This week we hosted the 4th Annual DMV Regional Chapter Meeting! This user group event featured chapters from the DC, Maryland, Virginia area namely DC, Reston, VA and Richmond, VA. I wanted to take a few minutes to share a 2020 DMV Regional Chapter Meeting Recap and give you some resources.
I have previously shared the agenda and session descriptions for this event so now I will share some takeaways!
Getting Started with Approvals
Geoff Ables kicked the day off for us talking about Approvals in Power Automate with a focus on how we could use them within Dynamics. We looked at basic approvals and discussed how these can be enhanced to meet business needs, maintain history and more. He also shared the tip to watch the version (ex. V2) in the name of the actions in Power Automate to ensure you select the most recent one.
Plumbing with CDS Pipelines
Next James Studer walked us through how to set up CICD Pipelines in Azure. This technique helps to alleviate issues with manually exporting and migrating solutions, keeping environments in sync and following consistent processes. In addition, you can also set up approvals and timeouts to ensure items are ready before moving to the next environment.
Zero to Hero in Power Virtual Agents in 40 Minutes
Prashant Bhoyar showed us everything we need to know to get started with Power Virtual Agents. PVA is a fairly new member of the Power Platform family so it has very tight integration with other Power Platform tools such as Power Automate. It is built on top of the Azure Bot Service and Azure Cognitive Services but citizen developers do not need to think about these pieces at all.
Check out these resources to get started with PVA:
Data For Good
Next, Shannon Lindsay of the Power BI DC Meetup User Group talked about Data for Good. She walked through a use case with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and how the Power Platform revolutionized their data capture and analytics.
They are dealing with many challenges to the effective capture of data. This included limited access to electricity, technology, internet as well as very manual, and paper based products. They created a Power App with offline capabilities to capture this data. Then used a Dataflow to get this data immediately into Power BI for analysis.
Watch the video for an example and check out Shannon’s list of Resources for getting started with Power BI.
Which Country Star Are you?
Towards the end of the day, Aiden Kaskela and I took the stage with a fun use-case for several Power Platform tools. The goal was to show how these tools could be combined in innovative ways with low/no code. We did this by building a Canvas App where you take your picture. This is sent through Power Automate where the Azure Face API and Azure Cognitive Services do their magic. Then the app displays which country singer you look the most like.
Dynamic Communities Chapter Update
To finish the day, Evan Workin of Dynamic Communities talked to us about all the exciting events and initiatives going on with the User Groups!
Resources and Next Steps
In conclusion, I hope this 2020 DMV Regional Chapter Meeting recap provided helpful takeaways and I trust you will join me at a future meeting!