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Microsoft Unveils Low-Code Programming Language Power Fx

Microsoft Unveils Low-Code Programming Language Power Fx

  • Microsoft Power Fx is a strong-typed, general-purpose, declarative as well as functional programming language.

“Power Fx is our commitment to reach developers with the Microsoft Power Platform”-

Charles Lamanna

At the recent Microsoft Ignite event, Charles Lamanna, Corporate Vice President, Low Code Application Platform- Microsoft announced a new low-code programming language, Power Fx. The announcement was made during the session “What’s new and what’s next for the Microsoft Power Platform​”.

Behind Power Fx

Microsoft Power Fx is an open-source language for low-code programming. It is a strong-typed, general-purpose, declarative as well as functional programming language. Power Fx can directly edit apps in text editors like Visual Studio Code or an Excel-like formula bar.   

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According to Ryan Cunningham, Director PM, Power Apps, Power Fx is built on a similar syntax that millions of developers are already using to solve logic and computations problems. 

The language’s many features, including the ability to edit apps directly in the text editors, such as Visual Studio Code, help developers and professionals go faster and find common ground with the millions of makers, Cunningham said.

Some of the intuitive features of this low-code language are-

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  • It is open-source: The tech giant has made the language available on GitHub. 
  • The language is based on Microsoft Excel: Using Microsoft Excel formulas, Power Fx allows a broad range of people to bring skills they already know to low code solutions. 
  • Power Fx is built for low-code programming: The developers at Microsoft will soon extend the use of this language across Power Platform to Microsoft Dataverse, Microsoft Power Virtual Agents, Microsoft Power Automate and beyond.
  • Local and remote: The low-code language utilises the same syntax and functions for data, which is local in-memory and remote in a database.
  • Strongly typed: Power Fx is strongly typed, meaning the types of all the values are already known at compile time. This helps in detecting the errors at an early stage.

How It Works

Microsoft Power Fx is a low-code programming language based on spreadsheet-like formulas. Power Fx binds objects together with declarative spreadsheet-like formulas. The language is currently integrated into Power Apps canvas apps.

In this language, an expression by itself means nothing about what it is calculating, but it is up to the developers, whether they want to place it in a variable or pass it to a function. Furthermore, instead of only writing an expression with no specific meaning, one can write a formula that binds the expression to an identifier. 

Benefits of Power Fx

The language enables the full spectrum of development from “no-code” for those who have never programmed before to “pro-code” for the professionals. There is no need for learning or rewriting cliffs in between, thus enabling diverse teams to collaborate and save time and expense.

Another benefit of Power Fx is that it works like a worksheet and is always live. An incremental compiler is used to keep the program in sync with its operating data continuously. The incremental compiler also provides a rich formula editing experience with IntelliSense, suggestions, autocomplete, and type checking.

Wrapping Up

In June, Microsoft will expand the Power Fx’s features and add supports for formula-based model-driven app customisations and formula-based Dataverse plugins. By the end of this year, more supports will be available, such as Dataverse calculated columns, AI Builder data prep and Power Virtual Agents.

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