Today, Microsoft published the 2021 release wave 1 plans for Microsoft Power Platform, a compilation of new capabilities that are planned to be released between April 2021 and September 2021. This first release wave of the year offers hundreds of new features and enhancements, demonstrating our continued investment to power digital transformation for our customers and partners.
Highlights from Power Platform
Microsoft Power Platform enables users and organizations to analyze, act, and automate on the data to digitally transform their businesses. Microsoft Power Platform today comprises four products: Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power Virtual Agents. It also has two add-ins: AI Builder and Power Apps portals.
- Power BI continues to invest in three key areas that drive a data culture: amazing data experiences, modern enterprise BI, and integrations where teams work. Power BI Embedded delivers a new generation of the product helping customers increase their ROI, scale rapidly, and get up to 16X faster performance. Customers will also get visibility into utilization at the workspace level, enabling consistent utilization analysis and cost management. Power BI Premium continues to deliver features that help organizations accelerate the delivery of insights at scale, meeting the most demanding needs of an enterprise. This release adds flexible licensing models for organizations to choose between per user and per capacity licensing options. Power BI Pro delivers AI infused insights to help everyone easily discover insights. Authoring Power BI content is easier than ever through the new quick create experiences.
- Power Apps combines the flexibility of a blank canvas that can connect to any data source with the power of rich forms, views, and dashboards modeled over data in Microsoft Dataverse. This release adds duplicate detection to the Unified Interface experience, improved accessibility for business process flow in mobile, enhanced global relevance search experience and in-app notifications for model-driven apps.
- AI Builder will introduce new AI functionalities in preview as well as form processing improvements. New capabilities include new region availability and signature detection in form processing in order to detect if a signature is present at a specific location in a document.
- Power Apps portals enhances Power BI integration in order to support Microsoft Azure Analysis Services live connections and Customer Data Power BI function to send additional context for personalizing reports and dashboards for users.
- Power Automate enhancements to cloud flows adds a trigger when an action is performed in Microsoft Dataverse. This feature improves working with the common events model and provides better integration with Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations. Desktop flows improve our support for UI automation on Citrix environments by having a runtime inside the target Citrix environment. New for this release, process advisor, a process mining capability in Power Automate that reveals insights into how people work, provides rich visualizations where users can identify repetitive, time-consuming processes best suited for automation. Users will be able to record repetitive, manual processes with Power Automate Desktop.
- Power Virtual Agents brings improvements in the authoring experience with list variables, topic suggestions from bot sessions, adaptive cards, and more. Also included is Power Automate integration with better error handling and new topic trigger management in order to improve your bot’s triggering capabilities.
Microsoft Power Platform offers a range of governance and administration and ISV experiences capabilities that span Power Apps, Power Automate, and Microsoft Dataverse. These capabilities are designed to help the administrators, ISVs and IT pros in the organization to help build, set up, secure, manage, govern, and monitor the use and adoption of the platform and its components across the enterprise.
- Data integration provides built-in connectivity to the Microsoft Power Platform and more, with data across hundreds of business systems, enabling rich and intelligent experiences. There are many new capabilities in this release wave in areas such as enrichment through integration with Azure Maps, gateway diagnostics, improved error management, visual data prep for Power Query Desktop, and security improvements.