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Microsoft releases public preview of PowerApps business-app building service

A public preview of Microsoft's PowerApps service, which integrates with its just-unveiled Flow data-sharing tool, is available to business users who want to develop custom business apps.
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Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor on

Five months after delivering a limited preview of its PowerApps service for building custom business applications, Microsoft is making PowerApps available as a public preview today, April 29.

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PowerApps, which was codenamed Project Kratos, is designed to allow business users and business analysts to create custom native, mobile, and Web apps that can be shared simply across their organizations. Examples of just a few of the many types of apps users can create using PowerApps include simple cost estimators, budget trackers, and site-inspection reports.

PowerApps connects to existing cloud services and data sources. It's designed to allow users to build apps without writing code or having to figure out integration issues. The custom apps created with PowerApps can be published internally across the Web, tablets and mobile devices, without requiring app creators to go through app stores for distribution.

PowerApps also will integrate with Microsoft Flow, Microsoft's recently-unveiled alternative to IFTTT. Users will be able to trigger flows from within PowerApps.

Under the covers, the PowerApps service runs on Azure, and integrates with Azure Active Directory, Azure App Service and Azure Media Services. The PowerApps service connects to Office 365 data via the Microsoft Graph application programming interface (API). It also can access data stored in third-party services via those companies' public APIs via connectors.

The tooling framework that's at the heart of PowerApps is based on the Project Siena business-development tools that Microsoft began several years ago and then back-burnered.

The PowerApps public preview is available here.

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