Last month, Microsoft unveiled the 2021 release wave 1 plans for the Power Platform and Dynamics 365, describing a host of new capabilities that would be arriving for both in the next few months. More recently, last week, rumors of the tech giant readying the release of a new low-code language for the Power Platform started circulating.
Today, at its Ignite 2021 conference, Microsoft has confirmed these rumors, launching 'Power Fx', its first low-code programming language for logic customization across the Power Platform. Rooted in Excel, the language utilizes the knowledge of Excel users to make it easier for citizen developers to perform low-code development. Professional developers, meanwhile, can make use of professional developer tools to accelerate app development in the platform.
For now, Power Fx can be used to develop canvas apps in the Power Apps service, though later, it is primed to become "the consistent language" across the whole Power Platform. The implementation for the open-source language will be made available through GitHub later this year.
As far as other components of the Power Platform are concerned, Power Virtual Agents have received new AI capabilities to help build smarter chatbots. More specifically, these include 'topic overlap detection' to improve detection of overlap between topics and improve trigger accuracy, and 'topic suggestions from chat transcripts', which suggested new topics based on chat transcript analysis of previous conversations.
Similarly, Power BI Premium's latest update brings it up to Gen 2, introducing the following capabilities for users:
- Flexibility to license per user or per capacity
- Faster processing — up to 16x performance boost with Microsoft
- managed architecture
- Autoscale to automatically add capacity when needed
- Consistent and reliable cost management with utilization metrics
A preview price list for the Premium Per User capability has also been released to enable customers to license Premium features.
New features that span across all Power Platform services include a new admin center, security improvements, and reporting enhancements. And finally, Power Automate Desktop will now also be included in Windows 10, allowing users to get access to robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities at no additional cost.