With its Power Fx language introduced this week, Microsoft is making a play in the low-code development realm.
Announced on March 2, the general purpose language is based on the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and spreadsheet-like formulas, sharing Excel syntax and functions.
With Power Px, Microsoft is attempting to provide citizen developers with an approachable way to express logic. Power Fx already is in use across Microsoft’s Power Platform. Documentation on the language can be found on GitHub.
The language spans from “no code” imperative programming to “pro code” situations involving strongly typed, declarative, and functional code. Similar to Excel, Power Fx formulas instantly recalculate, like a spreadsheet.
Freed from keeping variables and data tables up to date manually, developers can tell the app what they want it to do without having to describe how or when. Apps can be edited in text editors including Visual Studio Code.
Power Fx will be extended as a singular, consistent language across the Power Platform during the next two years. The language already has been extended to work with hundreds of external data sources, across mobile devices, and through advanced application scenarios, Microsoft said.
Plans also call for extending Power Fx to Microsoft’s Dataverse, Power Automate, Virtual Agents, and elsewhere. Microsoft stressed there is still a lot of work to do to extract Power Fx from Power Apps. Users can share their thoughts about Power Fx on the project’s GitHub repo.
While low-code development platforms have been considered solutions for quick-to-assemble business apps, with professional developers taking on more sophisticated tasks with full-fledged languages, low-code platforms also can be leveraged for integrations and mobile experiences. Some of these platforms have included Mendix and Appian.