Microsoft 365 Community Day Miami Round Up

We were proud to sponsor the inaugural Microsoft 365 Community Day in Miami earlier this month. Part of the Microsoft Global Community Initiative, we joined more than 200 Microsoft 365 experts and enthusiasts sharing know-how and best practice.

Run by our friend and MVP Emily Mancini, the hot topic was Copilot and what’s next in Microsoft 365 with Artificial Intelligence and the Power Platform.

As ever, the event gave us a chance to catch up with old friends and to make new ones too. It was a pleasure to meet Principal PM Manager, Dynamics 365 & Power Platform Community at Microsoft Heather Cook as well as MVP Haniel Croitoru.

With over 40 international speakers, five tracks and two all-day workshops, there were a lot of sessions to choose from. We even ran our own breakout on how to decide which Microsoft 365 productivity tools to use and when.

Here we’ve shared the highlights from some of the sessions we attended.

Cloudwell's very own CTO Chris Alechko presenting our breakout session 'Microsoft 365 Lists, Calendars, or Plans, Oh My! What to Use When (time is of the essence)​'

Low Code Development Made Easier with Copilot

Led by April Dunnam, Principal Power Platform Advocacy Team Lead at Microsoft, she gave some insider hacks on how to build low code solutions in Power Platform faster using Copilot.

April gave a rundown of all the new generative AI capabilities offered in the Power Platform and how to leverage these features to make apps even more seamless for end users.

Key takeaways

Power Apps – Use natural language to describe your app requirements to Copilot. Type prompts, questions, or instructions and Copilot will generate the relevant code snippets or suggestions. As an AI companion, Copilot will guide you through the entire app creation process – from defining the data structure (using Microsoft Dataverse tables) to designing the app’s user interface, accelerating app development significantly!

Power Automate – Simplify the creation of flows using natural language prompts in Copilot. Describe your desired automation scenario using natural language. Copilot will provide flow suggestions based on your input. The clever thing is, Copilot understands your intent and automatically sets up connections and parameters. You can refine your flow by adding, removing, or adjusting properties of actions.

Copilot Studio (Power Virtual Agents) – Build conversational AI bots with data sourced from an external site and serve it up onto the same site using Copilot. For example, you can build an event bot that includes dialogs for event planning, attendee details, and event type selection. You can serve this bot on-site to assist attendees during the event, for collect data, and to provide relevant information to them.

Want some UI inspiration for your Power Apps?

April shared this great GenAI tool uizard which combines the magic of AI with user interface (UI) design. It facilitates the creation of wireframes, mockups, and prototypes in minutes.

AI + UI design:

  • Generating UI designs from text prompts
  • Converting hand-drawn sketches into digital wireframes
  • Transforming screenshots into editable designs

Uizard offers pre-made UI design templates for both apps and websites. These templates are 100% customizable, allowing you to add your own branding, themes, or additional screens.

Demystifying Power Platform Licensing

We can all agree that the Power Platform Licensing Guide is extremely comprehensive but confusing! Yet in MVP Haniel Croitoru’s session he handily outlined the types of Power Platform licenses available and how to avoid building solutions that exceed your license limits.

Types of Power Platform Licenses:

Power Apps Licensing

  • Power Apps for Microsoft 365: Allows users to create, run, and share apps within Microsoft 365. It includes connectors to common services and access to Dataverse for data storage.
  • Power Apps Per App Plan: Enables users to run a specific app without requiring a full Power Apps license.
  • Power Apps Per User Plan: Provides unlimited app creation and usage across the organization.


Power Automate Licensing

  • Power Automate for Microsoft 365: Allows users to create workflows and automate tasks within Microsoft 365. It also connects to external services via standard connectors.
  • Power Automate Per User Plan: Offers unlimited flow creation and execution.


Power BI Licensing

  • Power BI Pro: For individual users who need to create and share reports and dashboards.
  • Power BI Premium: For organizations with large-scale data needs and advanced features.
  • Power BI Embedded: For embedding reports in custom applications.


Power Virtual Agents Licensing

  • Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft 365: Enables chatbot creation within Microsoft 365.
  • Power Virtual Agents Per User Plan: Provides unlimited chatbot creation and usage.


