businesses service that it hopes will make it easier for companies to create their own mobile and web-based apps. It's called PowerApps and it has officially launched in a preview version.

Microsoft says that PowerApps will help to solve current problems with creating apps made just for business customers:

"Too often, they're not optimized for mobile, not easily integrated with other services, and not accessible when and where people need them most – on the device they want to use in that moment. The business app category continues to lag behind consumer app scenarios in terms of richness and ubiquity."

Microsoft claims PowerApps will allow employee in a company to make basic apps that will run on iOS, Android and Windows platforms. Here's what they will be able to do:

  • Quickly create apps that work on any device using a Microsoft Office-like experience, templates to get started quickly and a visual designer to automate workflows.
  • Use built-in connections, or ones built by your company, to connect PowerApps to cloud services such as Office 365, Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, Dropbox and OneDrive and on-premises systems including SharePoint, SQL Server, Oracle databases, SAP and more.
  • Share PowerApps like documents. It's as simple as typing an email address and your coworkers can take advantage of an app you created.

IT workers and professional app developers will be able to use PowerApps with some additional features:

  • PowerApps includes Azure App Service for employee-facing apps, so native web and mobile apps get into employee hands faster than ever.
  • Build additional data connections and APIs to any existing business systems, thus empowering any users in your organization to create the apps they need.
  • Data security and privacy controls are respected by PowerApps, so you can manage data access and maintain corporate policies.

Microsoft is not disclosing how much it is charging businesses to use its PowerApps service yet while it is still in preview.

Source: Microsoft, PowerApps

John Callaham