Business IT News &
SQL Azure and the Microsoft Power Platform
Craig Yellick, VP Business Solutions
The workflow and forms solutions built with the Microsoft Power Platform need to store information somewhere. Fortunately, Microsoft designed Power Platform to support most data sources, as well as data connectors ranging from simple and free to complex and expensive.
For example, on the simple and free end range, here at Blue Net we routinely store Power Automate and Power App data in SharePoint lists. Such lists are very easy to create and maintain and are visible to anyone given permissions. This makes it easy for non-technical users to leverage the data collected with the many built-in, easy-to-use list features.
In the middle ground, we have the Microsoft Dataverse. This is essentially a cloud-based relational database intended for use by “power users.” Dataverse includes a base set of tables that cover common business scenarios (customers, accounts, catalogs), but users will still need to learn quite a bit about how database tables are created and maintained. Importing, exporting, and querying data involves learning new tools and concepts as well.
In a larger organization, a power user is likely to turn to more technical people that already handle databases. Those folks prefer to take the database “under their wing” so to speak and use a professional-grade relational database. An excellent choice in this scenario is one of the variations on SQL Server that are available in the cloud via Azure.
Blue Net’s favorite go-to product in this scenario is SQL Azure, which we’ve covered in several previous blog articles. It’s a perfect alternative to Dataverse because pricing is based on resource consumption, not user counts. If you hardly use it, it barely costs anything. Being SQL Server, there’s already a large pool of talent and a vast number of tools for creating, maintaining, securing, querying, reporting, and so on.