The application development landscape has changed with the introduction of both cloud computing and low code development platforms. Once you have requirements for a new solution, what option do you take? In this article we discuss the factors you should consider in selecting both. 

Microsoft application development landscape 

When looking to Microsoft there are two main routes to delivering an application: 

  1. Power Apps – Microsoft Power Apps is a low code development platform, using a drag and drop editor, out of the box connectors and templated approach to apps. It allows non-developers to build applications quickly and easily and roll them out across your organisation.
  2. Custom Application Development with .Net core –  .Net Core is an open source development platform from Microsoft for building a diverse range of applications. With .Net you can use a wide range of languages and libraries. .Net core applications built on Azure offers a flexible application delivery and hosting route with a powerful range of services to support your application.

Factors in selecting an application delivery route 

There are a number of key factors to consider when looking at your application delivery route.  

  • Internal vs External – This is an important area to consider. Is the application going to be used by your employees or external users. Power Apps is much better suited for internal applications with difficulties arising when used with external users, although Power Apps portals do exist to deal with some of these external requirements. 
  • Speed of delivery – Power Apps projects are generally smaller in size as it is easier to deliver solutions. There are connectors, templates and drag and drop editors that help speed up this process. This won’t be applicable for every solution but if it does fit with Power Apps it is one of the main benefits. 
  • Licensing – It is important to consider user numbers and ongoing licensing when selecting a route. If you utilise premium connectors then you will require a license to access the Power App. There is a tipping point where the cost saving on the new application delivery is outweighed by the ongoing cost of hundreds of employees needing Power Apps licenses to access it. Alternatively .Net does not have any ongoing license cost and has very low running costs. 
  • Citizen developers – Who is going to deliver the solution? If you are looking to make use of citizen developers then you need to look to Power Apps but if you have professional developers with availability this is less of a factor.
  • Complexity – How complex or unique your requirements are is an important factor. There are endless possibilities with traditional application routes but with Power Apps there are some limitations and templates that you need to follow. If you need to go out with this then you may find a traditional cloud app platform such as .NET  is a more fitting route.
  • Offline Access – PowerApps do not currently offer support for offline access. 

If you have an application you would like to develop and you would like to discuss this in more detail,  please contact us today.