PowerApps and Microsoft Flow – Things you can’t do (yet)!

Earlier this week I asked on twitter which issues people were running into when developing solutions with PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.

The result surprised me a bit. nearly 40% of people gave up!

This is exactly the part of the community that I would like to focus on. Why give up before asking for help?

I didn’t immediately understand all the issues reported after I sent out my tweet. Some of the issues have already been addressed. I guess these are from the “gave up in the past” category.

Over time I might pick some of these items to write longer posts about as there are some good workarounds for quite a few of these issues raised, but for now I’ll start by listing the issues raised within this discussion on twitter.

1. Datacards in forms need to be resized and moved

I would be interested in finding out what the further details are on this issue. When creating forms connected to data PowerApps creates datacards. In general I would often use the forms that are generated as standard as one of the strengths of  PowerApps is that you can customize the forms.

2. There is not ALM story

Application Lifecycle Management is a a large area of development. I’m assuming that this comment was related to the publishing of different versions of Flows and Apps.

For Flow, I found a way to create multiple versions of the same flow.


This way I managed to create backups of my production flows. Created as copies within my production environment. By not activating these copies I managed to create backups. In similar ways you could create development/test/production versions of flows.

3. Rotate an image in anything but 90 degree angles

The image rotation options are limited to 90 degree angles. Currently there is no way around this.


4. Call Stored Procedure in SQL

To ability to run a stored procedure is available within the SQL connector

5. change the owner

Within Flow you can share ownership turning your flows into Team Flows.

Within PowerApps however there is only the option to give someone edit permissions. The owner will remain the same.

6. make a custom theme

The theme options are still limited within PowerApps. Other than selecting from the set themes there is no option to customize these themes.  You can however customize the look and feel of your apps. See also towards the end of this post.

7. Change an icon via a formula

I tried changing icons but I didn’t manage to do this either. it should be possible to change for example colours of  icons on select but this didn’t seem to work.

8. view a PDF in OneDrive or SharePoint

The PDF viewer is still in preview. So hopefully this will improve soon.

9. Rename an image

I’d like to get some more details on this. If you have had problems renaming images then please let me know.

10. custom app icon color

Within thew App colours you can pick form a set of colours. There is a way to create custom icons.

When you use the Browse option you could upload a custom image. As long as you upload a square image you will not see any background colour.

11. Start with data in tablet layout

There are multiple ways to start creating an app. You can start with data or with a blank canvas.

The start with data option doesn’t offer the Tablet layout.

12. Universal app

One of the major issues as far as I’m concerned is that when you create an app you have to select mobile or tablet. There is no app that will suit both types of devices.

13. SharePoint forms in app

Including a SharePoint form in an app hardly makes sense. Potentially an App can be a SharePoint form by itself. SharePoint forms are quite limiting in the use experience as you get limited space on the screen given. I would much rather got for the approach where I hide the data source from the users. As far as the user is concerned data will be stored within the app.

14. Print Form

Currently there isn’t a print control in PowerApps.


15. attach in apps

I’m not sure exactly if this is any different from using the Attachments control available within PowerApps that will let you attach documents to list items.

More details you can also find here:



16. update library item properties

I’m not sure why this item made it into this list as the update file properties actions does its job.


17. PowerApps webpart

There is no PowerApps web part, but there is an options to include a PowerApp in an iFrame. You can even include the PowerApp on a traditional page this way.

18. Flow condition nesting limit of 9

This is indeed an annoying one.  Most annoyingly the add action options suddenly disappear as you reach the limit.

This limit might be a bit annoying, however quite often it is possible to make Flows wider rather than tall. Do you need any help with redesigning your flows … I’m sure you can find me.

19. Upload files to SP libs

To upload a file into SharePoint you might have to go through quite a few hoops. You will notice that when you try to connect into a SharePoint Library that only lists are offered.

But you can enter a custom list name and get to your Document Library, but even then There is no way to upload a document directly to SharePoint. But there are options.

It is possible to create list attachments. This gives us options for progress. OK, It is not pretty but it is do-able. See the next item in my list of issues.

20. move sp list attachments to sp libs

This can be done with Microsoft Flow actions using the Create File,Get Attachments and Get Content actions


21. creating templates

Within flow you can export/import flows and within PowerApps you can also save your PowerApps locally. This way you end up with a zip file that contains your full solution. Maybe this is not immediately a template solution


22. setting theme fonts

Currently it isn’t possible to theme your apps with custom themes. There are however a few great ideas around. Tony Philips wrote the following post a while back:


I would however suggest a slightly more complicated approach. You could consider a solution like described in David Lozzi’s post:

Custom Style Sheets for PowerApps, pseudo CSS

Depending on the requirements both options might be suitable.

How about storing your styling outside PowerApps? That way you could reuse the branding across multiple apps. I will try and work out this idea in the future.


Do you have any more ideas, improvements feel free to leave a comment below or add it to the PowerApps Ideas  or Microsoft Flow Ideas.

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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