This is the 2nd part of my recap of the European Power Platform Conference 2022. The 1st part is available here and this post will continue on with the last day of the conference.
I write about the sessions I attended to give you an overall impression to what it was like. It is impossible to to give you the special atmosphere and feeling it was to be there in person, but you will just have to settle for this 😉
Day 3 – 08.04.2022
What, Why and How of ALM in the Power Platform – Yannick Reekmans
ALM an important subject and strategy that all companies should have in place, but not all do. It is not the sexiest subject for many, but that is Yannick trying to change. Already his outfit was on point. He wore a T-shirt that said: “Making ALM sexy”. Well that is a bold statement 😀
He took us through what ALM is and why it is important, and then focused on giving good ideas on how start considering ALM in your processes. For example: Environment strategy. How many should environments should you have and who should have access to it? That seems to be a popular question for a lot of the customers I am working with. And I was pleased to hear that Yannick agrees with me that there should be atleast 3: Development, Test and Production. You have your Development environment for developers and App makers, Test environment for Admins, Key users and Testers and then you have your Production environment for Administrators (because, lets face it, you will make some changes directly in Production 😀 ) and end users.
It is also important to consider Geography for your environments, especially regards to Updates. Because you can move a solution from a newer version to an older version, but not the other way around. So if your Development environment is in North America (gets updates as nr. 5 in line) and your Production environment is in South America (gets updates as nr 2. in line), you will have to wait a while, before you can move your solutions to Production.
Very useful presentation and I learnt a lot 🙂
Microsoft Custom API’s for Dummies – Joe Griffin
Joe really set the scene with a picture of Will Smith saying it is rewind time 😀 Brought a laugh out of most of the audience.
As I have never really worked with custom API’s befor, I felt like the session for dummies was right up my alley.
Talking about Custom Actions and Custom API’s comparing the possibilities with both of them.
With using a timeline or dividing the two functionalities up on a timeline gives a better understanding of where they came from and where the functionality is heading to. We also got various use cases for Custom API’s, which are for example to replace legacy Custom Actions, provide additional pro-code extensibility to your Power Automate cloud flows calling the Dataverse platform and last but not least (actually the one i liked most 😀 ) is for when you really don’t like working int he “classic” interface.
As I am a fan of presentations that bring out the good, the bad and the ugly, then I liked that Joe also brought out some of the problem areas with using Custom API’s. These are for example that they are hard to troubleshoot, private Custom API’s can’t be called via other plug-ins and that Custom API functions must always have at least one response properly defined. (Otherwise you will must likely get a 404 error).
Loved the Simpsons theme and it was a great introduction for me to Custom API’s.
And of course, we had lunch 😉 Once again the food was amazing and that you could clearly see from the fact that lines were forming crazy fast. Joes presentation was right next door, but once we got to the EXPO area, where the lunch was served, we already needed to stand in line. But we were lucky enough to have been pointed to “VIP” line in the middle. There the line wasn’t that long and we were able to start fighting for a spot at one of the tables. 😀
Still, hands down the best buffet I have seen at a conference!
Oops—something went wrong – debugging and error handling in Power Apps & Automate – Carmen Ysewijn and Tomasz Poszytek
A fun session about different possibilities for troubleshooting in both Power Apps and Power Automate. I took notes of various tools and approaches that I definitely will try and test out in the future. For Power Apps Carmen demonstrated App checker and App monitor, with using the try-catch (crush) pattern. And Tomasz showed Flow checker, Run history and Error details. Unfortunately, there aren’t the same type of tools as in Power Apps, but still possible to look into and find the areas that are giving you trouble.
The presentation was very true to their heading, as not all demos went smoothly through, but to me that was what made the presentation real 😀 Also the cooperation and chemistry between Carmen and Tomasz gave a nice and relaxed atmosphere with a lot of laughs.
Hello from the other side – how makers and developers make a FusionDev team – Luise Freese, Yannick Reekmans
Another session about a subject that a lot of companies are struggling with, especially now when more and more companies are starting to use the Power Platform.
It tends to be that Developers and Makers don’t really find a common ground as they can’t exactly see the world with the eyes of the other person. But what they can’t see is that if they both work together then, the outcome, solutions and projects will be much more efficient and cost effective.
Ofcourse both presenters were on spot with T-shirts that stated: “In theory theory and practice are the same, in practice they are not”. So true 😀
And a lot of questions to the attendees, which kept the mood light and people very actively interested. In the end they gave a few tips on how to get started with a better cooperation between Developers and Makers:
Understand the value of DevOps, Team work makes the best work, Create training, labs and documentation and use the tools available to you 🙂
Level up with Real-Time marketing – Vivian Voss
Of course I can’t write a recap of the conference without mentioning my own session. 😀 My second in-person event as a speaker and I could feel that. But as I also have with most of my presentations, I get really nervous right before the presentation, but once it is time to speak, I find calm an peace. I speak about something that I know and use, and I hope to bring knowledge to people that might not have had the possibility to use the tools yet, but are curious. That makes me excited about presenting.
But this time I focused on the Real-Time marketing area of Dynamics 365 Marketing. One of the few Dynamics subjects on the agenda, it fell right in knowing that many companies are just starting to look into Dynamics 365 Marketing as a possible Marketing Automation tool.
A great experience and it was also great to talk to people after the presentation about their experience with the product and the challenges they are facing at the moment 🙂
Let’s get hands on with the latest Power Platform features – April Dunnam
Final session of the conference for me and so many others. There were a lot of attendees gathered to listen to the latest features for Power Platform. A great presentation, very interactive, and a whole other way of doing demos. April had recorded the demo beforehand, and had it play on the background while she talked about how / what new features are coming, that she is really excited about.
Functionalities like: Power Automate being part of Windows 11, user collaboration feature in Power Apps, Command designer with Power Fx and various others.
Perfect last session for me for a very successful conference. Also, if you were lucky, you could get stickers from April 😉
What an amazing conference. I thought about making a small post about the sessions I visited and how the conference was, but that would not have done the conference justice. It was the first ever European Power Platform Conference and it was very successful. It brought together a lot of people that had not seen each other for around few years, gave users possibility to learn more about the Power Platform and networking. I have personally, really missed the networking and community feeling there are at these conferences and you don’t have it the same way at an online conference.
So once again, thank you for the #EPPC22:
- Organizing team – You did an amazing job by being available and helping when needed. Also being very approachable and amazing.
- Programme team – Great sessions and synergy within the tracks and speakers. Well done!
Can’t wait for #EPPC23 😉 😉