The power of Serverless applications on PowerApps and Azure

By: Kumareswar Kandimalla

Publish Date: July 23, 2021

Low code application development of LCAD on Azure has become a cornerstone for businesses looking to build applications faster, qualitatively, and cost-efficiently – with less or no coding. More specifically, Microsoft’s Power Apps (in conjunction with the rest of the Microsoft Power family) has been crucial for businesses to scale application development efforts within Azure services.

Take the 2020 pandemic for instance. Now more than ever, businesses and governments have been constantly under pressure to make available new services and solutions to employees and consumers, social distancing at home. Expert predictions put the number of new applications likely to be developed over the next five years at >500 million. Combine that with the great talent gap between demand and supply of over 1.4 million software developers only in 2021, one can see why businesses and governments alike are turning to LACD as their solution.

And why not?

The power of low code

Imagine this. A manufacturer can build an app to trace items in its inventory, materials flow, warehouse resources, and more, with simple low-code applications within a few hours, instead of months previously – replete with the time to develop, test, and roll out. The manufacturing company can also rework on the iteration of the application, which would be easy with PowerApps and Azure, unlike the typical months-long time to do the same. The ability to create and deploy enterprise-grade apps with little knowledge of coding and within a very short span of time is therefore, rewarding in both resources and costs! The power of scale with PowerApps is further enhanced, when Serverless applications are adopted. Not only can serverless applications be scaled automatically, by combining PowerApps, they can also boost the accessibility and reliability of low code applications. It therefore behooves us to understand how serverless applications can be taken advantage of for your business, under what circumstances they are ideal for use, and the ways they can help create reliable applications.

But first, what are serverless applications?

Serverless applications and Serverless PowerApps

When a cloud provider manages the servers to execute cloud computing instead of the business, the model is referred to as serverless. Which means, serverless applications are ones that run on servers fully managed by the cloud provider. The model is significantly cost-efficient because serverless applications take the worry out of businesses having to lay out infrastructure, configuring the servers, managing security, and more, all leaving your team free to focus on testing and coding. Also, the business doesn’t incur any costs related to the hardware needed to run the same.

Now that you know its benefits, under what circumstances should you go serverless? And why should you bother with building serverless applications with PowerApps?

Well, business applications are not easy to develop as they need to be guided by various best practices, application development frameworks, and must be easily configurable for complex system integrations. It is here where ‘Azure Functions’ – a serverless solution, allows you to write fewer codes, and maintain less architecture without worrying about the server updates required to run your applications efficiently. (Watch Azure Functions overview here) In combination with Logic Apps, Azure Functions provides the building blocks APIs need to connect with custom system backends, integrate with Power Apps, and even the Data Model, stored across several applications. Leveraging Azure’s API management with Power Apps, the overall work for the developer is not only reduced, the time taken to build and manage these apps are also minimized.

Customizations for complex data flows 

The one aspect where you may need support for serverless applications is state management. If your team is missing the abilities to manage various application states, it may be daunting to create custom mechanisms that effortlessly communicate between functions. Thankfully, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, YASH Technologies is well equipped with the best practices and proven frameworks to scale your applications seamlessly.

Discover more about how our Microsoft Center of Excellence (CoE) can help you with such efforts. Check out our services here.

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