Overlap of Power Platform Licensing:

  • Some features, such as Dataverse, are shared across different licenses (e.g., Microsoft 365 and Power Apps).
  • Be aware of overlapping capabilities to avoid unnecessary costs.

Power Platform License Scenarios:

Scenario 1: Employee Onboarding App

Licenses Needed: Power Apps Per User Plan, Power Automate for Microsoft 365.

Usage: Create an app to streamline employee onboarding processes.

Scenario 2: Customer Feedback Bot

Licenses Needed: Power Virtual Agents for Microsoft 365.

Usage: Build a chatbot to collect customer feedback on your website.

Scenario 3: Executive Dashboard

Licenses Needed: Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium.

Usage: Create interactive dashboards for executives.

Do’s and Don’ts for Building Power Platform Solutions


  • Understand your organization’s needs and choose the right licenses.
  • Leverage standard connectors to integrate with external services.
  • Use Dataverse for data storage and management.


  • Assume all users need the same license type.
  • Neglect compliance—ensure proper licensing for all users.
  • Build solutions that exceed your license limits.

Power Platform Cost-Saving Strategies

  • User-Based Licensing: Opt for user-based licenses if you have a small number of power users.
  • Shared Plans: Use shared plans (e.g., Power Apps Per App Plan) for infrequent app users.
  • Monitor Usage: Regularly review license usage and adjust as needed.


If you need help with understanding your organization’s needs or with optimizing costs while building effective Power Platform solutions, Cloudwell can help. 

Style Guides for Developers

Vienna-based Information Architect, Stefan Bauer from N8D@ talked through the importance of using a style guide to help designers and developers work better together and improve development workflow.

Although many will be familiar with Microsoft’s Fluent UI design tool, Stefan was in favor of using a more lightweight design solution hTWOo.

Challenges of using Fluent UI

  • Developers working across various SharePoint framework projects are constrained to specific Fluent UI versions.
  • Upgrading projects to newer Fluent UI versions introduces breaking changes, complicating the development process. This is further exacerbated by the lack of certain components in Fluent UI, particularly noticeable in applications like Microsoft Teams and in common elements utilized across SharePoint, Teams, and Microsoft cloud applications.

Alternative to Fluent UI

  • The evolution of HTML5 introduces efficient alternatives, enabling the use of native HTML tags for building components like accordions and dialogs without relying on heavy JavaScript libraries. This shift minimizes the dependency on additional packages and their maintenance.
  • The hTWOo design system offers a broader range of components, including those frequently used in Microsoft Teams, without the stringent version dependencies seen with Fluent UI in the SharePoint Framework. hTWOo’s approach not only matches Fluent UI’s capabilities but extends beyond, incorporating advances in HTML5 for a streamlined, maintenance-friendly development environment.

Top tip

We learned about a neat tool called Emmet which allows developers to rapidly prototype HTML structures onto a page using a special syntax pattern.

Transition from SharePoint Search to Microsoft Search

Search in Microsoft 365 has been evolving for the past two years, transitioning from the classic SharePoint Search to a modern advanced Microsoft Search. While we were able to customize classic search, we want to have the same experience in Modern Search and Modern SharePoint.

In his session, Microsoft MVP Mike Maadarani covered how to use PnP Modern Search as the solution to customize your search, create your own modern search center and how to build search driven sites.

Key takeaways

  • PnP Modern Search is an open-source project developed by Microsoft, MVPs, and community members.
  • It allows you to build engaging search-based solutions within SharePoint Online’s modern experience.
  • The PnP ‘Modern Search’ solution is a set of SharePoint Online modern Web Parts allowing SharePoint super users, webmasters and developers to create highly flexible and personalized search-based experiences in minutes.
  • Version 4 of the PnP Modern search app allows more customizations including the use of adaptive cards to display search results and many other neat features.

Search tips

Floor plans in Microsoft Search help users find people, rooms, and spaces within a building, a tool we have experience building for customers.

Create a layout to customize search results.


Want to know how to get the best of Power Platform or how to incorporate Copilot into your Microsoft 365 ecosystem.

Get in touch. Our team of friendly experts are here to help you!