Today Microsoft announced PowerApps. Scott Hanselman describes PowerApps as follows: “PowerApps makes it easy to quickly create new business apps, connect systems and then share those apps with anyone on your team.”
PowerApps is a key element in Microsoft’s mobile story. SharePoint Online, while not very mobile friendly today, is moving in that direction. As the next-gen portals announced at Ignite 2015 come out, they will be responsive (i.e. they will adapt appropriately to different device sizes). Some Office 365 apps already are (Sway and Delve). Now with PowerApps, there is the ability to create mobile apps that provide access to line of business data and Office 365 data (and basically any REST API), and they make it so easy, even a business user can do it. Of course, they said that about business users and InfoPath too. In reality, I suspect that most enterprises will want to have IT involved in creating PowerApps. IT departments will likely want to establish some policies and procedures around creating and supporting these apps.
That aside, is PowerApps finally the first party replacement for InfoPath forms and SharePoint Designer workflows? I don’t know yet – stay tuned! I’ve signed up for the preview program, have you?