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In 2021, each month we will be releasing a monthly blog covering the webinar of the month for the Low-code application development (LCAD) on Azure solution.
LCAD on Azure demonstrates the robust development capabilities of integrating low-code Microsoft Power Apps and the Azure products you may be familiar with.
This month’s webinar is the ‘Independent Publisher Connector Program’
In this blog I will briefly recap Low-code application development on Azure, provide program context, program benefits, explain how to get started, and will link to Natalie Pienkowska’s webinar, the GitHub repo, and additional learning resources.
What is Low-code application development on Azure?
Low-code application development (LCAD) on Azure was created to help developers build business applications faster with less code, leveraging the Power Platform, and more specifically Power Apps, yet helping them scale and extend their Power Apps with Azure services.
For example, a pro developer who works for a manufacturing company would need to build a line-of-business (LOB) application to help warehouse employees track incoming inventory.
That application would take months to build, test, and deploy, however with Power Apps’ it can take hours to build, saving time and resources.
However, say the warehouse employees want the application to place procurement orders for additional inventory automatically when current inventory hits a determined low.
In the past that would require another heavy lift by the development team to rework their previous application iteration.
Due to the integration of Power Apps and Azure a professional developer can build an API in Visual Studio (VS) Code, publish it to their Azure portal, and export the API to Power Apps integrating it into their application as a custom connector.
Afterwards, that same API is re-usable indefinitely in the Power Apps’ studio, for future use with other applications, saving the company and developers more time and resources.
Through the Independent Publisher connector program, anyone can now publish a connector to Microsoft Power Platform!
Prior to this program, Power Platform only accepted submissions from owners of the underlying service behind their connector.
Over the years feedback from MVPs and developers noted this limitation and it has been addressed via this program.
Here are just some of the few of the benefits of this exciting program:
Gain visibility across Power Platform products and documentation. As an Independent Publisher, your name and brand will gain visibility directly from the Power Platform products, documentation, and marketing content.
Including demos, videos, blogs, and social media posts.
Maintainer rights on your connector. Your connector will be supported by you and the entire community of Independent Publishers.
Share and collaborate on building custom connectors. Use GitHub to collaborate on making a connector.
Receive the official stamp that your connector has been validated and certified. The Microsoft Certification team will run swagger validations, manual endpoint validations, and security validations.
Open-source contribution. If you’re a Microsoft MVP, your contributions will also count as an open-source project contribution! Soon, Microsoft will provide a method to view usage metrics and reviews for your connector.
Going through the Independent Publisher program is easy!
Once you build and test all operations in your custom connector, export the files and make all the necessary edits mentioned in the documentation here.
After that, all you have to do is create a PR here in the GitHub repository. As part of your submission, be sure to include the necessary screenshots to prove that you’ve tested the connector.
The Microsoft Connector Certification Team will then run automated validations, provide comments to help you improve the quality of your files, and then deploy your connector to Power Platform.
Once your connector is deployed, you can update it anytime in GitHub! Your update will undergo the same validations in addition to a breaking change validation to ensure that your change will not break existing flows, apps, or logic apps.
This program was founded with the help of extraordinary project coordinators who graciously volunteered their time: Ahmad Najjar, April Dunnam, Daniel Laskewitz, Fausto Capellan, Jr., Paul Culmsee, and Rebekka Aalbers.
Make sure to check out Natalie’s webinar covering the topic in full on the POWERful Devs Show on Channel 9!
Additionally, register for the POWERful Devs Conference on September 14th from 8am – 11:30am PST.
Channel 9: POWERful Devs Webinars
Low Code Application Development on Azure
LCAD on Azure