A small team of developers in Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group is building a set of new Software-as-a Service (SaaS) offerings they are calling “PowerApps”
PowerApps is an “enterprise service for innovators everywhere to connect, create and share business apps,” says Application Platform VP Bill Staples.
The idea behind it is to take more business apps to mobile, instead of being tied to the PC as they have been traditionally. Users can access data from cloud services like Office 365, Salesforce, Dropbox or other on-premises systems through PowerApps and use that information to create their app.
The general category for this type of software is application platform as a service (aPaaS), where Salesforce, for one, already does business. The product is clearly aimed at non-technical types. It fits well alongside the Microsoft Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) that are geared toward more technically inclined people.
People can use the tool to build web, iOS, and Android apps. The service charges based on the number of end-user licenses, not based on cores or number of gigabytes of data. Actually accessing the apps is supposed to be easy, too. Just launch the PowerApps app on your phone, choose the custom app you want from a list, and go.
Sharing an application with a colleague is as simple as sharing a file with something like the OneDrive cloud sync and share service — you just type in an email address on PowerApps. During this preview, you can build an unlimited numbers of apps with PowerApps and share them with an unlimited number of users for free.
To learn more about Microsoft PowerApps and to put your name on the list to get access, go to www.PowerApps.com. And, if you are professional developer, learn more about development related scenarios with PowerApps on Channel 9.