The Basics – An introduction to Power Apps

In this introduction to Power Apps series I will go through all the basics as they currently exist within Power Apps.

What are Power Apps?

Things are changing fast so by the time you read these articles some things might have changed already. These posts however should give you a good introduction to the platform

Power Apps give user a tool to manage data that exists in almost any source of data. A lot of the solutions will be forms based. Initially I will go use SharePoint lists but the data could also come from databases in SQL server and Excel but the data can come almost from any datasource.

The different locations within Office 365 that are relevant to Power Apps are:

  • The Admin Center
  • Power Apps in the App Launcher
  • Dynamics 365 (Did you also think that this is CRM related???)

The Admin Center

In the admin center there is a section for PowerApps. This is where Data Policies can be maintained.  Note that set policies for multiple environments you will need to have a Power Apps Plan 2. More about Policies will follow in one of my future posts.

Next to policy maintenance there are starting points to collect reports on user licenses in use and quotas used. However, so far I found that these options didn’t work very well so it looks like these are still under development.

Power Apps in the App Launcher

Power Apps in the app launcher takes a user to https://web.powerapps.com which is a bit of an SharePoint Designer for Office 365. Within the PowerApps application not just the Apps can be maintained but also things like Flows, Connections, Gateways (data connections to on-premises systems) and Entities in Common Data Services.

Power Apps lists

Another area important for PowerApps is within each list and library where a new app can be created. By creating apps here the app is connected to the list. this means that the list is added as a datasource by default. The same is possible form within the Admin center or the app launcher however then a list will need to be selected.

Dynamics 365

This must be quite a poor naming mistake. Dynamics 365 has been CRM Dynamics for a very long time, but Dynamics 365 is the place for users to run PowerApps from. Once an app has been published users can start running the apps and maintain the data managed by each app.

Power Apps Apps

Next to Dynamics 365 the Power Apps the user application can also be accessed through an App on a PC or  the Mobile app. The Power Apps app can also be used to edit your Power Apps.

Other posts in this series

Creating new power apps

Creating Screens

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Pieter Veenstra

Business Applications and Office Apps & Services Microsoft MVP working as a Microsoft Productivity Principal Consultant at HybrIT Services. You can contact me using contact@veenstra.me.uk.

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