In the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, James Phillips, Vice President for Business Applications in the American multinational Microsoft, announced plans to enhance their Power platform. Power platform is the new name given to a collection of Microsoft Tools such as PowerBI, Power Apps, and Microsoft Flow. Microsoft Flow has been designed to automate workflows. As per the report, Artificial Intelligence would be the main theme of the summit.
Microsoft is an American company which develops, licenses, and supports a wide range of software services, products, and devices. The company is involved in segments such as Productivity and Business Processes, and Intelligent Cloud and More Personal Computing. In the productivity and business processes segment, Microsoft competes with Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Cisco Systems, to name a few. It also designs and manufactures personal computers (PCs), phones, tablets, gaming and entertainment consoles, and related accessories which integrate with its cloud-based offerings.
Phillips commented that the service would play a role in both apps and process design and stated:
“AI Builder now provides a way for app makers—professional and citizen developers alike—to add AI capabilities to those apps. Flow provides a powerful visual experience for automating tasks at work, and AI Builder now provides a way to infuse AI into that automation.”
Microsoft plans to introduce AI Builder for the users of Power platform to help add artificial intelligence and machine learning to applications which are built with PowerApps and Flow. Microsoft is planning to keep artificial intelligence as the one main theme for PowerApps custom application builder and the PowerBI business intelligence tool. It also plans to use blockchain thereby uniting these two trending technologies which may not have much of a utility in simpler applications.
There is currently a growing interest in no-code or low-code tools which allow even people without coding experience to build their own custom applications. They would be able to use these tools with very minimal training and it eliminates the need to submit a formal request for developer time. Currently, a lot of companies are looking at this space. This includes local companies such as Bellevue’s K2 Technologies and Seattle’s app sheet. Bigger companies like SalesForce promised to ramp up the competition just before Microsoft’s announcement with its purchase of Seattle’s tableau for $15.7 billion. PowerApps is Microsoft’s main product which enables users to select several code packages which inject common artificial intelligence tasks into their applications.
Using the PowerApp portal, they can build applications using the tools available to outside organizations. This will help in easy management of complicated partnerships between companies. As reported by Microsoft, PowerBI is also deriving the magic of AI through improved text and visual analytics which make use of Azure Cognitive Services. It is also getting a makeover as the new version of PowerBI is very much similar to Office365.
Blockchain, which helps create secure public digital ledgers of transactions between two parties, still struggles to find applications outside the wacky world of cryptocurrencies though numerous companies including Microsoft are trying to convince customers to use blockchain technology for identity management and inventory management.