My first visit to Microsoft's Business Applications Summit

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Have you ever been on a once-in-a-lifetime trip? Join Charlotte Carter, Datacom’s Dynamics 365 Functional Practice Lead, as she tells you about representing Datacom at the global Microsoft Business Applications Summit.

It was a trip of firsts for me. First time in the USA, first time at a Microsoft Business Applications Summit, first time I got to see James Phillips (Microsoft Corporate Vice President) in the flesh and the first time I’ve eaten waffles and fried chicken with syrup for breakfast. Yum!!!

Being at the global Microsoft Business Applications Summit was a fantastic opportunity for me to get the latest technology updates, develop new skills and to share those with Datacom customers (see below).

I got to hang out with Datacom peers and be all things Microsoft 24/7! I was totally in my element and enjoyed every second. Starting from my pre-day workshop (‘Hands-on with PowerApps Canvas and model-driven apps’), all the way through to the closing note; listening to Alexis Ohanian (Co-Founder of Reddit) talk to us about his journey as an entrepreneur. His note to remember the important things such as family and relationships, rather than work and money, is a good lesson for us all.

You will be interested to learn about some of the important announcements around the Power Platform, particularly my ‘top three’. They are going to change the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CE) world as we know it:

PowerApps Control Framework (PCF)

Partners, third-party developers, etc. now have direct access to the framework that Microsoft has used to build the new unified interface. This opens so many doors, allowing us to extend the visual capabilities of Dynamics 365 CE. PCF is currently in public preview, giving us the opportunity to explore, have a play and provide any valuable feedback to Microsoft. I have seen so many amazing new controls already! It is a game changer.

AI Builder

Want to build Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities into your PowerApp or Flow but don’t know where to start? Microsoft has got you covered. They have recently released the AI Builder, giving citizen developers the opportunity to add intelligence into their apps and business processes. At this stage, four model types have been released. So, it is super easy to add the AI Builder component into your PowerApp, train it and then publish it. I can’t wait to play around with this!

PowerApp Portals

We have all been waiting for this. The ability to share our internal awesomeness with external customers and partners. Microsoft has delivered. Soon, we will have the ability to create low-code, responsive websites. What could be better than that? Well, the fact that external users can use these low-code websites and interact with contextual data stored in the Common Data Service (CDS). There is still a lot of detail missing around this new capability (I love detail), so I am eagerly waiting to play around with the preview and to better understand what the product has to offer and how PowerApp Portals will work with existing portal capabilities.


For Datacom customers, this new functionality will mean that we can deliver to you even richer solutions and do it even faster than we do now.

If you weren't able to attend the #msbizappssummit, don't fret! All of the sessions were recorded so you still have the opportunity to experience everything I did. Watch the Microsoft Business Applications Summit online.

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Dynamics 365, Microsoft