Microsoft launches PowerApps for programming in the cloud

Microsoft powerappsMicrosoft has unveiled a new DIY programming system called PowerApps and new features for Office 365 and Dynamics CRM 2016 at its annual Convergence EMEA conference in Barcelona.

The new features in Microsoft Office 365, include meetings and voice services in Skype for Business while there’s a new customer engagement option in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016. Meanwhile Microsoft PowerApps is a new enterprise service that helps employees to create apps and share them with co-workers.

Office 365 now has options for a Skype Meeting Broadcast, Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) Conferencing, PSTN Calling and Cloud Private Branch Exchange. In addition Office 365 customers now have one platform for calling, conferencing, video and sharing, Microsoft claims.

There are new analytics and data visualization tools in the cloud package too. Delve Analytics promises interactive dashboards that tell users who they are spending their time with and how. This, says Microsoft, will help employees to prioritise better. The cloud package will have greater levels of security and compliance, it claims, through a new Customer Lockbox feature which allows each user to set access control limits. A new eDiscovery option makes it easier to manage large quantities of data and find information.

These new features, along with new Power BI (business intelligence) and Advanced Threat Protection are available in a new premium enterprise suite, Office 365 E5.

Meanwhile the new Dynamics CRM 2016, Microsoft promises, will be a more intelligent, mobile and productive system, thanks to new data and intelligence components. Among the features is a new ‘intelligent product recommendations’ mode for sales reps to personalize up-selling.

Dynamics CRM 2016 can also simplify everyday jobs, like meeting follow-ups.

On that same theme PowerApps is a system for creating apps for everything from a simple survey to something more ambitious and mission critical, according to Microsoft. These can connect to line-of-business systems and cloud services and run on any device. They can be used by everyone from employees through IT staff to Professional developers.