What is PowerApps?
According to Microsoft: “Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. Using Power Apps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored either in the underlying data platform (Microsoft Dataverse) or in various online and on-premises data sources (SharePoint, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and so on).”
PowerApps is a low-code development system.
Microsoft Dataverse provides you with free data storage for your PowerApps solutions. Dataverse is a secure, and scalable low-code data platform. Dataverse uses built-in standard tables, extended attributes and an open ecosystem enabled by Microsoft’s Common Data Model. The Microsoft Dataverse service is used for most Microsoft applications, including the entire Dynamics 365 suite.
Canvas Apps versus Model-Driven Apps
There are two types of apps that can be created in PowerApps: Canvas and Model-Driven Apps.
A Canvas App, as the name suggests, allows the designer to drag user interfaces elements onto a blank canvas. Canvas apps allow designers to create a highly customised and unique user interface. Once all UI elements are in place, basic Excel-like formulas are used to connect UI elements to an underlying data source. More than 200 such data-source types are supported.
Model-driven Apps are more closely tied to data models in the underlying Dataverse. Model-driven apps take a data-first approach. User interface elements are pre-determined by the underlying data type and customisation is limited. However, in contrast to canvas apps the data-first, model-driven approach allows the creation of more complex solutions that support more sophisticated business logic. Model-driven apps are Responsive by default.
For even more rapid development of PowerApp application we can start a new app from an existing Microsoft template. Here are a few examples:
- A Training App for Office – This tutorial is step-by-step guide for working with Microsoft Office 365 in Power Apps. It contains key building blocks and learning resources for creating custom apps that leverage the power of Office 365 and the Microsoft Graph.
- Meeting Capture – An all-in-one meeting capture tool. View meeting details, capture notes and pictures of whiteboards, assign tasks and send to all meeting attendees in one click.
- PowerApps Training – This is a training app that teaches you the basics of building your own Power Apps applications. With 20+ exercises, each one just taking a few minutes to complete, you will learn how to build your own apps in a hands-on way.
- Onboarding Tasks – Allows new team members to update their Office 365 user profile, view an onboarding checklist, see their team and access links to team content.
- HelpDesk – Help Desk provides a user-friendly experience to connect end users with support professionals. Quickly find answers to your most important questions, track progress of open tickets, and review details of previous requests. This app will open with sample data, but requires a small amount of setup to make it your own.
- Budget Tracker – Keep your projects and events on budget, with custom categories, easy data entry, and the graphing options you need to see it all clearly. This app will open with sample data.
- Site Inspection – Whether you’re in real estate, property management or insurance, Site Inspection lets you document, catalog, and reference real estate sites of all kinds with images, location, site details, and more. This app will open with sample data.
- Service Desk – Track service requests, assignments, and job status for the whole team-without going back to your desk. Prioritize jobs quickly, add notes, and track tasks by the technician assigned. This app will open with sample data.
- Leave Requests – Submit a vacation request for manager approval. Select date ranges, add notes and manage your time off.
- Fundraiser – Fundraiser provides employees the opportunity to donate time and money towards causes they’re passionate about. Start a fundraiser for your favourite cause, set goals, and track performance towards goals.
- Innovation Challenge – Encourage employees to step away from their day jobs and drum up new ideas, tackle problems, create change and make a difference. Employee ideas are submitted, reviewed, voted on, and the best ideas can be funded for new projects.
- Asset Checkout – Providing self-service capabilities to reserve the tools and equipment your teams need, while accurately calculating available inventory and much more. Use the app as-is or build a canvas based mobile app to connect to your CDS data.
- My Expenses – Track expense reports from submission to approval. Tally line items as individual expenses accrue and submit for approval when ready.
- Customer Health – This sample app is intended to be used by functional roles such as Customer Success Managers or any role that includes in their charter delivering value to their customers. This app provides visibility about their customer details in order to be able to answer any question that may arise during an interaction. View customer list and drill-down to view more customer health, active work orders, sales order summary, and more.
- Inventory Management – View an inventory of your stores, browse an inventory list to see how many items you need to refill for each product, send email to yourself, and more.
- Interview Tool – Browse open positions across departments, view or add candidate’s information to each position, enter interview feedback and recommend hire/no-hire for each candidate.
- Customer Lookups with Customer Insights – This powerapp template allows organizations to take data from disparate sources and unify it to get richer insights into their customers.
- Out of Office – Set your out-of-office message and date ranges, and optionally clear your calendar for the duration of your absence.
- PDF Reader – Use a PDF reader on PowerApps. Display PDF files, search within the files, zoom in, zoom out, and more.
- Cost Estimator – Provide accurate, onsite labor and material estimates to your customers. User-defined fields and a custom sample catalog make it easy to deliver quick, custom estimates. This app will open with sample data.
- To-Do List – Stay organized and on top of things with easy-to-create task lists, grocery lists, and more. Save time and keep focused with a simple, handy list in your hand. This app will connect to your Wunderlist account.
- and many more.
5 Reasons why should you consider PowerApps
- PowerApps allows you – or Betasoft on your behalf – to rapidly build data-driven applications for your business.
- PowerApps are Responsive, meaning that user interfaces fluidly adapt to the size of the display they are viewed on. They work as smartly on your handheld device as they are on a desktop.
- PowerApps licenses are included with every Microsoft Office 365 license.
- PowerApps allow you to bring to life and interact with information stored in any of your Office 365 or other cloud data stores.
- PowerApps can be integrated with any current or future Microsoft Cloud technology.
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