It was a few weeks ahead of the birth of my first child when my wife and I took a “What To Expect” class – diapers, feeding, sleeping – so much to keep track of! Like most first time fathers, I was both excited for the joy that I knew was coming, and overwhelmed about the challenges and changes that l had coming my way. But as a tech junkie, I also thought about how I would keep track of all the things we had just learned about – Is my baby eating enough? How often is he pooping? How long is he sleeping?
If only there was a unified platform that would allow me to easily model and store my data, which could facilitate a mobile experience to enter my data, and which could enable me to visualize, report, and make sense of all the data I’ve aggregated.
Of course – the Microsoft Power Platform gives me just that! I could use:
- Microsoft Common Data Model to create entities to keep track of Diaper Changes, Feedings, and Sleep
- Microsoft Power Apps to create a mobile experience to let me, my wife, or any caretakers easily enter this data
- Microsoft Power BI to report and visualize this data
And with that, the Poop App was born.
Microsoft Common Data Model
My first step to was to create a new instance of Microsoft Common Data Model (born out of Dynamics CRM/365) on the Microsoft Office 365 Platform. Basically, this is where I built out the database that would drive my Power App, which Power BI would consume my data from. I created three main entities (or record types/tables):
- Potty Trips – with the following fields:
- Changed By
Now that we had a nice data model, it was time to create an app that would allow all of the people who would be taking care of my son to enter and maintain this data – enter Power Apps. I’m just going to focus on the Potty Tracking portion – because they’re the most visual =)
Here, you can see how we created a nice entry screen, that even included some nice visual icons, which allowed our caretakers to tap on a button to indicate whether our little one went number one, two, or both!
And now it was time to bring it all together! I needed to know how frequently our little guy was going. And who was carrying the biggest load – or on duty the most. So enter Power BI – an amazingly flexible reporting platform that allowed me to easily model my data from the Common Data Model, which we maintain with Power Apps – to answer all of these questions. And I even set up an daily email subscription to give me a summary of the day!
And not trying to toot my own horn, but I’ve certainly met the call of duty.
I hope this shed some light on the Power of the Microsoft Power Platform. Simply, it is the perfect platform to manage and keep track of any business process.