ToolsPublished November 10, 2023

The Power Apps Alternative you Need to Expand your App-Building Capabilities

Add Glide to your no code app toolbox so more of your team can participate in building software

Wren Noble

Wren Noble

Head of Content

The Power Apps Alternative you Need to Expand your App-Building Capabilities

When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. However, not every problem is a nail, and not every person can comfortably use a hammer without smashing their thumb at least a few times. Whether in carpentry or business, it’s always better to have a broader range of tools so you can solve your problems with more precision and less pain.

No code and low code tools are often talked about in one breath, but app-building platforms are very different in their approach to app development, the types of software they build, and the level of skill you need to use them successfully.

Not every platform is going to be ideal for building every type of app. If your business wants to optimize your use of software, you should choose the right combination of tools to build that software.  

Microsoft Power Apps can have important applications, especially if you’re building enterprise-level tools within the Microsoft ecosystem, but you don’t always need such a robust and complex tool. In fact, in many cases, its complexity will be a hindrance.

Adopting Glide will significantly broaden the opportunities available to you in terms of what you can build, how you can build it, and, importantly, who can build those apps. The individual strengths of Power Apps and Glide can complement each other well. Here’s how.

Power Apps excels at building large-scale apps within your Microsoft ecosystem

Power Apps is best suited for building larger, more complex enterprise tools that will be used broadly by your organization and need to be interconnected with the rest of your Microsoft ecosystem. If you need a thorough company-wide database that works with all your team’s existing Microsoft tools, you’ll want to build it with Power Apps.

Building an app with Power Apps is significantly easier than coding it entirely from scratch. However, you still need some solid technical skills and some programming knowledge to use it. You can build critical tools for your business with Power Apps, but you’ll always need a team of developers to get you there. 

Power Apps has a steep learning curve. Even for experienced users, it takes quite a bit of time and effort to build an app with the platform. You’ll need to write some code to build and maintain your app on Power Apps, making it slower to iterate and make improvements. 

The Power Platform system focuses on building high-powered apps that function more like a database. User-friendliness and visual appeal are secondary, as is mobile adaptability. If you want to build an app that works seamlessly on mobile, Power Apps isn’t going to be the ideal tool for you.

With Glide, more of your team can build more kinds of apps

Glide’s focus is on creating a user-friendly interface for your business data that is adaptable across all devices. It helps you to build powerful apps faster with fewer resources. It’s a truly no code platform, so it can be used by anyone, regardless of their level of programming skill. 

It may never replace your businesswide Microsoft apps, but that isn’t the only type of software your team can benefit from building. With Glide, your team can spin up custom software solutions for a huge variety of applications that simply wouldn’t be practical to build in Power Apps.

Let more people build the software they need

One of the most powerful things an app-building platform with an easier learning curve can do is democratize the process of building software. If design wants to improve communication with an asset request and approval app, they can build it. If HR needs help hiring, they can build an applicant tracking system

If accounting is constantly frustrated by receiving receipts in different formats, they can create an expense-tracking app so everyone can photograph receipts right into the app. They can even use AI to scan those receipts, extract their content, and categorize them immediately. They can build these powerful workflows for themselves with the help of Glide.

Everyone on your team can benefit from software somewhere in their workflows. The more gatekeepers between them and the tools they need, the less likely they are to get them. What Glide can do is empower them to build their own solutions to the problems they’re facing at work, regardless of their level of technical ability. 

Reduce backlogs and relieve your most critical teams

As you make app building easier, its benefits cascade through multiple teams at a business. If engineers don’t have to build every app the company uses, they can dedicate more engineering time to truly business-critical projects. 

When teams need a software solution, they can ask their IT team to build it for them. With Glide, IT can create sophisticated tools quickly and easily since they’re already skilled with technical systems. Being able to build faster will help them power through their internal tool request backlog.

People throughout the company can create some of their own custom tools instead of having to lean on IT for every request. They can move faster since they won’t have to sit around and wait for IT to build their app for them. Everyone can be more self-sufficient, and work moves faster at every level.

Build apps for discrete or one-off use cases

When it’s easier to spin up an app, you can build more tools to meet more of your needs. If it doesn’t require a huge time investment to create apps, you can build them for one specific project or a single event, like this schedule tracker made for the French Chess Federation. If there’s a pain point in a particular workflow, your team can quickly build a tool to address it. 

It’s going to be a lot harder to justify allotting developer time in Power Apps to these more limited use cases, but the positive impact on productivity can really add up when teams create software for them with Glide. 

Plus, unlike most other platforms, you can build an unlimited number of apps in Glide without paying extra. You can comfortably build whatever you need without worrying about adding cost. Glide is another tool in your arsenal that allows you to create solutions on the fly, as you need them.

Share your apps outside your organization

Licensing for external users on Power Apps is expensive. If you want to create a customer portal or an app to collaborate with contractors, it will cost you.

With Glide, you can make publicly accessible apps that can either require users to sign on or not. With all Glide plans, you get a smaller number of private users, a larger number of public users, and unlimited visitors who can use your app without a profile. You’re also not limited by app - a user can access as many of your apps as they need to, and they still only count as one user.

Make attractive and functional mobile apps

Glide apps will automatically give you a modern design and a user-friendly interface. They’re also all mobile adaptive by default. When you build an app in Glide, your team can comfortably use that app on their smartphone, tablet, or computer. This accessibility means that they can use these apps wherever they are getting work done and address a wider variety of use cases.

Put the power of software creation into the hands of your whole team

The purpose of business software is to provide solutions for your teams' challenges at work. No one knows these problems better than the people on those teams. By putting Glide into their hands, your team is empowered to build their own solutions, tailor-fit to their workflows and needs.

Start building a Glide app today to see for yourself

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Wren Noble

Wren Noble

Leading Glide’s content, including The Column and Video Content, Wren’s expertise lies in no code technology, business tools, and software marketing. She is a writer, artist, and documentary photographer based in NYC.

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