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Getting Started with Microsoft PowerApps

Microsoft PowerApps is one of the four products in Microsoft Power Platform that is mainly used for interacting with the data. It considers a service that used to build custom apps, and drive process automation.

In this article, we’re gonna learn

  1. What’s Microsoft PowerApps?
  2. Why using PowerApps? or what are the Microsoft PowerApps Features?
  3. What are the Main Components of Microsoft PowerApps?

What’s Microsoft PowerApps?

What's Microsoft powerapps?

Microsoft PowerApps is a business app creator from Microsoft Power Platform, associated with the Office 365 tools to build custom apps and drive process automation.

  • Power Apps provides developers or non-technical users with a very quick application development environment that mostly based on drag and drop techniques. And this is the aim of Power Apps that every Power user can create a custom app, as there are No programming or app development skills required.
  • Power Apps helping you to build apps for mobiles and web to fit your business need and take action on your data from your different device, without the time and expense of traditional software development.

In general, we can say that the Power Apps is a collection of apps, services, and connectors that works together to help you access your data and update it from any device and it can be also called a Microsoft no-code / low-code development platform.

Introduction to Power Apps

What are PowerApps Features?

Actually, there are many benefits of implementing the Microsoft Power Apps into your business.

The objective of Power Apps is to allow a power user to build apps without having technical and code experts.

Also, the main benefits of Microsoft Power Apps are its stable functionalities, integration, and accessibility on multiple platforms including iOS, Android, and Windows devices so Each app developer can work in his/her preferred environment.

Why you should use PowerApps?

So let’s go deeper to discuss why we should use Power Apps by exploring the below Power Apps Capabilities:

Responsive Design

1) Responsive Design

Using Power Apps Provide you with a Responsive design that will be suitable for Browsing from the web or mobile in a responsive layout that looks good on all devices.

So the user can use the device he want to browse the app, as the Power Apps app render it self in what ever device you use.

Browsing Feature

2) Browsing Feature

You can run the apps created by Power Apps on browsers or on mobile devices, so you can browse your app from your work or from your home, or from whatever place you are.

Power Apps Share

3) Sharing an App

You can also share the Power Apps user with individual users, with security groups, or with Everyone in the organization.

Also, apps can be shared with guest users of an Azure Active Directory tenant that enables inviting external business partners, contractors, and third parties to run your company’s apps.

drag-and-drop

4) Easy App Creation

Instead of creating an app that takes a month in the traditional development, you can use Power Apps to create it in an hour, as Power Apps is easy app creation, and provides you many templates that you can start with and modify it according to your business need.

Even if you start building your app from scratch, most coding is done in drag and drop. So, it will be easy to create an app using Power Apps.

Power Apps Connections

5) Connect to many data sources

Most apps need external information. By using Power Apps you can connect to many data sources in the same app because it provides multiple data connections using the different connectors types that enable you to connect to many standard data services and use them with Power Apps.

For example, you can connect to a SharePoint, or dynamic 365, or OneDrive, Dropbox, SQL server, and many others.

6) Integration

Microsoft Power Apps easily integrates with Office 365, Microsoft Power Automate, and Microsoft Power BI.

Power-Apps-Speed-Creation

7) Speed

One of the most important features of Power Apps is how quickly one can develop a useful, functioning app.

Power Apps provide a drag and drop interface that provides much time-consuming for creating a user interface, linking form fields to code and data, than the usual development process.

history version

8) History Versions

Microsoft PowerApps keep a history of the changes you made. so, you can restore your app to a previous version at any time you need.

It keeps the versions for the last six months so you can back to any of them.

Power Apps Cost

9) Low Cost

Microsoft PowerApps consuming low cost compared to traditional development.

These are the main benefits of using Power Apps but not all Power Apps Feature. however, you will find many Power Apps Features during working with Power Apps and we will explore them in detail in our coming articles.


What’re PowerApps Components?

There are three main components that you will combine together to get your application ready for use as the following:

  1. Data sources
  2. User Interface
  3. Connections

1) PowerApps Data sources

Most apps need external information, this information is what we called Data Sources, where you store your application data.

data sources in Microsoft PowerApps

The popular data sources that you can use inside your app like

  • Excel,
  • Data Verse “the common data service before“,
  • SharePoint,
  • SQL Server, Oracle,
  • Dynamic 365, and many other data sources.

2) The User Interface

Your app needs a user interface for the users to enable them to interact with your app this interface consists of different controls.

Microsoft PowerApps provide you plenty of controls that you can use inside your apps.

The controls in Microsoft PowerApps are just like the controls that you’ve used in other apps like

  • Labels,
  • Textboxes,
  • Buttons,
  • Galleries,
  • Images,
  • Charts,
  • Tables and many controls.
power apps controls

3) Connections

Connectors are the bridge between your data source and your application or workflow that help you to connect to your data in the cloud.

  • You can connect to both Microsoft and 3rd party services, from Dynamics 365 to Dropbox.
  • Also, you can use custom connectors to connect to your different APIS
  • Moreover, you can use gateways if your data is an on-premise data source that is not in the cloud.
  • The on-premises data gateway acts as a bridge that transfers data quickly and securely between on-premises data (that isn’t in the cloud) and several Microsoft cloud services.
power apps connectors | Power Platform Geeks
PowerApps Course | Power Platform Geeks

For more details about Main Microsoft PowerApps Components. Please watch the below informative video.

Power Apps Components

What’re the Power Apps Types?

There are three main types of Apps in Power Apps as the following:

  1. Canvas Apps.
  2. Model-driven Apps
  3. Portal Apps.

1) Canvas

Power Apps : Canvas Apps

If you want to make your own design then canvas apps is the best choice for you as it provides you with a blank canvas and you have to drag and drop elements to the canvas without any codes as if you will design a PowerPoint slide.

Also, it enables you to connect to a wide range of more than 200 other data sources, types of data source

2) Model-driven

 Model-driven App

If you don’t have a custom design and your data is in a common data service then you will choose model-driven.

By using model-driven, you can do a responsive, simple, or very complex app that provides you with the most layouts of the components you add to your apps.

3) Portal

Power Apps Portal Apps

Power Apps Portal is an external-facing website that enables users outside their organizations to sign in as “authenticated users” to create and view data, and also provides viewing the content anonymously.

PowerApps Course | Power Platform Geeks

For more details about Microsoft PowerApps Types. Please watch the below informative video.

PowerApps: Canvas app vs Model-Driven App vs Portal

Conclusion

Microsoft PowerApps is one of the main products of Microsoft Power Platform that you can use to build business applications with no/low code.

In this article, we have taken an overview of Microsoft PowerApps by exploring its main features and components.

See Also

Heba Kamal

Power Platform Consultant and Founder of Power Platform Geeks