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Top Features x Makers - MS Build

The middle of May was marked by one of the most exciting events of the year: the flagship Microsoft Build event. Thousands of tech enthusiasts, experts, MVPs, RDs and Microsoft employees flocked to Seattle. Even more caught up online with the announcements, so well summarized by the Book of News. You can read it in its full glory here.


By now, you must have been inundated on social media by the announcements, video presentations and community feedback. So why is this blog post even needed?

A CRM geek’s perspective on three personas

That’s right. I am not here to summarize all the announcements and give you tons of links. Instead, as a former Change Manager and a human evangelist obsessed with end user experiences, I will share something different.


This is a three-part blog series. We will go on a brief exploration journey of what some of the announcements mean for three key personas:

  1. Admins

  2. Pro-devs

  3. Makers


You can find blog post part 1 for some interesting admin features here and part 2 for pro-devs here.

 

Makers of the world unite

As a fellow maker and overall geeky Power Platform creator, I cannot help but rejoice with fellow makers about the shiny new toys we have been granted. We are living in a new era of democratized IT and fusion development, which we should make the most out of!


Collaboration and code in Power Apps Studio:

What is it: For the first time, up to 10 makers and developers will be able to co-author in Canvas Apps with various features in place to optimize collaboration. Furthermore, they will be able to work directly with YAML-format source code in Power Apps Studio. Copy and pasting controls will be possible (can I get an amen?!) which is quite handy when looking to create a template, simply reusing/ updating code across screens or sharing with other community developers.


Why is it important? Two massive benefits. Firstly, it clearly speeds up app development to focus on more complex and productive tasks with efficiency and real-time pair-programming in mind without constantly merging and compiling local changes. Secondly, it is shifting the cultural paradigm for transparent fusion development by removing the need for effort division and thus siloed teams. I look forward to how this will be living alongside other features e.g. native Git integration for repository sync up, to elevate the Power Apps proposition for the more pro-dev aligned teams.


State of the nation: Both features are in preview. I was one of the lucky ones to have participated in the private preview for co-authoring. Really appreciate my co-authoring testers Bulent Altinsoy and Lindsay Shelton. But also the amazing responsiveness of the PM team such as Sam Perlumutter, Emma Cooper and Marcel Ferreira.


Watch how co-authoring works here or how the YAML code view works here. You can read about both features here.


Power Pages Security Workspace and Web Application Firewall (WAF) enhancements:

What is it: Two features in one truly made my day as a recent Power Pages convert (Shout out to Nick Doelman and Tino Rabe for making that conversion happen!). The new Security Workspace allows for an on-canvas experience of all-things security in the Design Studio rather than going to the separate Management Portal. Whether you are looking at user roles, permissions, general security scans and vulnerability management, this will become your one-stop shop for security. The WAF enhancements are quite complementary, as a deeper layer of security capabilities. From IP and Geo filtering to keep your CISO happy, to an easier workspace for managing authentications and authorizations, you get to ask a dedicated Copilot how to best configure these aspects! Sweet.


Why is it important? To begin with, makers finally have a dedicated, on-canvas experience for these security capabilities without going into multiple different journeys. Most importantly, they can enhance their security of their sites as per standard web design and industry practices. The more these features roll out, the more we bridge the pro-dev web design gap, but also the peace of mind cybersecurity company functions need in terms of proactive monitoring of their operations.

State of the nation: These features are available in preview, with the WAF ones in general availability this month.


Read more about both features here. If you need to configure WAF, you can read about it here, whilst the general documentation for the Security Workspace is here.


Copilot Agents and Connectors:

What is it: Makers will be able to reimage Copilot-like capabilities through agentification. Yes, you read that right. They will be able to orchestrate proactive copilots who monitor and perform tasks as more independent agents triggered by events rather than just conversations. This will be even more possible with a powerful list of data sources beyond Dataverse, such as Microsoft Fabric OneLake, Microsoft Graph, OneDrive, SharePoint, their own public websites and other third-party apps.


Why is it important? Copilots behaving like proactive agents is the next horizon of individual and team productivity. They can maintain memory and context, whilst providing a traceable history of the reasoning and actions taken against an event. Moreover, being able to use one’s OWN, most meaningful, business data from their in-house systems and processes builds that context and efficiency further. Remaining in the flow of work extends to data coverage across all apps and making the most out of these insights. This means more autonomy and less human interaction or manual overhead to make copilots work FOR us, NOT just with us.

State of the nation: Currently in an Early Access Preview program. Broader access is coming later this year.


Read the blog with all the announcements here, whilst the documentation for Copilot Connectors can be found here.

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Thanks for this cool series looking at the events of MS Build 2024 from three perspectives (admins, pro devs and makers). Awesome recap, and testing co-authoring for Canvas apps together was a lot of fun! Thanks for the mentioning! The feature future is bright! 🤘🏼🤌🏼

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