Microsoft Copilot and the Power Platform: Features to Get Excited About in 2024

By Stoneridge Team | January 23, 2024

Power Platform Copilot

Combining Microsoft Power Platform with Copilot can open your business up to a new world of automation and enhance opportunities for you to increase efficiency by expanding your business solutions.

Copilot - Microsoft's new AI tool - is going to provide you with tons of new features you can use in your Microsoft solutions. When it comes to the Power Platform, AI will help streamline the existing tools to help your team members work more effectively.

If you are operating a Microsoft ERP or CRM system, you can learn more about AI capabilities by reading these blogs:

Extending Power Platform Abilities with Microsoft Copilot

Let’s look at what Copilot will bring to the Power Platform in 2024. Some of these features have already been released and Microsoft will release others sometime this year.

Copilot for Power Apps

You can use natural language to use Copilot’s assistance in developing Power Apps and enhancing functionality. Here are some of the specific features you can expect this year:

Input Text Generation

Copilot streamlines text input for end users by generating well-written text, alleviating concerns about grammar and format. This feature is especially beneficial for users dealing with apps in non-native languages, enhancing efficiency and ease of use.

Express Design from Design and Figma Files

The Express Design feature in Power Apps allows users to effortlessly translate designs, sketches, or graphical presentations into functional apps. Whether using static images or Figma files, this feature streamlines the process, eliminating the need for time-consuming collaboration between designers and developers.

Automate the Creation of Useful Deployment Notes

This feature streamlines the understanding and approval process for complex solutions by automatically generating AI-powered solution overviews during deployment. You can utilize these autogenerated notes in the Deployment Notes field, allowing admins and deployment approvers to grasp the deployment's purpose without the need to manually open the solutions.

Construct and Edit Apps in Power Apps Studio

To meet the increased demand for app-building assistance, Copilot now includes enhanced capabilities to meet this demand. This streamlines the development process and increases the likelihood of success. Makers can effortlessly execute tasks like adding screens, modifying properties, and linking to data using simple prompts, making app development more accessible and efficient.

Users and Admins Can View App Descriptions in the List

This feature simplifies resource management for administrators by providing a centralized overview of all apps in a card format within Power Apps. Users no longer need to open each app to understand its functionality, as AI-generated or maker-set descriptions are now visible in the card view, enhancing user clarity and efficiency.

Use Natural Language to Write Formulas

Copilot enhances productivity by assisting makers in writing Power Fx formulas through natural language input or examples. This feature combines and updates functionality from Power Apps Ideas, offering makers a unified and consistent experience for writing formulas.

Copilot for Power Pages

By integrating Copilot with Power Pages, you can now create parts of a website through natural language instructions. This cuts down time spent manually developing a page on new or existing sites. It also allows you to enable Copilot actions for users and ask questions while building sites.

Here are some of the specific features:

Copilot for Authenticated Users

Enhance security and user experience by adding Microsoft Copilot Studio chatbots to private sites, enabling private testing and authenticated content retrieval. Once users log in, they can ask questions in natural language, receiving responses from knowledge articles and Dataverse tables configured for search on authenticated content. Additionally, AI-enabled chatbots can be seamlessly integrated into private websites.

Gain Insight on Your Website Data

Improve user efficiency on your website by implementing Copilot chatbots, allowing users to ask questions in natural language and receive information and insights without manual site searching. Configure Copilot chatbots to enable structured data searches in tables based on defined roles and permissions.

Create a Website with Copilot

Empower makers with the ability to effortlessly create websites using Power Pages Copilot, utilizing generative AI to bring ideas to life. Simply describe the desired website, and Power Pages will use AI to determine the sitemap, generate homepage layouts, and establish the site theme. You can also manually make changes and customizations as you go along.

Ask Questions and Give Answers

Power Pages Copilot offers makers a streamlined approach to accessing answers and tips for building websites through the Copilot Q&A capability. Makers can ask questions directly and receive clear and summarized answers. Copilot draws answers from a combination of large language models, extensive documentation, and Learning content.

Copilot for Power Automate

Using Copilot in Power Automate further streamlines what is already an effective automation solution. You can now use AI to describe flows you want to use, and Copilot will help generate them for you. From there you can edit and customize them to suit your needs.

Two main features are coming out this year:

Cloud Flows Design with Copilot

Power Automate's next-generation AI-based Copilot revolutionizes flow creation by offering open-ended, conversational experiences within the flow studio. With natural language authoring, users can effortlessly build and enhance flows, from simple to complex, without requiring in-depth knowledge of Power Automate.

AI-Powered Updates in Cloud Flows Designer

You can effortlessly initiate the creation of new cloud flows in Power Automate by describing them in natural language. This is supported by enhanced features like additional actions, connectors, geo-availability, parameter filling, and improved explainability. With the integration of state-of-the-art AI models like Azure OpenAI, users can use everyday language to describe the desired cloud flow.

Microsoft Copilot Studio (Formerly known as Power Virtual Agents)

Power Virtual Agents has many tools that could help you establish great customer experiences. You could create and customize chatbots to answer customer inquiries before having to refer them to a live agent. When you combine that with Copilot’s AI capabilities, you can take those positive customer experiences to another level by using natural language to create more conversational chatbots that can search larger datasets.

Here are the main updates:

Additional Instructions to Tailor AI Prompts

Copilot authors can utilize prompt modification, enabling customization of Generative Answers through custom instructions. This feature allows authors to provide context, and instructions, and define the copilot's personality, ensuring accurate and tailored responses.

Provide Answers in Multiple Languages

Through multilingual bot support, topics and bots using generative answers seamlessly adapt to the conversation's language, empowering customers to create logic using Power FX for personalized responses in languages such as English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese.

Using Azure OpenAI to Generate Answers

Leverage the potent capabilities of Azure OpenAI to upload and index content for immediate use in Copilots, enabling powerful AI customization without manual topic authoring. By connecting Microsoft Copilot Studio with Azure OpenAI on your data, bots can utilize language models from OpenAI and Azure Cognitive Search to respond while adhering to organizational policies.

Using Custom Data Sources in Generating Answers

Empower your bot to provide answers from various unstructured data sources by configuring custom data sources, including:

  • Bing Search
  • Bing Custom Search
  • Azure OpenAI on your data
  • documents in Dataverse
  • SharePoint
  • OneDrive for Business

With over 900 connectors in Power Platform, you can integrate answers from a wide array of external and internal resources. If your data source is not directly supported, the generative answers feature allows you to connect it as a custom source using Power Automate.

Use Dataverse-Uploaded Files in Generating Answers

Enable your bot users to access answers directly from your organization's existing knowledge. Simultaneously, you can help bot makers effortlessly create and publish fully functional chatbots within minutes without coding or design. The generative answers capability in Microsoft Copilot Studio leverages natural language understanding and large-language model AI technology to intelligently respond to user queries.

Using GPT-Powered AI

Enhance your copilot responses by using Generative Answers in Microsoft Copilot Studio. In doing so, your copilot can find and present information from external sources without the need to manually create topics. This feature improves answer quality and system performance, removes preview-program usage throttling, and offers official general availability support.

Using Your SharePoint to Generate Answers

Mitigate data loss prevention and data exfiltration concerns by keeping organization data secure within the system. This expansion allows copilots to retrieve information from various content types within specified SharePoint directories, sites, or libraries. It ensures answers are generated only from information accessible to the signed-in user, enforced with Entra ID authentication.

Want to Learn More About How Copilot and AI Can Help Your Business?

Please get in touch with us! Stoneridge Software is your AI partner and can help you take advantage of this new and evolving technology.

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