Getting Started with the Microsoft Power Platform

Chris Bortlik (@cbortlik)
6 min readApr 2, 2021


This is part 3 in my Top 5 Emerging Trends in the Microsoft 365 Cloud Adoption Journey Blog Series


Over the past few years, the Microsoft Power Platform has continued to expand in capabilities and adoption. In 2020, Gartner recognized Microsoft as a leader in low code application platforms.

This blog post will explore some of the common trends I am observing by working with customers, partners, and my peers at Microsoft. I will also share some of the key resources available to help you and your organization to learn more.

Replacing Legacy Solutions

My personal journey with the Power Platform started years ago when Microsoft announced the plans to retire and deprecate InfoPath and the announcement of Power Apps as the successor.

During this time, Microsoft has also announced the retirement of SharePoint Designer and SharePoint 2010/2013 based workflows which have now been succeeded by Microsoft Power Automate (formerly known as Flow).

I have also continued to work with customers to migrate and improve solutions from Lotus Notes, Microsoft Access, and Excel to the Power Platform.

SharePoint and Teams Integration

The Power Platform has become more tightly integrated with SharePoint and Microsoft Teams as the solution for building custom forms, workflow, and applications. Some examples include:

Additional Microsoft/Office 365 Integration Points

The Power Platform has also become the primary way for building and extending solutions across Microsoft Office 365 and integrating with other Microsoft applications and services such as Azure.

For example, my prior post on Sentiment Analysis for Yammer illustrated how to use a Power Automate flow to leverage Azure cognitive services to determine the sentiment for new posts made in Yammer.

More recently we have seen customers building composite applications and solutions to extend out of the box services such as Microsoft Forms. For example, triggering a flow when a new Form response is submitted to perform more advanced operations and actions such as customized emails, adding users to groups, logging responses, etc.

Working with Non Microsoft Applications and Data Sources

In addition to integrating with Microsoft applications and services, the Power Platform also has the ability to connect to other on-premises and cloud based services.

Using an on-premises data gateway server, Power Platform solutions can connect to data sources that exist on-premises such as SharePoint, SQL Server, or Oracle.

Power Platform also has hundreds of standard and premium connectors for integrating with other popular applications and services such as ServiceNow, Workday, Salesforce, and others.

There are also numerous third-party connectors available and you can build your own custom connectors.

Solutions, Accelerators, and Templates

As customers get started with the Power Platform, we typically start by reviewing existing templates and solution accelerators that are available. Even if they do not meet 100% of the needs, these templates often provide inspiration for what is possible and patterns that can significantly aid in building and customizing a solution. Some of my favorites include:

  • Microsoft Power Apps includes many canvas app templates and samples. For example, many customers have benefited from the “Meeting Capture” app template.
Microsoft Power Apps Canvas App Templates
  • Power Automate also includes flow templates and examples which are very helpful to jump start building workflows that connect to a variety of applications, services, and event triggers.
Microsoft Power Automate Flow Templates
Microsoft Business Solutions Catalog

Governance and Center of Excellence (COE)

One common customer concern is related to ongoing maintenance, support, and adoption for the Power Platform. Some of the key resources that we often review with customers include:

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

As more business critical applications are being built on the Power Platform, ALM has become increasingly important. Some of my go to resources in this space include:


We are very fortunate to have a ton of freely available training and resources to help people regardless of their current stage of Power Platform knowledge. These include:


The Power Platform has a vibrant community of administrators, advocates, champions, and makers willing and able to help support, encourage, and inspire each other. Many of these are people that have been in the SharePoint and Office 365 community for years along with those that are new to this technology space. Pre-COVID most of these groups met in person regularly during the evening or on weekends as part of user groups and other community events. There are also many ways to connect online such as:

Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) Process

As mentioned earlier, myself and others at the MTC often work with customers and partners to design and create solutions based on the Power Platform. My colleague, Paul Summers, created this great visual which we use often to help guide customers on their journey.

Microsoft Power Platform Customer Journey Map

Moving Forward

Hopefully this post helps summarize some of the key patterns, resources, and opportunities to help you and your organization learn and leverage more of the Power Platform.

The next post in this blog series will focus on what was formerly known as “Project Cortex” and has now been released as SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics.



Chris Bortlik (@cbortlik)

Works for Microsoft as a Principal Technical Architect at the MTC in Boston, MA. Author. Speaker. Blogger. Husband. Dad.