Power Fx–what’s in a name

As you probably have heard by now, At Ignite 2021 Microsoft announced Power Fx as the coding language for the Power Platform.

Now, can you teach an old dog new tricks?

Not really necessary! This is not a new trick, in fact it’s only a naming of something that already existed. With increased adoption of the Power Platform, things that already existed as an “oh, there’s that” now are getting baptized. And here’s where Power Fx comes into play.

Not to be confused with the PowerFx audiophiles community. Let’s hope we don’t get into another naming fiasco like the last time.

So, what is Microsoft Power Fx?

Have you played with Canvas Apps already? I sure hope you did.

If you did, you found that there’s a formula-like set of definitions you need to learn to make things happen. And until recently, when asked the question “What programming language are you using to build apps?” we would just say something like:

a declarative excel-like formula language

Now, that’s named Power Fx, and here’s an overview of it on docs!

And here’s a list of functions available in both Excel and Power Fx:

Abs Hour RoundDown
Acos If RoundUp
Acot IfError Search
And isBlank Second
Asin IsError Sequence
Atan IsNumeric Sin
Atan2 Left Sort
Average Len Sqrt
Calendar Ln StdevP
Char Lower Substitute
Clock Max Sum
Concat Mid Switch
Concatenate Min Table
Count Minute Tan
Cos Mod Text
Cot Month Time
CountA Not TimeValue
CountIf Now Today
Date Or Trim
DateDiff Pi Upper
DateValue Power Value
Day Proper VarP
Degrees Radians Weekday
EncodeUrl Rand Year
Exp Replace  
Filter Right  
Find Round  

I expect that this language will eventually start to grow expoentially. Why?

Reasons to learn Power Fx

First and foremost, this language will become the de-facto language across all the Power Platform products. Yes, that means we will be able to use this formula language in Dataverse, AI Builder, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents, as well as eventually in Model Driven Apps. Sweet, sounds like “one ring to rule them all”. Oh, My Precious!

Also, Power FX is Open Source. Yes, you heard that right! It will be interesting to see how this will end-up forking in different directions.

From a learning curve perspective, this should be relatively easy to pick up. If you can pick up formulas in Excel you should be able to pick this one up easily.

And no, Power BI will not replace M or DAX. Those will still be the de-facto choice for building reports and dashboard.

So, there’s that! if you have not used it already, start looking into it before it’s too late. This is not just another garage experiment!

And here’s a good blog post introducing Microsoft Power Fx!

Use it, extend it, enjoy it, and if you have any questions, reach out!

Cheers!

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