Power App Studio with Emma Cooper

Power App Studio with Emma Cooper

Emma Cooper


  • An introduction about Emma Cooper and what she does as a Principal PM Manager 
  • Emma shares her journey on her career at Microsoft 
  • Emma talks about the area of technology within the Power Platform team that she is responsible for 
  • How did design get involved with Power Apps, and how did fusion teams become more involved in the whole app lifecycle creation? 
  • How co-authoring is going to be key to accelerating app development for app developers 
  • Emma discusses the app convergence specifically the two sides of the camp 
  • How does Emma see the convergence of these apps and the developer and maker experiences coming together? 
  • What’s going to be the core of the future of power apps? 
  • What Emma has to say on the roadmap for how that integration is going to work and will be added 

Power Community: https://www.powercommunity.com/introducing-the-modern-app-designer-preview/ 

AgileXRm - The integrated BPM for Microsoft Power Platform

Support the show

If you want to get in touch with me, you can message me here on Linkedin.

Thanks for listening 🚀 - Mark Smith


[mark]: today's guest is located in the USA originally from Canada she works at microsof as a principal program manager and find links to her bio and any other social media the show notes for this episode so check that out welcome to the show Emma

[emma_cooper]: thanks for having me

[mark]: good to have you on tell us a bit about food family and fun before we talk about technology

[emma_cooper]: sure sounds great so as you mentioned i'm originally from canada i grew up in i guess near by a small town eganville ontario uh it's about two hours north west of auto a so good up there in the middle of nowhere my parents still live there today and they're actually visiting with me this week which is nice

[mark]: so nice

[emma_cooper]: yeah i grew up on a lake so lots of swimming and fishing and outdoor stuff continue to do a lot of that for fun here in the seattle i live with my husband and my little dog named woody we have a lot of lot of good fun together so i guess in terms of food i do like to do a little bit of cooking and end baking i would probably say my favorite meal is salmon and potatoes and asparagus done really well and maybe with a nice nice wine as well that that probably be my my favorite meal of choice we gotten into making quite a bit of home made ice cream recently

[mark]: wow okay

[emma_cooper]: uh kind of like an interesting pandemic hobby we picked up i guess very tasty

[mark]: i like it i like it you know salmon it's interesting to say you know it's one of your favorite dishes is that my experience of salmon definitely centers around seattle you know from whether it is down in the market i've been out on the on the sounds and to one of the islands out there and had you know salmon there as well and since coming home in this and i probably did this maybe i know four years ago now at least every two months i make a samon dish as well because it was such an amazing experience and i try to you know pepricure and human and stuff like that and get the seasoning right and it's just such a nice dish

[emma_cooper]: so delicious actually what we do is a nice maple and barbecue glaze like bringing that maple syrup from canadian background i guess

[mark]: yeah yeah so good so good so tell us about your journey into microsoft how did you end up working for them what have you always been in the particular product team here at the moment what's it been for you

[emma_cooper]: yeah absolutely so i went to school at the university of waterloo in canada and that is notable because the program that i did there systems design engineering we actually do a bunch of different intern ships in addition to school so it's kind of you go four months of school than four months of work than four months of school all the way out through five years by the end of it you've got two years of work experience and you're done your school and so one of my intern ships was actually on power apse at microsoft before power apse was and you know out in the world and i guess the reason why why i came back to it is one i loved the mission of the pro i really really spoke to me um and it was just a great opportunity to see all the rest of the people around me so smart and doing things that i wanted to do and so coming back and and also getting to be in seattle which has a lot of the outdoors things that i enjoy just kind of checked all the boxes for me and so i came back on poweraps and have been on power apse basically that entire time

[mark]: wow wow so how many years is it oh

[emma_cooper]: uh so i guess it would be just over five years full time but just over six if you also count when i was there before

