Better together: The Best of the Power Platform
- Posted on December 6, 2019
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Many years ago, a senior level presenter stood in front of an internal crowd and expressed his frustration at the inability of two internal software development groups to cooperate. There had been a long history of compete to win. I was in the audience and I was shocked. I had never seen someone so senior lose their cool on stage. Each group used the tools they were familiar with to create solutions to the problem, even if the tools might not be the right fit. The tools were made to fit and we all moved on with the problem solved until another day or another downstream problem.
The world evolved, and we are now in a new world. The gift of change. Really! The true gift of change, we learn.
In the world of Microsoft Technologies, and the partner echo systems, we are stressing collaboration, transparency, success, and using the best tools for the problem to reach the best solutions, long-term solutions that are adjustable to the changing world. A success where multiple teams, businesses, and individuals reach heights not possible when working alone.
Let’s get specific! There exists the Microsoft Power Platform, which includes Dynamics 365 and the Microsoft Azure platform. These two platforms could be positioned to compete against each other, and each can solve similar problems with development. They can even solve similar problems with the right technology, but the product teams are encouraged to work together. The Azure team is working closely with the Dynamic 365 team and the Dynamics 365 team is working closely with the Azure Team to bring new meaning to technology collaboration.
In the early days of the collaboration mindset, Dynamics 365 moved to Dynamics CRM Online hosted on Azure. This was not such a long jump and now the product has thousands of customers using the SaaS offering. The next jump was a bit longer, solving technology challenges on the Dynamics 365 platform by picking the right technology for the feature. The team liked the Azure search component so Azure search was embedded into the product offering; the power of “Bing” like search for Dynamics 365 Microsoft SQL Server data. This eliminated the restrictions that Microsoft SQL Server Search presented and significantly expanded the ability to offer contextual search.
“Contextual search is a form of optimizing web-based search results based on context provided by the user and the computer being used to enter the query. Rather, contextual search attempts to increase the precision of results based on how valuable they are to individual users.”
The collaboration did not stop at search. The possibility and potential leaked across groups and the players on the team realized how much more they could do when combining the power of business logic with the ability to store both structured and unstructured data with the right technology and to tie all of that together. They continued to work together and to expand their horizons of thought.
Spin the wheel of time and we now have a three-year old, maturing Microsoft Power Platform. A full platform with members including Power Apps, Power BI, Power Virtual, Power Automate (previously named Flow), and data repositories using the Common Data Service (CDS) and Common Data Model (CDM).
Wait there is another wall that has crumbled. The “only a developer can offer” wall. We, yes the general “we” empowered business users, can create our own PowerApps and Power Automates! Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement has always encouraged configuration first and Microsoft Azure empowers business users to do more but, not just with one product, but with the entire stack of Microsoft products. This includes e-mail, spreadsheets, word documents, databases, streaming video and more.
If a company as big as Microsoft with approximately 160,000 worldwide employees can break down internal barriers and learn to work together and find higher levels of success, then there is hope for all the world to break down barriers and work together to find solutions to the toughest problems. The ideal pinnacle beckons to us all.