Power Platform Release Wave 1 2024

Here we go again, another wave of new features and hidden gems announced for the Power Platform, I’m going to say that I really wouldn’t make this list if it were 3 times a year.

The following is the list of what I think are the most interesting Power Platform features, I’ve used the new experience to dig into the release wave documentation, so go I highly recommend it if you haven’t started using yet.

Without further introductions, let’s get started.

Power Apps

Share tables and apps as simple as sharing a Word document

I will start with security, maybe not everyone will be excited about this one but I will say “FINALLY”, finally the security configuration is coming to the new interface, we have been using the old interface for configuring security roles for many years now.

But that’s not all, the process will be even easier as the makers will be able to select a list of end users as well as what access to share with. Dataverse will then create security roles based on the access configuration and automatically assign to the selected users.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: Feb 2024

General Availability : Apr 2024

Use modern screen templates to easily build canvas app screens

We will get a new set of screen templates which will have screens that are commonly built by makers, meaning that when creating a Canvas App using these templates we will be using by default modern controls and responsive containers which means our apps will be responsive by default.

I’m so happy about this feature you have no idea how much pain I have had configuring the containers.

Timelines:

Early Access: Feb 2024

Public Preview: —

General Availability : Mar 2024

Visualize and work with complex data using copilot

I’m a little skeptical about this one, but it sounds like it will be a tremendous feature. That is to say that makers will be able to create and relate tables and at the same time be able to visualize the ERD (entity relationship diagram) is incredible. And not only that but we will be able to work with external data sources like Excel or SharePoint.

And finally we can ask Copilot  to create new tables, update schema, or seek for suggestions to improve their data model. This is a huge advantage when creating a data model from scratch.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: Apr 2024

General Availability : —

Power Pages

Create virtual tables to use external data sources

I’m very happy about this feature because it will allow us to connect the Power Pages site to external data sources like SQL Server and SharePoint, I know there are a lot of other data sources that we want to connect from Power Pages, but the reason I’m so happy about this is because this is the starting point of a huge feature.

I’m pretty sure that in the future we’re going to be able to connect our Power Pages site not only to SQL Server or SharePoint, but also to other data sources, I’ve had some requirements in the past asking this “Can I connect my Power Pages to my SQL Server database?” Well, now it will be possible.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: Mar 2024

General Availability : Apr 2024

File upload enhancements for Power Pages sites

This has to be one of the most wanted features by users and customers, finally Microsoft will make it easier for makers to configure file uploads options across different storage option inside design studio, YES!, Dataverse will no longer be the only default option for saving files from Power Pages.

Users and customers will be able to drag and drop files from Power Pages site and those files can now be saved either in Dataverse or SharePoint, so good by to those tricks we had to do to create the file in SharePoint and then remove it from Dataverse, this means a lot less work.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: —

General Availability : Feb 2024

Use site checker from Microsoft Power Platform CLI

Nice one this feature will allows us to run Power Pages Site Checker from Microsoft Power Platform CLI, which means that we will be able to identify potential issues and fix them before the go-live date

I can already see myself applying this to every Power Pages project I have.

BTW, if you are not yet familiar with Power Platform CLI, I recommend this series of videos by Daniel Laskewitz in which you will learn from basic administrative tasks to more complex ones related to the Power Platform pipelines.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: —

General Availability : Aug 2024

Power Automate

Power Automate visual in Power BI

This feature will help us translate insights into actions. With Power Automate visual, we can run an automated flow from a Power BI report. In addition, the executed flow can be contextual to the data, passing dynamic data based on the filters we set.

Imagine the power of this functionality, you are looking at a Power BI report and you want to apply a custom logic to a dataset (of course I would say a small dataset) so you can run this custom logic from the report itself, then the cloud flow calculates everything you need and in a few seconds you can see the custom logic applied to your dataset.

And the logic can be anything from simple to complex because from Power Automate we can call Custom APIs that can do the heavy lifting of doing all the calculations so the flow remains light.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: —

General Availability : Apr 2024

Power Automate Desktop

Use Power Platform connectors in Power Automate for desktop actions

Currently there are more than 1000 cloud connector available for cloud flows but that is not the case for desktop flows. This feature will help us to reduce logical loops and minimize the creation time for a desktop flow. I’ve done some desktop flows in the past and it’s true that not everyone likes it, but I have to say I’ve had fun creating desktop flows in the past.

But I have to be honest, there are a lot more opportunities to do interesting things in cloud flows than in desktop flows, I think with this feature Microsoft is trying to evening the odds a bit and I’m happy to see that Power Automate desktop is growing and growing with each wave of releases.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: Apr 2024

General Availability : Jun 2024

Power FX integration with Power Automate for desktop

Another one for Desktop flows, Power Fx is the low-code language for expressing logic across Microsoft Power Platform. We can see how Microsoft is slowly pushing Power Fx forward and along with this also Power Automate desktop, and this is why I said “Microsoft is trying to evening the odds a bit” in the previous feature.

Now I have to be honest because this makes me wonder what kind of formula will be available in a desktop flow, will we be able to interact with files using Power Fx?, in any case I’m glad that it is becoming easier and easier to create logic in a desktop flow.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: Dec 18, 2023

General Availability : Sep 2024

Dataverse

Efficient processing for apps with delegation in Dataverse

I’m 100% sure that everyone that has created a Canvas App had faced the nightmare of the delegation warning, I remember spending lot of hours trying to bypass this issue.

The delegation issue usually happens in Canvas Apps and Custom Pages and it is a problem that occurs when you use certain functions or operators in a formula that can’t be delegated to the data source.

So now with this feature Power Apps will delegate the processing of data to the data source (Dataverse in this case), rather than moving the data to the app for processing locally. Hopefully this feature will also come to SharePoint in the future.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: Mar 2024

General Availability : Apr 2024

AI Builder

Enable pay-as-you-go for AI Builder

I think it was about time to get pay-as-you-go for AI Builder because the biggest entry barrier for AI Builder is the price. With this feature admin users no longer need to pre-allocate AI Builder credits if they choose to.

And also admins users will be able to set consumption limits on select environments to maintain control over how much AI Builder capacity is used by makers.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: Sep 2024

General Availability : —

Try out AI Builder with the Power Apps developer plan

Well this one is quite self-explanatory, I love this feature, it’s the best way to play with AI Builder discover its potential create some interesting solutions in your developer environment and all even before the purchase credits.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: Mar 2024

General Availability : Mar 2024

Copilot Studio

Import and export topics across copilots and environments

In the past I have played around with Power Virtual Agents now known as Copilot Studio, and I do know that you had to re-created manually the topics in other environments doing the chat bot ALM process not as good as other components in the platform.

Now Copilot Studio enables customers to export and import topics across copilots and across environments to facilitate this reuse of content and accelerate the multi-copilot authoring environment. Now I am going to assume that this will be using Power Platform solutions, or maybe I’m wrong so we have to wait a bit longer to discover it.

Timelines:

Early Access: —

Public Preview: May 2024

General Availability : —

Conclusion

There you have it, these were my highlights for this release wave on Power Platform. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Here you have the documentation of it, go and read it because probably you will encounter other ones that are more interesting to you.

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