[mark]: yeah yeah i saw some photos coming out of the power platform conference showing i think charles leman had a time line up of the journey of the power platform and what happening and it's interesting because for me you know i started in two thousand and three with dynamics and the power platform is really just the iteration i feel of what we've had for years so it's exciting times but tell us about the area of technology within the power platform team that you are responsible for

[emma_cooper]: he ah so i spend most of my time thinking about makers and how people create things for power so the actual creation experience in the studio so basically my mice self and my team whenever you hit that plus new a button or edit a button and the experience you get in that studio and what you see and how you add things and how you save and in all that comes together are things that i work a lot on and think a lot of both at work and outside of work

[mark]: yeah so so it is the actual full maker experience right where where everybody sits and builds anything

[emma_cooper]: that's right

[mark]: so what's what's been happening recently with you know what are the kind of key highlights that you've landed this year around that maker experience the things that have probably been asked for for a while they in the community i know things around how do designers get involved with with with poweraps and how to you know fusion teams you know more and more been involved in the whole a life cycle creation how's that influence this last twelve months

[emma_cooper]: so it's been i mean time on power ops is never boring it's been such an exciting ride and i think it's it's only getting better a lot of the things that have come out in the last year like express design which is where you can take a pigmafile and convert it to an app or take an image or pdf and upload that and we use computer vision from actually a computer vision from microsoft and convert that into an app as well just helps people get farther get started faster and farther than starting from scrap ach and it's it's actually been really interesting for myself to use you know if you want to do a quick demo and mock something up really nice and figma and convert that to an app it's super quick even talking to folks who have tried out the image to app you know that can be useful for a variety different use cases like there's so many folks out there who have existing for orms that are no paper or already in some sort of technology that they want to make a power ap out of being able to start from that because it's kind of like you're trying to replace that or build on top of that or extend that super powerful and so that's definitely a super great thing that's gone out that we're continuing to invest in to make better over the coming as well

[mark]: you often see that you know subject better experts or business stake holders they've kind of got an idea of what they would like and they can sketch that up on a napkin even right a piece of paper this is kind of what i'm looking for take a photo and upload that and somebody else could take it on and then start building up that that's just an amazing step forward

[emma_cooper]: absolutely and it's actually like it is almost like magic one of the folks on the team they were doing a meeting with customer and the customers like no way this this can't work this is not real and they wanted to try it themselves so they actual like got up on the white board and sketched out their own thing and took a photo and did it and it worked and it was just very magical i think

[mark]: yeah yeah amazing charles announced yesterday because we're recording this well power platform conference s on more around collaboration or co author tell us a bit about that

[emma_cooper]: that has been something that we have been working on will likely continue to work on for a while collaboration is going to be key to accelerating ap development for everybody who's reating apps uh like gone are the days of times when when folks are solely working by themselves not not really connecting with anyone like you can still go and build that way and work for you that way but where we see a lot of use of power as and where we see a lot of apps being really successful is when people are able to work together closely on the same apple you know whether they have different skills or or different kind of experts in terms of business knowledge or technical knowledge allowing all of those people to work together better is just going to lead to faster at development better outcomes for them and higher quality apse for the folks who are playing and using them um and a lot of our investment in the past while have been in one coauthoring the nouncement was so allowing multiple different people to open the apt for edit at the same time and make changes and have those automatically merged in just like you would in the ficeafs it's incredibly exciting because when you think about traditional development where you have you know you check in code and you need it to compile and then you make sure everything works and you have do a pull quest and it gets reviewed and there's a lot of good goodness from from that and like that is still a good way to work for a lot of complex projects and that will continue to be

[mark]: yeah

[emma_cooper]: an option for folks working on the platform but when you think about how much faster you can go when it's what you see is what you get it automatically compiles live in front of you and you've gone in short and you have multiple people making those changes and seeing each other's changes as they're working um that's just truly incredible s going to change the way that people built where

