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Microsoft PowerApps vs Power BI: What are the differences?

Microsoft PowerApps and Power BI are two powerful tools offered by Microsoft that aim to enhance productivity and data analysis within an organization. While both tools have their own unique features and capabilities, it is important to understand the key differences between them in order to choose the right tool for your specific needs.

  1. Functionality: Microsoft PowerApps is primarily a platform for creating and deploying custom business applications without the need for extensive coding. It allows users to create apps that can be used across different devices and platforms. On the other hand, Power BI is a business analytics tool that focuses on data visualization and reporting. It enables users to analyze data, create interactive dashboards, and share insights with others.

  2. Focus: PowerApps is designed to help organizations automate business processes and streamline workflows by creating custom applications. It provides tools and capabilities to integrate with various data sources and services. Power BI, on the other hand, is focused on data analysis and reporting. It allows users to connect to multiple data sources, perform data transformations, and create interactive visualizations.

  3. User Interface: PowerApps offers a user-friendly interface with drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy for users to design and build applications. It provides a rich set of controls and templates for creating custom forms and screens. Power BI, on the other hand, offers a more data-centric interface with a focus on visualizations. It provides a wide range of pre-built visualizations and allows users to create custom visualizations using the Power BI Developer Tools.

  4. Data Integration: PowerApps provides built-in connectors to a variety of data sources such as SharePoint, Excel, SQL Server, and Dynamics 365. It allows users to easily integrate data from different sources and services into their applications. Power BI also supports data integration from a variety of sources including Excel, SQL Server, SharePoint, and many others. It provides robust data modeling and transformation capabilities to help users prepare and shape their data for analysis.

  5. Sharing and Collaboration: PowerApps allows users to share their applications with others within an organization. It provides the ability to define roles and permissions for different users and allows collaboration on app development. Power BI, on the other hand, allows users to share reports, dashboards, and datasets with others. It provides different sharing options such as embedding reports in websites or applications, sharing via email, and publishing to the web.

  6. Pricing: PowerApps offers different pricing plans, including a free version with limited features and capabilities. The pricing depends on the number of users and the level of functionality required. Power BI also offers different pricing plans, including a free version with limited features and a paid version with advanced capabilities such as data modeling, data integration, and collaboration.

In summary, Microsoft PowerApps is a platform for creating and deploying custom business applications without the need for extensive coding, while Power BI is a business analytics tool focused on data visualization and reporting. PowerApps is more geared towards process automation and workflow management, while Power BI is focused on data analysis and insights. Both tools provide data integration capabilities and options for sharing and collaboration. The choice between the two depends on the specific needs of your organization and the purpose for which you require the tool.

Decisions about Microsoft PowerApps and Power BI
Vojtech Kopal
Head of Data at Mews Systems · | 3 upvotes · 308.7K views

Power BI is really easy to start with. If you have just several Excel sheets or CSV files, or you build your first automated pipeline, it is actually quite intuitive to build your first reports.

And as we have kept growing, all the additional features and tools were just there within the Azure platform and/or Office 365.

Since we started building Mews, we have already passed several milestones in becoming start up, later also a scale up company and now getting ready to grow even further, and during all these phases Power BI was just the right tool for us.

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    What is Microsoft PowerApps?

    It is a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. Using Power Apps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored either in the underlying data platform (Common Data Service) or in various online and on-premises data sources (SharePoint, Excel, Office 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and so on).

    What is Power BI?

    It aims to provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface simple enough for end users to create their own reports and dashboards.

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    What tools integrate with Microsoft PowerApps?
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    What are some alternatives to Microsoft PowerApps and Power BI?
    Google App Maker
    App Maker lets you develop powerful apps with relative ease. Create a model to manage your data, build a UI in the visual editor, use Apps Script to write some scripts, and you're on your way.
    Flow
    Flow is an online collaboration platform that makes it easy for people to create, organize, discuss, and accomplish tasks with anyone, anytime, anywhere. By merging a sleek, intuitive interface with powerful functionality, we're out to revolutionize the way the world's productive teams get things done.
    Microsoft Access
    It is an easy-to-use tool for creating business applications, from templates or from scratch. With its rich and intuitive design tools, it can help you create appealing and highly functional applications in a minimal amount of time.
    OutSystems
    OutSystems is a low-code platform to visually develop your application, integrate with existing systems and add your own code when needed.
    FileMaker
    It is a Platform to create innovative custom apps for your workplace.
    See all alternatives