Microsoft Power Apps and PLM workflows

Microsoft Power Apps and PLM workflows

microsoft-powerapps-plm-workflows

CMS wire blog article written by David Roe brought news about Microsoft Power Apps. Navigate here to read more. Power Apps is a set of new Microsoft tools providing business solutions for enterprise customers. It specifically target non-developers and addressing the advantages of configurations vs customization.

Here is my favorite passage:

“We know that tight integration is essential to unlocking productivity gains for the digital workplace. Accessing data from mobile devices was a first step. Bringing business processes to the same site for team documents and data is next.” Microsoft has been adding new functionality to SharePoint and making existing features easier to use to counter criticisms about its complexity.

Power Apps and Flow represent the next step in fulfilling Microsoft’s ambition to provide enterprises with a unified, cloud-enabled productivity and business application ecosystem. They have connectors to Office 365 and recently released Dynamics 365, and both will offer the ability create custom APIs for other data connections as well.

The story of Power Apps made me think about PLM workflows. Remember my article – PLM workflow California roll style? Microsoft Flow seems to have a tendencies to make more fluid and flexible workflow, which is set to compete with some other web flow engine capable to hook web API and roll it over the users. This video can show how Microsoft Flow can help you with some practical examples.

However, the following video is even more interesting. It can give you an idea about what Microsoft’s vision for cloud-enabled enterprise productivity and business applications.

You can get more info here. Power Apps reminded me Microsoft Access modernized to a new era of web and cloud applications. Don’t miss explanation about Entities and Common Data Schema. You will find many familiar concepts from Access database there.

What is my conclusion? Each and every manufacturing company has tons of Excels and Access databases. Combined with Biztalk websites, these data islands are representing enterprise information about products, Bill of Materials, change records, reports, catalogs, etc. Power Apps is nice way to rationalize the data and create a modern cloud data and application layer to replace 5-10 years old Microsoft SharePoint applications. It is note to PLM implementation architects, since these Power Apps will become a threat to PLM systems focusing ho to rationalize and optimize data and business flow. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Picture credit Microsoft

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.

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  • Thanks for discussing this, Oleg! I’m presenting this topic at PDTEurope in 2 days with a special focus on bringing PLM and IoT data together. I’ll also discuss the role of Common Data Model and standards such as PLCS.

  • beyondplm

    Simon, good luck with your presentation! If you will be sharing slides, I’d love to have a link in the comments (or you can share it with me and I put it as an update to the blog). Thanks for your comments! Best, Oleg

  • Hi Oleg, many thanks! and yes my slides will be published on the PDTEurope website and I believe that Engineering.com will be interviewing me as well.