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5 Microsoft PowerApps use cases in the enterprise

Organizations use Microsoft PowerApps to simplify a number of tasks, including employee onboarding, inspections, new user setups, service requests and more.

PowerApps -- an app creator that enables users to build mobile- and web-based forms and apps with low or no code -- is one of the most popular products in the Microsoft Office 365 suite today.

When PowerApps hit the market, developers saw it as nothing more than a basic tool for users with varying levels of technical expertise. However, the platform took off, and the proof of its success is in its ability to address some common challenges that organizations face.

Here are five PowerApps use cases highlighting how companies use the program to solve some business processes and workflow needs.

1. Employee onboarding app

A key feature of PowerApps is its ability to interact with other Office 365 workloads and tap into the data in services such as Outlook, tasks and calendars. Many organizations use the free PowerApps template to create an onboarding tasks app that helps support human resources and new employees during the onboarding process. These apps provide new employees with many resources, such as links to policy guides, team member contact information and forms new employees can use to complete their internal profiles.

2. Mobile app for inspections and reviews

Another popular PowerApps use case for some retailers, construction companies and healthcare providers involves the ability to capture photos of products and other items during inspections using a mobile device's camera and the data collected by its GPS. A customized inspection app stores some of the information collected within SharePoint or in the common data service layer, mimicking a hosted database.

3. New user setup scenarios

PowerApps is also a favorable platform to streamline new user setup processes. It delivers easy-to-use intake forms for hiring managers to complete and submit to the necessary departments for new employees. Many organizations are now combining PowerApps forms with Microsoft Flow for workflow automation and approval.

A key feature of PowerApps is its ability to interact with other Office 365 workloads and tap into the data in services such as Outlook, tasks and calendars.

4. Sales intake forms

For field employees visiting client sites who need to complete a sales order outside the office, use of PowerApps along with a subscription to Microsoft Dynamics 365 is useful. The PowerApps integration with Dynamics enables users to extract and insert data into the Dynamics 365 CRM with easy-to-use forms.

5. Service requests apps

General service requests make up the last of the PowerApps use cases. Some organizations use the platform to build an interactive help desk tool that permits users to submit IT tickets from the app. Others use it to collect service requests for facility maintenance, human resources, purchase orders and more.

Created apps can be accessed within SharePoint or directly through the PowerApps app on iOS, Android and Windows devices.

PowerApps is a licensed product, and while it is included in most Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise plans -- E1, E3 and E5 -- the platform still requires a paid subscription for the use of advanced data connectors.

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