Microsoft Low-Code Power Products Get GitHub Copilot ‘AI Pair Programmer’ Technology – Visual Studio Magazine


Ignite 2022: Microsoft Low-Code Power Products Get GitHub Copilot ‘AI Pair Programmer’ Technology

This week’s big Ignite 2022 tech conference was an opportunity for Microsoft to showcase more of its low-code development offerings, most centered on the Azure cloud and some augmented by artificial intelligence (AI).

AI was ubiquitous throughout the show, including the keynote (see “AI Takes Center Stage in Microsoft Ignite Keynote“).

It is used in many ways, especially for automation.

For example, AI is ubiquitous in the company’s Power platform, which houses low-code products like Power Apps and Power Pages. The platform also includes Power Automate, which automates organizational processes. It now uses the natural language processing capabilities of AI to speed up automation by allowing users to describe what they want to automate, after which the AI ​​will create the flow in seconds without research or guesswork, according to Microsoft. . It is based on the technology that powers GitHub co-pilotdescribed as an “AI pair programmer” that allows developers to enter natural language commands to perform many programming tasks, including building entire projects.

Now, Power Automate can work the same way, letting users “describe it and let the AI ​​build it,” as Microsoft puts it.

Power Automate Describe to Design (Preview)
[Click on image for larger view.] Power Automate Describe to Design (Preview) (source: Microsoft).

“Flow creation is the foundation of Power Automate, and now you can describe what you want to automate in one sentence, and an AI-powered co-driver will create your flow in seconds,” Microsoft said in a 12 october. Publish. “No research or guesswork, just describe it and let the co-pilot work its magic.

“This new way of building flows runs on OpenAI Codex, an AI model descended from GPT-3 that can translate natural language into code, in this case Power Automate cloud flows. It’s the same technology behind GitHub co-pilot and Power Apps ideas (preview). At launch, we support the main Microsoft 365 connectors and in the coming months we will expand to include more.”

AI also enables automation via conversation in another Power Platform product, Power Virtual Agents. “Earlier this year, we announced a new smart robot creation experience was coming soon for Power Virtual Agents,” Microsoft said. “Starting November 10, 2022, this new experience will automatically activate in preview for users. This new experience unifies the sophistication of low-code and pro-code capabilities, which is a fusion of Microsoft Azure Bot Framework Composer and Power Virtual Agents bot creation experience. Pro-code and low-code users can build together with multi-authoring and commenting capabilities, while taking advantage of the latest features, such as Power Fx and code views.”

Microsoft said the Power Automate co-driver also allows users to format data by examples. “Writing expressions to use data when automating workflows can be daunting,” the company said. “Power Automate now simplifies this process by leveraging AI to reshape data to create simpler expressions using examples.

“To access this functionality in the Power Automate cloud flow designer, users can select any action and use the new “format data by examples” option. Providing designers with examples of the desired output format at produce, Power Automate will automatically generate the expression formula to use.”

Other highlights of the Power Platform as detailed by Microsoft during Ignite 2022 include:

  • General availability of managed environments: Managed environments offer an out-of-the-box set of enhanced governance features that simplify, automate, and streamline Microsoft Power Platform IT administration at scale.
  • Automation of the ALM pipeline: Integrated application lifecycle management in Microsoft Power Platform to improve solution security and governance with less effort.
  • Co-authoring in Power Apps: Creators can work together in real time with co-authoring in the modern app designer to accelerate development through collaboration.
  • General availability of Power Pages: The latest Microsoft Power Platform product for building modern, secure and responsive enterprise websites is now generally available and includes usage meters and capacity-based subscriptions.
  • Interactive Power BI charts shared directly from OneDrive and SharePoint: Users can now share and interact with reports directly from OneDrive or SharePoint.
  • Sharing datasets between tenants: Sharing datasets between tenants allows users to share datasets with external organizations in an easy, fast, and secure way.
  • Advancements in AI Builder: Increase the accuracy of document processing and the number of supported document types.

Other low-code developments highlighted at Ignite 2022 include:

  • In Azure Machine Learning, a responsible AI dashboard will be available soon, helping users easily implement responsible AI by debugging machine learning models and making informed decisions based on data. “The Responsible AI Dashboard introduces an on-demand UI experience for generating PDF dashboards, allowing no-code/low-code customers to create reports for their models,” Microsoft said.
  • Microsoft has announced several updates and improvements for Bonsai project, “a first-of-its-kind, low-code, industrial AI development platform where engineers can build AI-powered automation without the need for extensive data science experience.” Companies use Project Bonsai to improve product quality and efficiency, Microsoft said.
  • For analysis in the Microsoft Intelligent Data PlatformMicrosoft said, “Informatica, Confluent, dbt Labs, Fivetran, Qlik, and Striim bring low-code/no-code data integration and transformation solutions for analytics to simplify the process of creating and operating complex, enterprise-grade pipelines to integrate data from a variety of sources and transform pipelines with a single-pane experience in Microsoft Purview.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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