Microsoft Build 2022

Microsoft Build 2022 Roundup

John PhillipsProduct Updates

As Microsoft Build comes to an end for another year, we look at the more noteworthy announcements and how they could benefit your organisation.

Microsoft Build is an annual event, first held in 2011, presented by peers and experts worldwide, aimed at those working with Microsoft technologies, including the Power Platform, Azure and Windows. It is often used to announce upcoming products and new features for existing products. Rather than cover every item in detail, we summarise the changes that could have the most impact for your business.

Power Apps Express Design

Traditionally, building a canvas app involved either customising a pre-built template or starting from scratch. Now there is a new option: Express Design. Currently in preview, Express Design allows you to take a screen design from a range of sources and with the power of AI, turn it into a Canvas App screen. The source options are:

  • Hand-drawn sketches. Simply take a photo of your design, whether it be on a piece of paper or whiteboard, and import the image into Power Apps
  • PDFs and paper forms
  • Figma design files

Once your design has been imported into Power Apps, you can then connect the new app to your data sources and customise the app to ensure that any data capture is performed using the most appropriate controls, including date pickers, dropdowns etc.

Although only released in preview for the moment, the functionality is ready to try out in your existing environments. Simply visit the Power Apps Maker Portal and you will see two new options available:

Power Apps Express Design

Read more about Express Design here.

Microsoft Power Pages

Power Pages

A new product in the Power Platform family, Power Pages provides the ability to quickly and easily deploy customer-facing websites. Power Pages is for business users, IT professionals, and developers, with a special focus on government and education sectors.

Power Pages is an evolution of Power Apps portals and is built on the existing Power Apps portals platform. It takes this platform and adds new no-code/low-code capabilities and experiences to enable the creation of business-centric, data-powered, modern, and secure websites. For customers already using Power Apps portals, there is no need to upgrade or migrate their existing portals.

For more details on Power Pages, click here.

AI Builder enhancements

A number of AI Builder improvements were announced at Microsoft Build 2022:

  • Unstructured Document Processing. AI Builder already had the ability to extract and process content from structured and semi-structured documents such as forms, questionnaires and purchase orders, but it can now be trained to process unstructured documents such as contracts and letters.
  • Improved statistics for Structured Documents. Provides a global accuracy score for the model, plus guidance on how to improve its accuracy.
  • Text Recognition improvements. AI Builder can now recognise text in 164 languages, including 9 handwritten languages.

Read the full announcement here.

Power Virtual Agents enhancements

A number of improvements to Microsoft’s Power Virtual Agents were also announced, including:

  • Unified Bot editor. Currently in preview, a new editor has been introduced that combines Azure Bot Framework Composer and Power Virtual Agents This means that there are now no-code and pro-code options all within the same editing experience, making it easy for bot builders of all skill levels to create and deploy chat bots.
  • Advanced authoring. Bot builders can now easily use images and videos in bot responses, plus structured card responses provide a neatly laid-out set of data, providing extra clarity. For regular users of a chat bot, dynamic responses can now be used, where variations of a response are selected at random, to provide a fresh, natural chat experience.

Read the full annoucnement here.


It is always exciting to see the new developments that are announced at the various Microsoft events, and Build is no exception. We look forward to these new products and features being used to further extend the Power Platform’s already wide-ranging set of functionality and will cover further developments in due course as the functionality matures and evolves.

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