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Ok, the title probably has something to do with Steve Mordue’s post I just read: https://stevemordue.com/the-changing-role-of-the-microsoft-business-applications-partner/
Thing is, I do believe pure developers are quickly becoming irrelevant in the Power Platform world. I am probably lucky to have on-premise clients since it’s a different world alltogether, but it’s not going to last forever either. Where you see “partner” in the post above, you can safely replace that with “developer”, and it all will still make sense.
There are, also, folks working on the third-party tools, XrmToolBox included, but that’s a different type of work – it’s not so much about Dynamics implementation as it is about supporting those implementations. As much as I appreciate all the work they put into those tools, I just can’t shake off the feeling there is going to come a moment when all those tools will be replaced with some out of the box features. Mind you, it has not happened yet, and it’s not going to happen tomorrow.
On the other hand, what I have been thinking about lately is that Power Platform has a lot of power (no pun intended) hidden in it. It may be still somewhat hidden for now, somewhat undiscovered yet, but it’s certainly there waiting for its time. If it all keeps shaping the way it has been shaping in the last few years.. it may become a requirement, or, at least, a huge asset on the resume, for the sales/marketing/service people to have some familiarity with the Power Platform tools.
There is CDS, there is Flow, there are Power Apps, there is Power BI, of course there is still Dynamics.. But it’s all becoming more and more integrated, and, yet, each of those tools individually is becoming more and more powerful. Maybe it’s not there yet, maybe it’s still going to take a year (or a few years), but the obvious implication of this process is that Power Platform consulting is not going to be the same what it used to be with Dynamics 3-4-2011-2016.
Our clients will start building apps on their own. All those plugin customizations we got used to will really be considered low-level and highly undesirable (since those will still require specialized skillset). But it’s not just that. In the development world, we are all used to the application life cycle management, various forms of testing, etc etc. This assumes a relatively long application development cycle, even when using an agile methodology. I have very little hope that any of that will actually stick around once our business clients realize they have the power of Power Platform at their disposal. There will be individual Flows and individual apps, most of them won’t be tested on the organization level, most of them won’t have any development project plan. Not that it’s a bad thing – it’s just a different thing. And, maybe, that’s the reason why we’ve never got a good application lifecycle management methodology for Dynamics.. maybe it was not in the plans.
All that said, if you look at it from the business standpoint, and I will probably get back to it later, these are all good changes. As usual, there are going to be challenges, a lot of them are going to be new to all of us, but the fact that a lot of really powerfull tools which we used to custom-build, all of them integrated with each other, are going to be available to the end users out-of-the-box is worth thinking about.
So, who knows, maybe the new role of the Power Platform consultants will be to help clients navigate in this new world, to educate them on the hidden treasures and dangers, to guide them sometimes, and, in the rare situations, to do the heavy lifting of low-level development.