At Microsoft Ignite 2021, the Redmond company took the low-code aspect of their platform to the next stage with the announcement of the Microsoft Power Fx programming language.
Last year when we profiled the low-code/no-code offerings from Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, it seemed that Microsoft’s service, based on their Power Platform, was one of the most robust. It has a broad range of capabilities to enable citizen developers to build out viable solutions that will increase the productivity of their business workflow.
The no-code/low-code trend has really become a mainstay over the last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. The idea is to drive development of apps and automation down to the employee level because they have intimate knowledge of their business processes.
Anyone who has used Microsoft Excel and is familiar with the format of formulas to build out data displays and content will find Microsoft Power Fx easy to adapt to because it is based on that Microsoft Excel formula language.
Microsoft’s Ryan Cunningham, who manages the program for Power Apps, shared what he called three exciting reasons about the availability of Microsoft Power Fx.
- It is an open-source language that will be available for community contributions on GitHub. (Reminder: Microsoft owns GitHub.)
- Since Microsoft Power Fx is based on Microsoft Excel, the use of formulas is second-hand to many users. Those skills will be immediately useful for anyone trying out Microsoft’s Power Fx.
- The Microsoft Power Apps canvas, i.e. a programming/development framework for low-code/no-code workflows, has already been using Microsoft Power Fx as its foundation. This new language will soon be made available for other Power Platform services such as Microsoft Dataverse, Microsoft Power Automate, and Microsoft Power Virtual Agents.
Cunningham stated that a low-code language is necessary because point-and-click platforms do well to establish quick workflow improvements with the Power Platform but there are many times when an extra layer of programming is necessary to further refine these solutions.
Because of its roots in Microsoft Excel, citizen developers who have familiarity with its formulaic syntax will easily transition to using that logical grammar in their Power Platform apps to make them even more effective solutions.
Additional Microsoft Power Fx Resources
- What is Microsoft Power Fx? – a deep dive blog post that provides a break-down of the language targeting Excel users all the way to pro developers
- Microsoft Power Fx Overview – a full set of documents covering the Microsoft Power Fx platform and language
- Microsoft Power Fx at GitHub – the full open-source repository for Microsoft Power Fx