Microsoft Technologies leveraged on projects

One of the reasons I persist with the Microsoft Technology stack is that having a huge box of legos to build business applications with is just hard to beat. 

Microsoft tends to change names, debate branding and overall try to communicate what a consultant can bring to the table, but in most of my projects now we tap into numerous different offerings.

Take for instance my last project. In my last project we delivered an integrated model that included 

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (Model Driven Power App + Microsoft Canvas App)
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (Supply Chain Management focused)
  • Power Automate (Flow) (Approvals and Standard)
  • Power Portal (now called Power Pages)
  • Microsoft Dual Write (connecting DYN365FO + DYN365CE)
  • Microsoft Azure Synapse
  • Microsoft Azure Function Apps
  • Microsoft Azure Logic Apps
  • Microsoft Azure Service Bus 
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Azure Blob Storage
  • and Microsoft Office 365 

We also coordinated the team and the application lifecycle management using Microsoft Azure DevOps, Microsoft Azure CLI, Microsoft Visual Studio, Microsoft RSAT (Regression Suite Automation Tool) and Microsoft Teams. 

Now you would think that you would need a HUGE team to deliver the above, but we actually delivered using a very reasonably sized team with a mix of resources. 

One of the beauties of the Microsoft stack of applications and offerings is that there is so much that you can do! The ability to use a platform that grows organically (SaaS) and through phased projects aligned to key business needs, keeps companies current with the latest and greatest technology offerings. 

The world moves so fast. It is great to have structures in place that allow teams to move at the same speed. 


Incredible Flexibility

I am working with some incredible technologies, and I am working with the Power Platform and so many cool things that can be done with this incredible engine of growth. 

Consider this: You have an incredible repository of many different data sources. You have an entire team of people who work on "DATA" (and AI and all the cool new in the data space), but you also use one or many of the Power Platform, Model Driven, Dynamics PowerApps (Sales, Field Service, Customer Service, Connected Field Service, Marketing, Talent, Custom and so many more)

Did you know that you can work with a Power BI team to create incredible reports off of your data "repositories" (pulling data from many different places) AND you can then embed these Power BI reports in a Power Platform, Power Portal. Why use a Power Portal over a custom web page or some other option? well there is that little gem of application and/or data access security. Yes, the templates are also incredibly nice, but where Microsoft shines is in the layers of awesome. 

One of the reasons that I continue to focus and grow within the Power Platform is the huge flexibility and pivoting of new technologies to meet the demanding business needs. These needs are met leveraging the same platform and the platform continues to grow and be supported. 


Power Platform, Canvas Apps

They are EASY, so why does it feel like a hike after being locked away for the last six months? 

There is a small, wee bit of learning curve and this is the key. Give yourself the space to learn. 

You can either learn by thinking 100% Canvas or you can start learning by adding a Canvas App to your more traditional model driven Dynamics 365 Power App. 

The first concept. If adding a Canvas App to your Model Driven world. 

Start at, The Maker Portal!

The Maker Portal offers a number of options that you might not find in another place. For instance if you have configured Dynamics 365, you can use the maker portal to create and work within a solution. When you work in a solution, you start with a more ALM centric mindset. Also for some of the newer beta features, starting work within a solution is critical. 

So how is a canvas app different?


Well you start with a template or a White Canvas with a specified size. When you start with a white canvas you will want to really understand the numbers behind this canvas. What I mean by numbers, are the position numbers. So where are you in relationship to your canvas.  You are creating everything, so you will want to know where you want to put things such as labels, data, entry boxes, forms, galleries and more. 

The next concept to get your head around is the header on your canvas. The fast way to get your head around a header is to start your canvas with a template and then using the left hand menu, look at how the template header is created. There are key items such as Color, Name, Brand and more.

Now that we have our head around the idea of a Canvas with a header, let's look at our tool chest of awesome. We want to give ourselves a bit of time to think about the tools. 


and how you access these tools. Take a moment to click around a bit. There are some key areas. You want to realize that different menus are available depending on where you are focusing. You also have functions, positioning, colors and the hierarchy of the layouts. Oh and Data, of course. 

 And there are many little helper components. Take for instance the ability to insert a gallery. You insert a vertical or horizontal gallery and tell that gallery where to get it's data. Boom, you have a fully functional feature, but you want to understand what comes with that full function. 

As someone who loves a new software, canvas apps are a whole lot of new. Give yourself the gift of learning with the patience to just put one foot in front of the other. 

Happy Holidays