[mark]: yeah yeah tell us about convergence and an appconvergence specifically with you know the two sides of the camp so the two camps if you're like the model driven of course the canvas ap and one of the experiences that i'm noticing is that you know i go into a new customer and they've been building apse for a bit and generally when they've been building as for its commendator services sorry dataversis not plugged in behind it right is that they're using another data source and there and so i see as been built if you're like from a inter face down layer inter face to data where you know my background was very much a data to presentation layer and so this this concept of convergence is very interesting because you know is it going to provide more ructure on the canvas side or is it going to die less structure on the model riverside how do you see those the convergence of these epps or these epiexperience develop maker experiences coming together

[emma_cooper]: so i i originated from the canvas side and over the course of my journey i've fallen in love with model driven apse like and i've found you know they both have there there strength and i think that they actually compliment each other quite well like i think convergence is not about making them all like one or all like the other right because we don't want to remove or raise any of the flexibility and customizability of canvas however dragging and dropping everything button and writing every single line of code and connecting and like meticulously managing how every set of data is managing there is super tedious in air prone right so like there's a lot of benefits but there's some things that folks struggle with and then on the model driven side it's based off the data and that allows you to to do things that are really quite powerful with you know us being able to provide things right out of the box like a lot of the collaborative as capabilities being able to see other people on the same form as you automatically is a pretty wow moment and getting all the relevant search pieces out of the box and everything that's based on the data and the data odal um is fantastic on the downside that means there's not a lot of customization or flexibility of those experiences right and so really when when i think of con urgence it's about being like taking the strength of both and putting them together and so it doesn't mean that all these things like they're going away right doesn't mean that oh no like i'm no longer going to be able to drag and drop controls and canvas apse or no model when apes are going away that's not the goal the goal is to bring together the strength and so the way that we in vision this happening is through becoming much more modularized right uh today kind of like it's you know your first decision is okay what type of apt do i want instead we want to see it move to a page level decision right so it's like you know i can add unless canvas pages and maybe that's all i ever want to do and good on you like that's great but if i ever want some of that i guess you know automatic views and forms and dashboard and a lot of the goodness that comes from model german i can add a page of that in vice versa if i only ever want to build with my view s and forms and dashboards and and the experiences that i like today for model driven i can do that but if i ever wanted a custom home page or anything that i could then leverage the canvas stack to add that in

[mark]: totally makes sense one of the other announcements we have had is around cards and power wraps his that all been done from within the studio

[emma_cooper]: uh so we work very closely with with the cards team but those are other other folks on the team i mean that's going to be super exciting to have that take off and being able to have those experiences native in teams and outlook like it's just such a perfect match for the collaborative i guess needs that we're seeing folks and and so i'm really excited that we're able to bring that capability with power apse

[mark]: where we are on our journey around responsive canvas abs and responsiveness and design

[emma_cooper]: ah so that is super top of mind for us we have a lot of lot of great minds and fingers at work working on those things responsiveness is really really interesting it's going to be core for building as that look nice on any form factor the challenges is that if you put in requirement so restrictions for where and how people can place things in only certain places that will work you lose some of that customizeability flexibility and so there's a certain balance that has to be struck between we want to let folks be able to create what their their vision is and the product but we also want to help guide them to be able to do that omatically in a way that will span across form factors and so that's been a lot of the discussion that's gone on is how do we provide this this capability automatically by de out of the box is our goal but still allow people that flexibility to create what they want and so over the next year you'll hopefully be seeing lots of slow and steady improvements coming out for for that

[mark]: so so when you say out of the box if i was building an ap would it be like i know it's going to be used on an android and is device maybe tough like phone device i know it's going to be used it's not going to be used let's say on a tablet device and it's going to be used on the desk top those going to be kind of like selections that i couldn't go i wanted on this this and this and then it's going to make sure that it'll compile correctly or you re size based on the i assume some type of chair on the device that it's sitting on

