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Introduction to PowerApps : Session 1

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

THE TECH PLATFORM PRESENTS TALKS WITH AROH SHUKLA (YOUTUBE & FACEBOOK)


This Article is Written by Mr. Aroh Shukla. This Article is based in the Introduction of Power Apps - Session 1 . To see the Live Video for this session visit Youtube and Facebook @thetechplatform.

The Facebook Link - Talks with Aroh Shukla

The Youtube link -Talks with Aroh Shukla





This Article will cover the following topics:

Intro to Power Apps Why we need Power Apps

Power Apps What is Power Apps?

Power Apps License Basic information on Power Apps license

Types of Power apps Which Power Apps to use in which scenario

Demo A walkthrough on Power Apps UI




Course Road Map






Transforming your business is challenging




What is Line of Business Application?


Line of Business (LOB) Applications are programs/software that are essential to running a business. There are two areas to consider when determining your LOB applications: the industry and the type departments.


Benefits of LOB Applications

  1. Built specifically to serve an organization’s business needs

  2. Built specifically for an industry.

  3. Expensive to maintain

  4. Does not keep up with organization’s need for change



Challenges



The Dilemma


Buy off-the-shelf


Will this app solve all your problems?

What do you do when the software does not solve all your problems?


Building a custom application

How much time do you have?

Who is going to maintain in long term?




Microsoft Power platform

The Low - Code platform that spans office 365, Azure Dynamic 365 and stand alone applications.



Power apps growth

Microsoft disruptive Technology for building any business application.


Power Apps Mission


Empower every developer to do more.

  1. Citizen Developers.

  2. Pro Developers.

  3. IT Developers.


Develop faster than ever before with the Microsoft Platform


Pro Developers + Power Platform = No Limits



Power Apps: a low-code approach to building apps


  • Easily Build apps with a full featured low-code/no-code platform

  • Connect to your existing data with 300+ pre-built connectors and custom connectors

  • Store your data in the Dataverse (Formerly common Data Science Service)

  • Integrated with Office 365, Azure, Dynamics 365, and Power BI

  • Strong Enterprise Governance and Security

  • Pro - dev Extensibility


Type of Power Apps


Canvas Apps

Canvas-based apps have been around since PowerApps first came on the scene roughly 2 years ago. Design custom apps by dragging and dropping elements onto a canvas, just as you would design a slide in PowerPoint. You start by designing a User Interface for your app (in a PowerPoint design, Excel formula functionality type of way) and connect it to the data available through many of the out of the box connectors (or if you’re feeling ambitious you can create your own). The great thing about canvas apps is that you can connect to most of the data sources that are included in your O365 license.

These apps are great for:

  • Pulling multiple data sources together into one app

Data from SharePoint lists, Dynamics 365, Office 365, SQL databases, and many more can be

combined into one user interface

  • Creating a completely custom UI

  • Providing a user friendly – mobile-first application for your users

  • More flexibility with development of functions and controls

One thing to keep in mind with canvas-driven apps, you need to already have your data sources created or in production in order to build the framework of your app. For example, see the screenshot below of a canvas app:



Model Driven Apps

Dynamics 365 platform has been integrated into the Common Data Service or CDS. This essentially means Dynamics 365 and CDS are one in the same. You create the entities and data structure for your apps while you are building them. Keep in mind, to use CDS you must have an additional P1 or Dynamics license on top of your O365 license.

These apps are great for:

  • Creating your data source from scratch

1. Entities, tables, relationships, fields

  • Grouping business or use case functionality together into one app

1. For example, a client check-in app, where a customer service representative has a model driven

app that groups the functionality they need together in one app

  • Business process flows that guide users through a common business process

  • The unified client interface means your app will look the same whether it is being viewed on a phone, tablet or desktop

Look at the screenshot below for an example of a model-driven app (those of you Dynamics 365 users may realize that this is quite like the Unified Client Interface- that’s because they’re the same thing):




Portals

Portal allow for external use scenarios, like customer self-service portals that require external or anonymous access.​




Put your data to work with the Dataverse

  • “Out-of-the-box” data store for your apps 

  • Advanced security, business logic and rules 

  • Jumpstart apps with the Common Data Model 

  • Dynamics 365, Office 365, and Azure data is available, augmented by industry partners 

  • Extend to your own needs and integrate across your apps and services



AI Builder: intelligent apps and processes



  • Low code AI solutions for Power Platform leveraging the power of Microsoft AI

  • Bring your data from dataverse , ADLSv2 or 300+ pre Built connectors and custom connectors

  • Customize Dynamics 365 AI offerings to specific schema and processes with AI Builder

  • Predictors available in Dataverse for Power Platform and Dynamics

  • Pro-Dev extensibility and governance


Mixed Reality


1. Take Measurements


When your workflow requires understanding dimensions of the physical world, you will be able to take linear or volumetric measurements directly through the Power App. Use the results to kick off automated processes or store these back into your data source.



2. Validate fir before work begins


When you are working in the real world, you need to understand physical spaces. Now in Power Apps you will be able to use 3D models or virtual volumetric representations to find out if a pathway is large enough; if the product will fit or how placement might impact line of sight.



