Microsoft Power Apps


 

Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, and connectors, as well as a data platform, that provides a rapid development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. Using Power Apps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your data stored either in the underlying data platform (Microsoft Dataverse) or in various online and on-premises data sources (such as SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and so on).

 

powerapps-intro

 

Apps built using Power Apps provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities to transform your manual business operations into digital, automated processes. What’s more, apps built using Power Apps have a responsive design and can run seamlessly in browser and on mobile devices (phone or tablet). Power Apps “democratizes” the business-app-building experience by enabling users to create feature-rich, custom business apps without writing code.

Power Apps also provides an extensible platform that lets pro developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data.

Power Apps for app makers/creators

To create an app, you start with make.powerapps.com.

  • Power Apps Studio is the app designer used for building canvas apps. The app designer makes creating apps feel more like building a slide deck in Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • App designer for model-driven apps lets you define the sitemap and add components to build a model-driven app.

 

PowerAppsHome

 

Power Apps is a high-productivity development platform for business apps, and has four major components:

  • Canvas apps
  • Model-driven apps
  • Cards (preview)
  • Microsoft Dataverse

Canvas Apps

Canvas apps start with your user experience, crafting a highly tailored interface with the power of a blank canvas and connecting it to your choice of more than 200 data sources. You can build canvas apps for web, mobile, and tablet applications.

Canvas apps give you the flexibility to arrange the user experience and interface the way you want it. Allow your creativity and business sense to guide how you want your apps to look and feel.

You can start to build your app from Microsoft tools where your data lives, such as:

  • From a SharePoint list
  • From a Power BI dashboard

Creating a canvas app is easy. With Power Apps, you can find or create your app in several ways:

  • From a blank canvas

 

CreateYourApp

  • From data
  • From a Dataverse source
  • Via AppSource
  • From a template

 

CanvasTemplate

 

Model-driven apps

Model-driven apps start with your data model – building up from the shape of your core business data and processes in the Dataverse to model forms, views, and other components. Model-driven apps automatically generate great UI that’s responsive across devices.

When you create a model-driven app, you can use all the power of the Dataverse to rapidly configure your forms, business rules, and process flows. You create a model-driven app from the Power Apps site.

As part of the custom page public preview, the new page type based on canvas can be added into a new or existing model-driven app. This allows the power and flexibility of a canvas experience within the model-driven app. Custom pages allow:

  • Full control over page layout
  • Out of box controls and custom components
  • Power Apps connectors
  • Low-code authoring

 

Cards

Cards (preview) are micro-apps with lightweight UI elements that can be used across multiple applications that doesn’t require any coding or IT expertise. You can quickly design and develop cards that can surface business data through Power Platform connectors or use your own business logic for more customization.

You can create cards with just a few clicks. There are no complex systems or services to deploy and maintain.

To get started, sign in to Power Apps. Select Cards, and then select + New card. If the item isn’t in the left navigation pane, select …More and then select the item you want.

 

Card-PowerApps

 

Microsoft Dataverse

Dataverse lets you securely store and manage data that’s used by business applications. Data within Dataverse is stored within a set of tables. A table is a set of rows (formerly referred to as records) and columns (formerly referred to as fields/attributes). Each column in the table is designed to store a certain type of data, for example, name, age, salary, and so on. Dataverse includes a base set of standard tables that cover typical scenarios, but you can also create custom tables specific to your organization and populate them with data by using Power Query. App makers can then use Power Apps to build rich applications that use this data.

 

Power Platform Dataverse

 

Standard and custom tables within Dataverse provide a secure and cloud-based storage option for your data. Tables let you create a business-focused definition of your organization’s data for use within apps. If you’re not sure whether tables are your best option, consider these benefits:

  • Easy to manage – Both the metadata and data are stored in the cloud. You don’t need to worry about the details of how they’re stored.
  • Easy to secure – Data is securely stored so that users can see it only if you grant them access. Role-based security allows you to control access to tables for different users within your organization.
  • Access your Dynamics 365 Data – Data from your Dynamics 365 applications is also stored within Dataverse, allowing you to quickly build apps that use your Dynamics 365 data and extend your apps with Power Apps.
  • Rich metadata – Data types and relationships are used directly within Power Apps.
  • Logic and validation – Define calculated columns, business rules, workflows, and business process flow to ensure data quality and drive business processes.
  • Productivity tools – Tables are available within the add-ins for Microsoft Excel to increase productivity and ensure data accessibility.

Power Apps for Admins

Power Apps administrators can use the Power Platform admin center (https://admin.powerplatform.microsoft.com) to create and manage environments, view Dataverse analytics, and get real-time, self-help recommendations and provides a unified portal for administrators to manage environments and settings for Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Pages, and Power Virtual Agents.

 

Power-Platform-Admin-Center

 

Power Apps for developers

Developers are app makers who can write code to extend business app creation and customization. Developers can use code to create data and metadata, apply server-side logic using Azure functions, plug-ins, and workflow extensions, apply client-side logic using JavaScript, integrate with external data using virtual entities and webhooks, build custom connectors, and embed apps into your website experiences to create integrated solutions.

 

Power Apps and Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 applications such as Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, or Dynamics 365 Talent also use Dataverse to store and secure the data they use. This enables you to build apps by using Power Apps and Dataverse directly against your core business data, which is already used within Dynamics 365, without the need for integration.

  • Build apps against your Dynamics 365 data – Build apps quickly against your business data within Power Apps or by using the extensible platform that lets pro developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data.
  • Manage reusable business logic and rules – Business rules and logic already defined in your Dataverse tables are applied to apps created with Power Apps to ensure data consistency, regardless of how your users access the data or which app they use.
  • Reusable skills across Dynamics 365 and Power Apps – Users who are skilled in Power Apps or Dynamics 365 can now take advantage of those skills across the Dataverse platform. Creating tables, forms, and charts are now common tasks you perform across your applications.

 

Conclusion

We, at Impactory GmbH hope that this article about Microsoft Power Apps was useful and easy to read for you. If you still have questions or concerns how to use Power Apps in your organization don’t hesitate to contact us. We have 10+ years market experience, more than 100 realized projects and very talented engineers. We will analyze your business requirements and offer you the best solution for your needs.

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