At Microsoft Ignite 2021, the company officially unveiled its first low-code programming language: Microsoft Power FX. PowerFX, customized for the Power Platform, is a low-code general-purpose programming language based on Excel formulas. Power FX, as the formula language of Power Apps, will be extended to Dataverse, Power Virtual Agents, Power Automate, and is expected to become the single language of Power Platform in two years. Better experience for the Power Platform.

Excel formula has become the de facto industry standard, with a large user group and a low technical threshold. It is indeed the “best option” for low code platform to implement data processing and business rules. However, the number of Excel formulas is large and constantly added, and the realization logic of some formulas is very complicated. For low code vendors, it means a huge amount of work and cost to move Excel formulas into their own products. Therefore, this practice is not common in the domestic low code platform manufacturers.

So, what are the methods or languages used by the major low-code development platforms in the market to build data processing logic? Let’s have a look separately.


Outsystems does this by building its own expression engine and library, and the user builds the processing logic in vendor-defined languages. The structure of the expression is similar to that of Excel. The built-in functions are Math, Numbers, Text, Time and Date, Data Conversion, Formatting, Mail, Environment, URL, Role, and others, covering a wide range of types.

Movable type,

Movable type lattice was born in a professional control manufacturer grape city. Grape City has been developing spreadsheets since the 1990s, with more than 400 Excel formulas built into its Spread range. Therefore, the solution of movable type lattice is also a logical use of Excel formula. It is worth mentioning that, in addition to using Excel formula to set element values and color and other attributes on the page side, users can also use Excel formula to complete data calculation in the background logic.

Nailing should be set

Taking a similar approach to Outsystems, the company designed its own expression and function libraries. Taking into account the appropriate release time is still short, the function library has yet to be further improved.

Unlike code-free development platforms, application scenarios tend to be more complex. Embedding Excel into the low-code development platform allows developers to design data processing logic with familiar Excel formulas, which provides powerful functions while maintaining a lower threshold for starting, enabling more people to master low-code development technology faster.

Isn’t it attractive that someone who knows Excel can develop enterprise software?

The original link:… Short Book: Low Code Observer