It has been a while since I have felt the will to write something down. In the meantime I have found some time to play a bit with the Power Platform, so I want to show you how to get started with a developer account so that you can take advantage of the platform as well. Everyone can join in building business apps!
If you are unfamiliar with Microsoft's Power Platform, you can view it as an introductory software development tool for budding software developers. It allows you to quickly build applications to get your digital side of your business rolling. You will still fall into the same pitfalls that beginners of any other software language fall into, but the barrier for entry is much lower. Everything runs on the cloud over a subscription, so you don't need to learn how to install development tools or database servers (if you don't want to).
To start learning about building business applications, you can create a developer account right now for free. The journey starts from https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/dev-program. Once there, click on the Join Now button and you will be asked to log in or to create a new account.
In the new account window, you can use an existing email address or even create a new @outlook.com address. Once signed in, you will be greeted by the Microsoft Developer welcome screen.
We now need to proceed to the Microsoft 365 Developer Program registration. Click the Microsoft 365 tile and on the next page click on 'Learn More' and then 'Join Now'.
If you have created a new account and have not set up your personal details yet, you will get a warning and then redirected to another page to fill them in.
Just enter your first and last name as shown in the example below and you are good to go. Note that it may take some time before your details are successfully picked up by the registration page.
Proceed through the next steps by entering your company information, the reason you are joining, and the platforms you will be working with. These are used to keep you updated with product and learning suggestions for your areas of interest.
You are now officially a developer, and this entitles you to a free E5 subscription. With this you will be able to use the suite of Microsoft applications, which you can combine with your processes inside the Power Platform.
You only need to choose an account name and a tenant name. This will generate an account in the form of firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use your name as the account name and the company name as the tenant. Finally, don't forget to choose a strong password.
In less than a minute, the subscription will be activated for 92 days. You can then perpetually keep renewing the free subscription for a further 92 days after the original 92 days have passed.
The final step we need to complete before we can start building apps is to set up a Power Apps Community Plan. To do this head to https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/communityplan/ and then click the Get Started Free button.
Use the same account that you created for the E5 subscription in the previous step and we will be all set. We now have developer accounts for building apps and processes on the Power Platform. And it can also interact with the suite of Microsoft 365 apps.