The true power of the Power Platform–a real use case analysis

Recently I was asked to create a reservation system for a client. The actual use case is not too complex, but it requires a public front end for non-organization users to submit a booking request, along with a slew of management and approval options for the back-office user. So I said to myself “yep, that sounds like fun, let’s do it”.

While nailing the requirements, I built the POC using the Power Platform.

The client uses WordPress to host their public site, and they wanted the public form to live there. In the end, the entire solution will be a WordPress plugin, but that’s not where I’m really going with this.

I ended up building this solution both as a WordPress plugin, as well as a solution on Power Platform using WordPress as the public site. I already had the POC and just wanted to compare the two approaches for similar functionality.

Let’s first look at the toolset used for each scenario:

Using Power Platform and WordPress Using WordPress alone
VS Code VS Code
Power Platform HTML5
WordPress WordPress
Alexa CRM PHP
Power BI
Power Automate

Overall, from an effort perspective, I have done:

Using Power Platform and WordPress Using WordPress alone
Mostly configuration and formulas All code (PHP & HTML5)
About 6 days About 20 days
Minimal code Over 5000 lines of custom code

The results are similar from a public submission form perspective. But from a back-office perspective, there is a much richer experience using the App built in Power Apps and a dashboard using Power BI.

Conclusion

From a time/duration perspective, such implementation will take longer to get to production.

From a cost perspective, if this is sold as fixed price, your rate will drop substantially when building the solution on WordPress alone. Opposite to this, if you close this deal as time and materials, the client cost is much higher. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, and your ate will be lower while the client cost will also be higher. Considering the ongoing licensing cost with Power Platform, the client will break even in about two years, and by that time additional work on new features will probably be required anyway.

From a support perspective, skillsets required are very different, but a low-code/no-code approach obviously is more desirable. With the Power Platform approach, power users could start to support and extend this solution during its life cycle, without the need for a developer.

From a risk perspective, using custom code with WordPress opens you up to other concerns around securing your application. Furthermore, you will need to host your WordPress deployment and maintain it. Certain hosting models do not allow for custom plugins to be installed. Also, updates to the solution in WordPress will require the original creator team to continue supporting and contributing to it.

Overall, using the Power Platform is a much more desirable solution, even when integrated with a WordPress portal instead of the Power Apps Portals.

To find out more details about the final solution for WordPress, see HERE.

Have you ever built a solution/tool on two different platforms for comparison? Leave your feedback below!

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