[emma_cooper]: yeah so the way that it would work is that based on the size where the app is is running the contents of the page would re size accordingly to fill that based on the layouts and such that have been selected and built with so if you wanted to build something for mobile and only ever mobile like you would see it in that mobile form factor in the studio and work on it and build on it and it would work the way that you saw and then if you resized it to be on the web you would see those contents also be able to re flow and re size to fill that space

[mark]: yeah changing topics you mentioned before ima and and you know earlier this year we saw the announcement regarding figma you've been able to you know integrate with fig and of course this opens up the whole graphic design side of things to work with with power as got people on my team doing that exact thing at the moment and then you know i was surprised that it was figmaroni and not adobxd and then of course in the last three weeks we've heard that adobe has acquired fig and what does that impact any of your thinking going forward and because i say this because you know i've worked with adobe for years and right back the best web design applications that used to be in the market quite acquired by adobe and then wrap them into their other products and pretty much they desire in despair so are we going to see and of course you don't know this but you know the potential is is that figmais going to be deepprritized over the i p out of i being pushed into a dove and then that what's how is that affecting your thinking as a team

[emma_cooper]: so i think there will always be a place for designers being able to or anyone else for that matter being able to take the designs and things that they dream of and sketch out and turn that into an ap how that happens and with what particular products like that might change over time like right now we have like we're ok with the figma integration it's great it's working well will continue to support that and you know if things come up we may consider adding additional support for other products as needed

[mark]: what about the hat i'll be keen to understand what feedback have you had since figment has become available because it's kind of for years i feel it's been a whole area that the ap creation xperienthas been the domain developers our microsoftland and not really a lot around the graphic design and now we're seeing this all come together since it's launched what kind of feedback or hearing from the market o eric citement around it is the kind of who this makes it so much more engaged as to create a fusion team you are really giving the tools to the various stakeholders in that scenario what's been the feedback in market

[emma_cooper]: uh the feedback in market has been pretty great so far like i think it has gotten to an opportune like it's been perceived as a great opportunity for folks to work together better because then it's less of an entirely you know different hand off open to interpretation along the way and it's more everyone's able to work together of the same tool set essential ly like the feedback on specifically the figma tool kit to convert it is that we want more controls and more options and we hear that same feedback for the product as well so it's more of a feedback for the product than specifically for figma but in general it's been good being able to bring those audiences together and and help them work together more efficiently

[mark]: is there a road map for how that integration is going to work and will more be added or have we just have have we gone as far as we're going at this point

[emma_cooper]: so right now it's in review we are working towards general availability and improving the conversion and everything and the other options that are available inside of the tool kit for the eight date soon we will likely continue to invest and figure out how we make the round trip between figma and the better for example looking

[mark]: nice

[emma_cooper]: at you know doing instead of just an entire app at the beginning what if you could take a sigma screen and convert that to an individual screen or page inside of an ap and be able to you know instead of having the whole app need to be built out at the beginning to convert just do it piecemeal as you need and it would be much easier for folks to be able to take that and built build it out as they need if the designer or whoever was involved in the process along the way

[mark]: yeah that totally makes sense even what you're talking about convergence convergence before is that the you know if it's more modula i can just design the piece the feature that's needed here in context of that that's that's awesome i'm loving where everything is going before i let you go is there anything else that's top of mine for you

[emma_cooper]: i think in general i just the community and the makers i get to work with are fantastic there's a lot of you know exciting things that i'm grateful to get to work on to be able to provide for the community another type of mind one is you know export to p d f and working with files which is also some improvements coming there soon as well

[mark]: nice

[emma_cooper]: so that among

[mark]: yet

[emma_cooper]: other things i mean it's just been great to have the active voice of the community helping give input on on the directions we're going in and the things that we're investing in so looking forward to more of that

[mark]: i like it i like it emma thank you so much for coming on the show

[emma_cooper]: thank you

Emma CooperProfile Photo

Emma Cooper

Emma Cooper is currently working as a Principal PM Manager at Microsoft.