Is Microsoft PowerApps Any Good?

Many small and medium-sized businesses today are held back by processes that are manual and time-consuming. Sometimes, they can’t find a suitable off-the-shelf software application or service to solve their specific challenges. Other times, they lack the budget to have a custom app developed from scratch, making it difficult for them to compete with large enterprises that have already invested large sums of money to automate their processes.

PowerApps to the Rescue

Either way, Microsoft offers a compelling solution, called PowerApps, that promises effortless business app development to help businesses of all sizes build the functionality they always wanted. PowerApps is part of Microsoft’s Power Platform, along with the business analytics service Power BI and the workflow automation solution Flow, empowering everyone to innovate with a single connected app platform.

With PowerApps, businesses can quickly and easily create custom apps without writing a single line of code by choosing from a broad selection of templates or starting with a blank canvas. Apps built using PowerApps can work with data coming from a variety of online and on-premises sources, including Excel, SharePoint, Dynamics 365, and others.

PowerApps is a cost-effective solution not only because it provides a free alternative to off-the-shelf software applications and bespoke software development, but also because PowerApps are instantly compatible all major platforms, including Windows, Android, iOS, and the web, thanks to their containerized nature.

More Than Empty Promises

The low-code development platform market, where PowerApps belongs, is a crowded place. According to a 2018 survey of the state of low-code development platform adoption, 23 percent of enterprise development teams have already started using low-code development platforms, and many others are planning to do so in the near future. Besides PowerApps, they can choose from products such as the Salesforce Platform, WaveMaker, Progress Kinvey, MATS, GeneXus 16, or Skuid Spark, just to give a few examples.

All businesses that are interested in low-code development have to decide which platform can meet their needs the best and actually deliver on its promises. In the Forrester Wave evaluation, which assessed the 13 most significant suppliers of low-code development platforms using 28 evaluation criteria, Microsoft emerged as a leader with its PowerApps platform, which stood out thanks to its impressive features for developing web and mobile user experiences, a large catalog of integration adapters, and affinity to Excel in its scripting tool.

Apart from belonging to a potentially confusing product line, PowerApps was criticized only for its digital process automation capabilities, which are provided by Flow, proving it to be a good business app development solution.


Low-code software development is on the rise, and Microsoft is well-positioned to capitalize on the trend with PowerApps, allowing businesses of all sizes to readily build custom business apps that span productivity and business data. Unlike many other low-code software development platforms that are currently available on the market, PowerApps actually delivers on its promises and amazes with its extensive capabilities.