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Microsoft tackles 'hyperautomation' with Power Automate RPA update

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Microsoft this week expanded into process capture and analytics with the release of Microsoft Process Advisor. This extends the reach of Microsoft Power Automate, the company's robotic process automation (RPA) and cloud integration platform. These updates will help Microsoft's Power Automate strategy scale beyond RPA into the broader hyperautomation market, which Gartner expects to grow from $481.6 billion in 2020 to $596 billion in 2022. "The idea of'automating automation' is core to our strategy," Microsoft Power Automate product manager Stephen Siciliano told VentureBeat. Process Advisor gives organizations the ability to capture processes for further analysis or as templates for creating more full-fledged automations, he added.


Microsoft's low-code tools: Now everyone can be a developer

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People working from home need new tools to help manage what were often manual business processes. Excel always used to be the tool that business users would pick up to write code. Its formulae and cell structure made it easy to chain together results to build what ended up as complex applications, analysing data statistically and numerically. It wasn't only for numeric data, either, as it could quickly be used as a simple tabular database, with filters and queries to help extract information. It might not be SQL, but it did the job.


Microsoft launches Power Virtual Agents, its no-code bot builder – TechCrunch

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Microsoft today announced the public preview of its Power Virtual Agents tool, a new no-code tool for building chatbots that's part of the company's Power Platform, which also includes Microsoft Flow automation tool, which is being renamed to Power Automate today, and Power BI. Built on top of Azure's existing AI smarts and tools for building bots, Power Virtual Agents promises to make building a chatbot almost as easy as writing a Word document. With this, anybody within an organization could build a bot that walks a new employee through the onboarding experience for example. "Power virtual agent is the newest addition to the Power Platform family," said Microsoft's Charles Lamanna in an interview ahead of today's announcement. "Power Virtual Agent is very much focused on the same type of low code, accessible to anybody, no matter whether they're a business user or business analyst or professional developer, to go build a conversational agent that's AI-driven and can actually solve problems for your employees, for your customers, for your partners, in a very natural way." Power Virtual Agents handles the full lifecycle of the bot building experience, from the creation of the dialog to making it available in chat systems that include Teams, Slack, Facebook Messenger and others.


Microsoft AI Builder brings machine learning to PowerApps

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Microsoft's AI Builder artificial intelligence platform, now in preview, enables nonprogrammers -- as well as professional developers -- to easily add AI to the projects they are working on to create more intelligent applications. Microsoft's low-code, no-code Power Platform consists of PowerApps, Power BI and Flow. PowerApps enables developers to create mobile and web apps with low- or no-code. Power BI is for analyzing data, creating reports and creating dashboards with low or no code, and Flow helps devs automate tasks and workflows with low or no code. AI Builder is tightly integrated with PowerApps so that users can simply click on visual prompts to add AI-enabled controls to their mobile or web.


Office Excel: Why it's Microsoft's not-so-secret weapon in no-code app development

ZDNet

Low-code, no-code or visual-based coding is getting more attention these days. Amazon Web Services (AWS) in June launched a beta of Honeycode. Google in January snapped up low-code outfit AppSheet and killed off AppMaker for Workspace, formerly G Suite, also beefing up Google Cloud with the Business Application Platform in September. Salesforce has its Lightning platform, while Oracle has Application Express (APEX), and there are more offerings from Appian, Zoho, ServiceNow and others vying for a slice of businesses' undergoing digital transformation. The promise of low- and no-code platforms is that business users can create mobile and web apps by pulling data from spreadsheets or databases to help their colleagues access data where and when they need it – in a browser or a mobile device – almost without requiring professional developers.