You might have heard about Microsoft PowerApps, but are you perfectly sure that you understand what it exactly is? Do you know the benefits and its purposes? And if you don’t, don’t worry! Many people don’t even exactly understand what it is. And that’s what we have covered in this blog post. First of all, we will try to take a look at the basic definition of Microsoft PowerApps. Moving forward, we will try to understand how you can get started with the development of apps. But first of all, let’s try to understand what the platform is all about perfectly.
What Is Microsoft PowerApps?
Long story short! It’s a development platform for web apps and mobile. With the help of Microsoft PowerApps, you can easily get started with building your own application. It provides you a user-friendly application development environment so that you can easily get started with building custom apps according to your requirements. This platform came into effect and was released in the month of January in the year 2017. With the help of this platform, you can build a custom application that can run on iOS, Android as well as Windows. Plus, the apps that you create using this platform can easily be run on any Internet browser as well.
The custom apps that you build on the PowerApps platform will provide you with rich business logic as well as workflow capabilities that will help you take your manual business processes to the digital platform. Plus, the apps that you build on this platform have a design that’s responsive. And the thing is you won’t be finding a hard time getting used to it. Now that we carefully understand what Microsoft PowerApps is, it’s time for us to explore further. Let’s try to understand how you can build some effective apps using this platform.
First of all, you need to sign up at Powerapps.com. You can sign up for absolutely free and register for a school or work account. After you have successfully signed up, you are required to sign in to the platform on the web.
Check Some Apps Out
If you haven’t usedthis platform previously or any other employee in your organization isn’t familiar with it, then you will come across several sample apps that you can simply use. Once you explore these apps, you will be able to understand what this platform is all about. Plus, you will understand how this platform can seriously help your business. Each and every sample that you come across has been designed in such a way that it serves a specific purpose.
Different apps serve different purposes:
• Inspecting a website
• Managing Budget
• Tracking service tickets
The sample apps will consist of some kind of fictitious data which will help you take a practical experience about what the platform is all about.
However, if your team already has knowledge about PowerApps and has used it previously or still working on it, then you might come across some apps on the screen that your team shares with you. You can check out which apps you have access to under the “My Apps” section.
How To Get Started Building Your First App?
In order to get started with building your first app using this platform, you need to install PowerApps Studio in your OS. Once you do, you will be able to make a connection to data sources and start designing the application in a visual designer. No code is required to build the app. The best way is to create an app using your own data. You can simply point the platform and connect to the data source you choose. And once you do, this platform will simply build a three-screen app automatically for viewing detailed records, browsing the list as well as editing data. You can simply start with the customization and make it look as you want it to be.
One other way that you can start building your custom app is through the template. They are similar to the sample apps. They will take into consideration some fictitious data in order to provide you with a sense of what exactly is possible. Once you open the templates in PowerApps Studio, you will be able to hands-on experience of how you can build an app.
Follow These Steps To Get Started With Building Your First App On Microsoft PowerApps
Start with the data source itself. It’s the first part of the three-part process.
Start with SharePoint List that will be storing consulting interventions. Next step is to click on “Create An App” section. Now, you will be taken to PowerApps Studio. Here, you will be finding fully functioning canvas apps that are generated by the system.
You can work within this platform using four environments:
• PowerApps Website
• PowerApps Studio
• PowerApps Mobile
• PowerApps Admin Centre
Let’s have a look at each one of them. Each of these environments has its unique capabilities as well as role.
This is the place where you will start your service journey. Here, you can create some new apps and even manage the existing ones.
This is the place where you can design as well as to adapt apps that you want to be created according to your specific business requirements.
You can download it on both Android & iOS phones. Plus, you can also download it on Tablet. No matter what’s the platform, you will find the app to provide you a runtime environment where you can simply execute every app. This means that you can execute the ones shared with you as well as the ones you have designed yourself.
PowerApps Admin Centre
You can easily create and manage environments, user roles, as well as DLP on admin.powerapps.com.
This step asks you to select the application type. You can design and create two kinds of apps using this platform:
• Model-driven Apps
• Canvas Apps
These apps are built on top of CDS, thereby helping you to build processes, forms as well as business rules rapidly. Their main focus is targeting the apps that are used for heavier purposes.
You can organize easily and freely the interface by simply positioning fields and controls in an environment that’s “pixel-perfect.” Canvas apps allow you to carefully bring in the creativity as well as knowledge of your business to the design of the app. The main target here is the lightweight apps or even the apps that are disposable.
This step involves selecting your storage type. PowerApps specifically take into consideration a world where data is considered to be the king as well as the foundation of each and every business. Hence, you should correctly choose the correct data source while designing your own app.
Excel spreadsheets, as well as SharePoint lists, are the data sources that are most commonly used. However, there are a total of 200 data connectors that you can access. PowerApps share the connectors with Logic and Flow apps. Do you know what’s one of the biggest strengths of this platform? That’s providing connectors to Microsoft World (SQL Server, Office 365, Azure, etc.) as well as many external data sources such as Dropbox, Salesforce as well as Google Drive.
This step involves connecting the app you build to an on-premise or online data source. It’s all part of the cloud, and you can easily connect to cloud data source. Plus, you can connect with the on-premise data source. In order for that to happen, you must configure a data gateway that’s on the premise. This gateway is usually shared between different cloud apps such as Azure Logic apps, all the power platforms as well as Azure Analysis Services.
During the time of writing, the data sources that are supported by the gateway are:
• SQL Server
And these are the various steps involved in getting started with your Microsoft PowerApps Development. All you need to do is to follow this guide and carefully follow it step-by-step in order to build your first custom app.