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Microsoft dropped a ton of announcements during the kickoff keynote at Build, its annual developer conference, and more than a few concerned its Power Platform. Here’s the gist: Power BI and PowerApps, the company’s no-code business analytics service and web apps design platform, respectively, are in line for upgrades next month.
The new PowerApps Component Framework — which is available in private preview for canvas-based apps and will become generally available in June for model-driven apps — enables developers to build reusable components into their apps, while new Visual Studio extensions (also in private preview) allow for custom controls.
Meanwhile, Power BI Embedded — which offers APIs for embedding visualizations and reports within apps and dashboards — now offers AI through a drag-and-drop experience, as well as support for paginated reports, complementing existing Power BI Template apps. And a new suite of life cycle management solutions — the same that underpin Dynamics 365 apps — streamlines the packaging, development, and testing of app types and entities, forms, views, plugins, and other dependencies.
Both the Power BI Embedded enhancements and life cycle management tools are scheduled to launch in June.
They’ll join The PowerApps Embedding software development kit (SDK), which lets devs embed prebuilt PowerApps into existing apps and allows users to launch PowerApps design tools from within their apps. Support for Python recently came to Power BI; devs can share, publish, and view Python visuals in Power BI reports and dashboards and use Python scripts to prepare data sets. And PowerApps now allows users to browse Azure services they’ve created with custom connections.
PowerApps Quality Checkers — a recently launched tool set — identifies performance, stability, and usability risks in PowerApps by pinpointing errors, runtime performance issues, and accessibility guidance at the code level. The complementary PowerApps Solution Checker analyzes related components, like apps, business logic, and plugins for performance and stability risks, and offers links to documentation that explains how to rectify outstanding bugs.
Lastly, there’s a new PowerApps Ethereum connector that facilitates the deployment of apps that interact with (or respond to) the blockchain, in part with flow templates for common scenarios and Visual Studio Code tooling to generate flows from smart contracts.
Microsoft also revealed today that it is expanding its co-selling program to Power Platform, which encompasses Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow. The company says the nearly 3,000 co-selling independent software vendors (ISVs) running on its Azure cloud platform have generated over $5 billion in revenue in the past year.