Portfolio Details

Model Driven Application Solution Details

I developed a custom application using Microsoft's Power Platform. The Power platform is a powerful, low-code, development environment that is feature-rich. I was able to quickly add all the functionality my customer needed.

Business Profile:

This 30-year-old business rents high-performance copiers to legal teams working trials all over the country. They manage over 200 rentals a year all over the US. Over the years, tracking all the moving parts has proved challenging. Legal trials can last from weeks to months. The business is fast moving. New trials are added to the schedule weekly.  They can be postponed or settled at a moment’s notice.

The company was using a combination or Excel spreadsheets and Word documents to track the rentals, inventory and scheduling details. When things got busy, it was a constant chore to update multiple documents and spreadsheets. In many cases, the same data was entered in multiple places.

The customer was already a Microsoft 365 customer. We were able to quickly purchase the licenses we needed to build a solution using Microsoft’s Power Platform.

Project History:

During our initial meeting, we discussed the requirements of this business. They wanted an application to track the maintenance history for their rental fleet of over eighty copiers located in several warehouses across the country.

The first iteration of the application was developed in under 30 days and turned over to the customer. They were ecstatic. They could finally capture critical maintenance information to improve the reliability of the rental fleet. It was easy for a technician to review work performed previously.

Weeks turned into months. We began adding a new feature to the application every month for many months. We met every couple of weeks to discuss progress. During these the meetings the client would ask, “Can we do x, y, and z?”  The flexibility and capabilities of Microsoft’s Power Platform made it easy to say “yes” to my customer.

Solution Summary:

The application solution was developed over a period of seven months. New features were requested monthly and delivered every few weeks. To build this solution for the customer, I leveraged the capabilities of Microsoft’s Power Platform. Power Platform is a collection of low-code tools that enable you to build useful applications quickly. I developed a model driven application with all data stored in the Microsoft Dataverse. The application is accessed via a web browser. The current version of the application has the following features:

  • A Rental Dashboard to capture all rental details including staffing, location, customer, install/pickup dates, equipment etc. The data entered in the Rental Dashboard drives multiple Power BI reports.
  • Equipment maintenance history including parts/supply usage.
  • Parts & Supplies inventory tracking for multiple locations.
  • Order tracking for parts & supplies.
  • Company vehicle and vehicle maintenance tracking for all locations.
  • Embedded links to customer’s SharePoint site and Teams application to provide access to technical information.
  • Application data-security is managed with Role Based Access Control (RBAC).

In addition to the application, a dozen Power BI reports were created to provide real-time information on business activities. All Power BI reports are configured to directly query the data each time they are opened. Using direct query ensures any changes in the Rental Dashboard are reflected in the report being viewed. Power BI reports used by all staff are embedded in the model driven application for easy access.  Management-only reports are contained in a web-based Power Application

Power BI Reports included:

  • Rental Timeline – A Gannt Chart showing all upcoming rentals, status and staffing information.
  • Rental Schedule – Detailed Rental information used for delivery trip tickets.
  • Rental Map – A US map with all rental activity displayed and color coded (Active, Pending, Confirmed). The “bubble” size on the map corresponds to rental length.
  • Equipment Status – Multiple reports that provide a visual indication of fleet status for rental.
  • Employee Performance – A report to document the activity of each employee used for performance evaluations.
  • Delivery/Pickup scheduling calendars.
  • Parts & Supplies usage reports by month, year and individual pieces of equipment.

The application has made a huge difference in the way the customer manages their business. The most critical part of their business is tracking the information related to their equipment rentals. As mentioned previously, the litigation support business is very dynamic and changes quickly. It’s not uncommon for the dates on a rental to shift because of trial delays.

In the past, a monthly schedule of work would be created in a Word document and shared with the staff. Within a day or two, something would change, and a new schedule would have to be created and distributed. Now, employees can manage all day-to-day operations using a single web-based application. All rental information is entered once in the application. If something changes, the rental information is updated in the rental dashboard. The rental information is always up to date. The detailed rental data flows into a number of Power BI reports (see below) that provide a real-time view of upcoming work and commitments.

Are you still using spreadsheets and documents to manage your business? Do you have raw data you would like to turn into information by creating detailed reports and visuals?  Have an idea for an application that would help your business be more productive? If you answered “yes” or “maybe” to one or more questions, let’s have that discussion.

Custom Power App application Maintenance Record view for business IT support

Application User Interface

This is the main view of application. Access to different application features are determined by the users role.

custom Microsoft Power App application main application user interface for business IT support

Maintenance Records View

Maintenance Records data view.

Custom Microsoft Power App application form - maintenance record form details for business IT support

Maintenance Record Form

Detailed view of Maintenance Record form.

Custom Power BI report showing a United States map with bubbles indicating active rentals across the US for business IT support

Power BI - Rental Map

Power BI report that displays all known rentals. The size of the "bubble" corresponds to the length of the rental. The longer the rental, the larger the bubble.

Custom Power BI report showing upcoming work as a Gantt chart for business IT support

Power BI - Rental Timeline

Gantt chart to display the status, duration, key dates and staffing plan for all known rentals.

Custom Power BI report pie chart showing the status of all equipment in the rental fleet for business IT support

Power BI - Equipment Status

Power BI report to display the current status of rental fleet.

Custom Microsoft Power BI report showing parts usage for the month for business IT support

Power BI - Parts Usage

Power BI report to display the monthly spend on parts and supplies. Filters enable you to select year and month for historical data.

Custom Power BI report showing employee performance metrics for business IT support

Power BI - Employee Performance

Power BI report that aggregates employee activity data form multiple tables. Report is used as a component of employee performance reviews.

custom Microsoft Power BI report showing parts usage by piece of equipment for business IT support

Power BI - Application

Web-based Power BI application that contains all reports including management only reports. Access is controlled via security groups.