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Every human being has a superpower: the power of cooperation. When we join forces, each of us bringing our unique strengths, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s why all the great superhero teams — the Avengers, the Justice League, the Fantastic Four — are comprised of characters with wildly distinctive but complementary superpowers. The unity of powerful forces works not just for comic book heroes but also for regular folks like us. And, it turns out, it works for technology too.
For most of us, our work problems are too complex (and not nearly evil enough) to solve by shooting lasers out of our eyes or becoming a human torch. Our problem-solving superpowers are enabled by our tools, and these days they’re increasingly software tools. Microsoft’s Power Platform is the enterprise software equivalent of a superhero team: combining a set of solutions with specific strengths into a whole that can solve any number of business problems at scale.
This super-team didn’t form because of a freak incident like, say, exposure to cosmic rays during a scientific mission to outer space. Power Platform was deliberately built by Microsoft, component-by-component, over a five-year period with each tool succeeding on its own merits before joining the greater team. By the way, if you’d like to read more about the power of Power Platform, please reference my first article in this series.
The Power Platform Super-Team
The first component of Power Platform to launch was Power BI which bestows upon its users the power of data-driven situational awareness. Power BI debuted in July 2015 with the super strength of sophisticated analytics and interactive visualizations created through a user interface that’s so friendly you don’t have to be a data scientist or designer to assemble your own data dashboards from basic building blocks.
Next came Power Apps, in October 2015, which enables the assembly of real desktop and mobile apps with intuitive user interfaces from readymade components using little to no code. Power Apps is a rapid application development environment that empowers “citizen developers” to build custom apps on a what-you-see-is-what-you-get canvas. Through sophistication masked by simplicity, it confers on non-developers the power to act on their own to solve business challenges with technology.