Welcome to your Power Platform Course

Welcome to PL-900, Microsoft Power Platform Fundamentals. This course will provide an overview of Power Apps, Common Data Service, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents and lead learners through building basic apps, flows, a dashboard, and a chatbot.

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Audience

Candidates for this exam aspire to improve productivity by understanding the capabilities of the Power Platform, automating basic business processes with Power Automate, performing basic data analysis with Power BI, acting more effectively by creating simple Power Apps experiences, and creating powerful chatbots by using Power Virtual Agents.

PL-900 Skills Measured

The exam includes six study areas. The percentages indicate the relative weight of each area on the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions the exam will contain.

  • Describe the business value of Power Platform (15-20%)
  • Identify the core components of Power Platform (15-20%)
  • Demonstrate the capabilities of Power BI (15-20%)
  • Describe the capabilities of Power Apps (15-20%)
  • Demonstrate the capabilities of Power Automate (15-20%)
  • Demonstrate the business value of Power Virtual Agents (10-15%)

PL-900 Course Introduction

Power Platform overview

Power Platform is comprised of four key products: Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI and Power Virtual Agents.

Power Apps provides a rapid low code development environment for building custom apps for business needs. It has services, connectors, and a scalable data service and app platform (Common Data Service) to allow simple integration and interaction with existing data. Power Apps enables the creation of web and mobile applications that run on all devices.

Power Automate lets users create automated workflows between applications and services. It helps automate repetitive business processes such as communication, data collections, and decision approvals.

Power BI (Business Intelligence) is a business analytics service that delivers insights for analyzing data. It can share those insights through data visualizations which make up reports and dashboards to enable fast, informed decisions.

Power Virtual Agents enables anyone to create powerful chatbots using a guided, no-code graphical interface, without the need for data scientists or developers.

Module 01 Knowledge Check

Microsoft Power Platform offers a point-and-click approach to building custom applications, data visualizations, and automated workflows. This approach makes it easy for anyone familiar with Microsoft Office to create custom business solutions. Now that you have reviewed this module, you should be able to:

  • Describe the components and features of the Power Platform
  • Identify when to use each Power Platform component application to create business solutions
  • Understand and explain the value of using the Power Platform to create business solutions

Common Data Service overview

The Common Data Service is a cloud-based solution that easily structures a variety of data and business logic to support interconnected applications and processes in a secure and compliant manner. Managed and maintained by Microsoft, Common Data Service is available globally but deployed geographically to comply with your potential data residency. It is not designed for stand-alone use on your servers, so you will need an internet connection to access and use it.

Module 02 Knowledge Check

Common Data Service is a cloud-based data storage which allows you to leverage the security and connectivity of Microsoft programs. Common Data Service connect easily to all aspects of the Power Platform so that you can fully control, automate, and strengthen your business. With standard entities and fields, as well as the ability to easily define relationships between your data, Common Data Service was built for those who need powerful, scalable solutions. Now that you have reviewed this module, you should be able to:

  • Describe the Common Data Service
  • Describe the Common Data Model
  • Identify entities, fields, and relationships

Introduction to Power Apps

Power Apps is used to build apps that allow you to take action on your data. Power Apps is great for replacing paper forms, legacy solutions, or just that spreadsheet that you and a few coworkers pass around. Using the skills and knowledge you already possess, you can build apps to interact with existing data by using more than 275 connectors. Once built on the web native Power Apps platform, these apps live in the cloud and can be easily shared and run on a variety of platforms including PCs, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

Canvas apps

Canvas apps are a great option when you want to build an app from a blank canvas. You start by choosing the screen size: tablet or mobile, then you have a blank screen from which to build. You can interact with data in your app by adding data sources. Drag and drop various controls and add the desired functionality by writing Excel style formulas. Canvas apps provide you complete flexibility when building your apps.

Model-driven apps

Model-driven apps build from data in the Common Data Service. Power Apps will build you a great looking, fully functional app to act upon and interact with this data. With model-driven apps, there is no need to worry about choosing the app size; it is responsive, meaning it works on mobile or tablet with no extra work by you. You define the relationships, forms, views, business rules, and more at the data layer, inside of the Common Data Service, giving you enough control to get your business result without writing all of the formulas yourself.

Power Apps portals

Power Apps portals provide a great way to allow internal and external audiences
to view and interact with data from Common Data Service or Dynamics 365. Through
the Power Apps interface, you can build an anonymous or authenticated website
that provides them with a branded, personalized, self-service experience.


Power Apps portals come with a variety of preconfigured portal solutions that
target diverse audiences. Starter portals have many features that add value to
the Microsoft Dynamics 365 service apps.

