Getting started with Office 365: Forms, Flow and PowerApps

In this article, we will see the power of Office 365. We will see how we can leverage the capabilities of power of Microsoft Forms, SharePoint Online, PowerApps and Flows. Each of these are considered as separate products under one hood i.e. Office 365. So let’s get started:-

1) Microsoft Forms

With Microsoft Forms, you can easily create Surveys and Polls to collect customer feedback, measure employee satisfaction and can even organize team events. Forms have replaced Excel-based surveys and build a live connection between Microsoft Forms and Excel. Microsoft Forms can also be accessed directly from Microsoft Teams.

Below is the screenshot of the Microsoft Forms screen from where we can create forms and quiz applications:-

Below is the screenshot showing how we can create a quiz application and can see the responses. Forms allow creating various types of question types like choice, text, date, etc.

2) PowerApps

PowerApps is an initiative by Microsoft that allows developers and nontechnical users to build mobile applications from selectable templates. … The objective of PowerApps is to enable business users to build new capabilities via apps, without requiring that they have code expertise.

PowerApps allows you to connect to multiple data sources, and not just Microsoft sources, things like Google, Salesforce, Facebook, GitHub, Azure, Dynamics, Bing, lots and lots of connectors. And they’re always adding more. With PowerApps you can create apps using templates.

PowerApps at its core is a Platform as a Service. It allows you to create Mobile Apps that run on Android, iOS, Windows (Modern Apps) – and with almost any Internet browser. PowerApps is also a mobile app! … It is essentially a container that makes mobile apps much easier to use across mobile platforms.

Below is the official PowerApps URL:-
https://powerapps.microsoft.com/

3)Microsoft Flows

With MS Flows, we can create automated flows between the apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data and many more. There are many different connectors available in Flows and one of them is SharePoint Online.

Below is the official Flow URL:-
https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/

Practical Scenario: –
1) Create a survey/quiz in Microsoft Forms with different types of questions for the participants to register for an event. With this survey, participants could simply select their preference by dragging and dropping their preferences in order. We also collected food and dietary restrictions etc.
2) Now, this survey could be embedded on a SharePoint modern page, so that participants can also have SharePoint site experience.
3) Now the survey results can be captured in SharePoint using Microsoft Flows.
4) The results were saved in a SharePoint list, one answer per column, which helped quickly clarify the results, and allow for further integration opportunities. The flow will be fired every time a form is submitted.
5) Whenever a registration is done, an email is also sent to participant confirming them with their registration.
6) The PowerApp view is used to display the information to participants what they have registered for.
7) PowerApp is a single screen App which is based on the current context and it is very much user-friendly.

Summary:-
In this article, we saw how different Office 365 products like Forms, SharePoint, PowerApps and Flows can be leveraged to create business critical solutions. Start using these tools/products, however, don’t get confused with a large list of capabilities, start small and then deep dive!

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