Power Apps
   7 min read    Samitanjaya Mishra

PowerApps provides a rapid low code development environment for building custom apps for business needs. It has services, connectors, and a scalable data
service and app platform (Common Data Service) to allow simple integration and interaction with existing data. Power Apps enables the creation of web and
mobile applications that run on all devices. People use apps for every area of their lives, and business should be no exception. Most out of the box
solutions do not meet exact business needs or integrate well with other business programs. Power Apps eases users into app development with a simple
interface so that every business user or pro developer can build custom apps.

Below are some of the major components of Power Apps

  • **GALLERY: ** A gallery is a way of visualizing data in the app. It is a template of screens that allows you to see and navigate the data.

  • **SCREEN: ** Screen is a way to visualize a particular data set or record on a screen (mobile, iPad, Desktop). You typically have one to view all records,
    one to view a particular record, one to edit. Once again, when you create an app from the template, you have screens already pre-built
    for you (they are part of a gallery you choose above). But you can add additional screens if necessary.

  • **CARD: ** A screen consists of cards. A card is an area on the screen that shows a given record from your SharePoint list or any other database you used
    to build an app.

  • **CONTROL: ** Controls is what allows you to visualize and interact with your records.

  • **PROPERTY: ** Each control has properties. For example, a text entry box has a property for font size, text color, text box fill color and so on.
    Properties can be accessed and changed from the Properties drop-down on the left-hand-side of the screen as well as on the panel on
    the right-hand-side once the property is selected.

  • **FUNCTION: ** Functions is how you interact with and change the properties. If you are familiar with Excel, you are in luck as the syntax for PowerApps
    functions is kind of similar to Excel. 

How to start with Power Apps?


  1. Click here to Sign up as shown in below image

Sign Up

  1. Click here to login as shown in below image

Login

What is the capability?


PowerApps comes with features and tools to help create apps that don’t require any coding. These include:

  • a library of sample apps that you can work from as a starting point and then customize
  • a library of over 200 connectors to integrate data and systems including those across the Office 365 universe
  • an easy drag and drop interface for the creation of apps
  • close integration with other Office 365 and Dynamics tools
  • good support structures, including an active PowerApps community.

Like most of the tools and services within Office 365 Microsoft continue to invest in PowerApps, and the latest announcements for near future
capabilities are particularly exciting.

An AI Builder capability allows PowerApps to tap into Microsoft’s AI  and machine learning frameworks and develop smarter, more advanced apps. 
For example, Microsoft cite the ability for AI to analyse and categorise your customer feedback responses and then take particular actions, helping to
bring marketing automation to the next level.

They also quote a real example of how PowerApps injected with AI is helping workers in a manufacturing and distribution unit identify and track product
items just by taking a photo. Additionally, there are opportunities to integrate blockchain (via Azure Blockchain Services) to develop even more specialist apps.
Microsoft has also announced PowerApps Portals, the ability to create websites aimed at external employees, in the same way as PowerApps. This feels significant
to us, connecting customer actions on a website directly to internal and back-end processes, marketing automation and more. For example. if you set up a
customer feedback portal using PowerApps Portals, you could create some pretty intriguing and powerful workflows and actions.

How can our organization use PowerApps?


PowerApps can be used for multiple processes involving workflow, automation, data visualization and reporting, collaboration and more.
It could involve teams, field workers, your management team and even your customers. Use cases can range from the relatively simple to the highly complex.
You can both be improving the basics or also be highly innovative. PowerApps can be experienced as a mobile app, a website or even within an Office 365 tool like Microsoft Teams.

A number of ideas that can be achieved with PowerApps, includes:

  • Enabling field workers to enter data when out in the field, for example logging repairs needed or the results of site inspections
  • A ‘Know your Client’ app used for due diligence on new clients, covering various criteria and interrogating various databases
  • Building model standard documents such as contracts using automation based on different criteria and metadata
  • Building a customised 360 appraisal system with input from a variety of users, workflow and handy reporting
  • A system for IT departments to track assets such as hardware, mobile devices and software licenses
  • A variety of marketing automation tools to follow up with clients based on their interactions and responses.

What is the base technical skillset required to harness these tools?


PowerApps doesn’t require deep technical knowledge or programming skills. So, App development beginners can very easily develop their apps through PowerApps.

Please Click Me go through the link which is guided training by
Microsoft of approx. 1 hour. It will help you understand the power apps quickly.

Sample Flow Creation: Button Click Email Trigger(Manual Flow)


Please follow the steps as shown in the images below to create a basic version of flow.

1. Select Canvas app from blank from Home Page

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2. Provide an App Name, select Format and Click Create

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3. The blank canvas opens on click of Create. From here, we can drag and drop any component we like from Tree View

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4. After selecting the components needed, we can set the properties of the components

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5. Now we can Click the Play button on the right top of the screen to have a preview of the newly created Canvas

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Potential areas where Power Apps can be used?


To start with we can take example of the Asset Management Tool.

We can create a Asset Management with low code base using PowerApps which will have both a website and mobile app too. Create a responsive design with
PowerApps is easy as it is mostly drag and drop. With this, we can use the tool within the organization and have the flexibility too. And with the help
with PowerAutomate, PowerApps can become a powerful tool.

Other than this there are many business areas at different levels where PowerApps can fit as it is easy to create and can be connected to a whole range
of services.

Please Click Me
to understand scenarios where PowerApps has been used for a different organization.

How easy or difficult was it to use?


PowerApps is an enterprise service offered by Microsoft to app developers worldwide. We can connect, create, and share business apps with our team on
any device (Mobile, Laptop, Tab) , through this service. Microsoft PowerApps was introduced by Microsoft Windows Azure to build the applications on
all platforms, like Windows, iOS, Android devices etc. It helps us to make a custom app also. It’s a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that
allows companies to build business apps quickly and efficiently. In PowerApps, you can generate an app automatically, customize it, create an app
from templates, and share and run the apps. Here, others can create and share their apps with you, too.

PowerApps is very simple to create and use. It doesn’t require deep technical knowledge or programming skills.