Module 03 Knowledge Check

Power Apps portals extend Common Data Service access to external audiences such
as customers, employees, or partners. This access allows businesses to extend
and scale their operations as they reduce call center costs, manual processing,
and resolution times while simultaneously improving user satisfaction,
transparency, and scale of operations. This module covered the following concepts:

  • How Power Apps portals can add value to customer Power Platform and Dynamics 365 solutions.
  •  Core components for configuring a portal: webpages, templates, entity forms, content snippets, and entity lists.
  • Using and creating themes in Power Apps portals
  • Fundamentals of portals security and which methods are used to control access to the content and data.

Power Automate

Power Automate is used to automate repetitive business processes. Beyond simple workflows, Power Automate can send reminders on past due tasks, move business data between systems on a schedule, talk to more than 275 data sources or any publicly available API, and can even automate tasks on your local computer like computing data in Excel. All of this can be done by all skill levels from typical business users to IT using Power Automate’s no-code/low-code platform.

Note: You may have previously known Power Automate as Microsoft Flow. In October of 2019, Microsoft Flow was renamed to Power Automate to better convey that the service is able to do more than just create workflows. You will see that you still use Power Automate to create flows. This note is here as you will see some confusion in legacy content around Microsoft Flow and flows. This module will use the terms appropriately.

Introduction to automation

Gone are the days of walking a form from office to office for approvals and spending your time on repetitive tasks. With Power Automate’s hundreds of connectors and templates, you can easily write flows and get back to spending your valuable time on the work you love. In this module, you will explore three flows, each able to meet different business needs. Take the concepts you learn here to consider what processes you can automate to save time in your business.

Module 04 Knowledge Check

In a world of increasing distraction, it is more important than ever to alleviate repetitive or menial tasks to better focus on the important work at hand. Power Automate allows businesses to do just that by leveraging hundreds of connectors, templates, triggers and actions to allow beginners and advanced developers alike to craft powerful workflows and increase business efficiency. Now that you have reviewed this module, you should be able to:

  • Create a flow from a template
  • Create a recurring flow on a schedule
  • Create a flow triggered by a button
  • Create an approval request flow and utilize the approval center
  • Create a business process flow

Power BI overview

The business world is increasingly data driven. Small and large businesses alike use data to make decisions about sales, hiring, goals, and all areas for which they have data. While most businesses have access to data of one type or another, it can be intimidating to try to understand without a background in data analytics or statistics. Even if you do understand the data, a challenge may arise in displaying the data in an easy to understand way and communicating it to other relevant people. Power BI takes the intimidation and hassle out of data analysis and visualization. By connecting to one or more of the hundreds of existing data sources and using a secure, easy to understand interface, you can quickly and simply interact with and understand your data to influence all business systems.

Power BI Dashboards

We all live in a data culture where business decisions are based on facts, not opinions. We need data to help us make these decisions. Power BI Desktop is a free application for PCs that lets you gather, transform, and visualize your data. Power BI Desktop and the Power BI Service work together. You can create your reports and dashboards in Power BI Desktop and then publish them to the Power BI Service for others to consume.

Module 05 Knowledge Check

As you can see, Power BI allows you to easily analyze, visualize, and collaborate on data. Now you can get started leveraging these capabilities to make better business decisions.
Now that you have reviewed this module, you should be able to:

  • Connect to data in Power BI desktop
  • Transform and model the data you import
  • Build basic visualizations
  • Create and share a dashboard
  • Collaborate in Power BI

Power Virtual Agents

Power Virtual Agents are adaptable Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots, at your service. They can solve common customer and internal-facing issues automatically, freeing up staff to focus on complex requests and high-value interactions. You can easily create your own virtual agents, powerful chatbots, without the need for developers or data scientists, by using a guided, no-code graphical interface. Integrate Power Virtual Agents with the products and services you use every day using hundreds of prebuilt connectors, by building custom workflows using Power Automate, or creating complex scenarios with Microsoft Bot Framework. Monitor and continuously improve chatbot performance using AI- and data-driven insights available in an easy-to-read dashboard.

Chatbot

Power Virtual Agents empowers teams to quickly and easily create powerful bots using a guided, no-code graphical experience—all without the need for data scientists or developers.

Module 06 Knowledge Check

Power Virtual Agents empowers teams to quickly and easily create powerful chatbots using a guided no-code graphical experience—all without the need for data scientists or developers. This module covered the following concepts:

  • How to create a chatbot for the first time
  • How to add topics to your chatbot
  • How to test content changes in real time
  • How to publish your chatbot
  • How to analyze the performance of your chatbot

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Cheers!

Susanth Sutheesh

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