Power Platform License is COMPLEX

  • Frequent changes

  • Newer products with existing Power Platform

  • Office 365 and Dynamics 365 and Azure

  • Standard Connector & Premium Connector


Saas - Software as a Service

aPaas - Application Platform as a Service

Paas - Platform as a Service

Iaas - Infrastructure as a Service



Power Apps / Power Platform – Free For Office 365 Plans


Power Apps per app plan: US$ 10 per user/app/month

  1. Allows you to access two custom Power Apps (Canvas app or Model-driven app) and one Portal app

  2. All apps must be in the same Dataverse environment.


Power Apps portal

  1. Power Apps portals login capacity add-on, 100 logins per month: US$200

  2. Power Apps portals page view capacity add-on, 100,000 page views per month: US$100

  3. Internal users must be licensed separately, either via Power Apps or Dynamics 365 licenses.


Power Apps per user plan: US$ 40 per user/month

  1. Allows you to access an unlimited number of Power Apps (Canvas/Modeldriven/Portal) in your tenant.

  2. Can also be used for accessing Canvas apps shared to guests in another tenant


References

  1. Official Microsoft Power Apps pricing

  2. Official Power Portals FAQ

  3. Blog: Price points of Power Platform



Power Apps / Power Automate – Community Plan



Get a free environment for individual use

  • Learn and develop your Power Apps and Power Automate skills

  • Explore and create in a fullfeatured environment for development

  • Build apps on a single, extensible view of your data with Microsoft Dataverse



“Low Code” Development With Power Apps

and Power Automate


Low Code Concepts

  • Declarative & Imperative Logic

  • Formulas

  • Variables and Collections

  • Data Sources

  • Controls & Bindings

  • Navigation


Declarative & Imperative Logic


Declarative logic (Excel, Power Apps)

  • Define data flow dependencies between values.

  • Pull Changes • Logic automatically performed as value changes called as recalculations

  • For e.g., Screen.Background = if (IsBlank(Name), Red, Green) •


Imperative logic (Visual Basic , C#, JavaScript)

  • Defined Steps

  • Push Changes

  • Logic is event driven, executed once for each event

  • For e.g.,

private static void button_Click(object sender, EventArgs eventArgs) 
{ 
Screen.Background = if (IsBlank(Name), Red, Green) 
}


Reference Access Sheets / Screen


Excel


  • Formulas can reference any cell in the workbook

  • Entire workbook is recalculating all the time, even if we can't see in screenshot




Power Apps


  • Formulas can reference any control property

  • The Entire app is recalculating all the time, even of we can't see in screenshot





Excel Function in Power Apps



Imperative Functions

(Declarative and Imperative function)




Benefits of Power Apps

  • SPEED

One of the biggest benefits of Power Apps is how quickly one can develop a useful, functioning app. Power Apps extracts many time-consuming elements from the usual development process (such as creating a user interface, creating links from form fields to code and data, etc.) and replaces them with an intuitive drag and drop interface.

  • STREAMLINE DEVELOPMENT

Between submitting tickets, getting manager approval, design, prototype signoff, Q&A testing, security, and rolling out the newly developed app, creating a new app can be so difficult that many departments would rather suffer with doing it manually, or limping along on an old application. With Power Apps, new apps can be conceived, built, and distributed all within the group that needs them.

Whether Power Apps are built by the company’s developers or by an ambitious team member willing to do a little bit of research and sorting through connectors and functions, Power Apps start far away from scratch. In many ways Power Apps are like popular recipe-in-a-box services. You still have to do the cooking to put it all together, but all the parts and instructions are already there.

  • EASIER APP CREATION

With APIs, libraries, functions, and objects, coding an app can be daunting for the non-programmer. The benefit of Power Apps is that the majority, if not all, of that coding can be handled by dragging and dropping. Whether building a mobile app, an app that runs in a browser, or an in-house desktop app, Power Apps handles all of the usual overhead that goes into making the app fit the environment. With Power Apps, there is no need to know about the pros and cons of frameworks, dependencies, or libraries. Power Apps handles all of that behind the scenes.

  • EASY TO USE CONNECTORS

One of the hardest parts about developing apps for non-professional developers is knowing how to connect to data. While all the pretty drag and drop interface tools make building the front end easy, this won’t help a power user in the accounting department build a complete app if they still have to contend with building SQL queries, or heaven forbid regex filters, on the back end. Thanks to Microsoft Power Apps connectors, many standard data storage services are easy to connect to and use with Power Apps. Additional drag and drop selections and templates make accessing data from cloud services or common Microsoft applications easy.

  • DEEP OFFICE 365 INTEGRATION

Getting the data from an app is great, but where should that data go? Thanks to Power Apps integration with Office 365, Microsoft Flow, and Microsoft Power BI, it’s easy to get data into and out of SharePoint, or Excel, or any of the other 365 apps on which your business depends.

  • MOBILE READY

All too often, there is already a really great way for a user to access exactly what they need… as long as they are sitting at their laptop or desktop computer. However, when the same user is out on the road, or just away from the office, it can be difficult to access the same information on a mobile device. Cluttered interfaces that work perfectly on a 24” screen can be worthless on an iPhone or Android device. Power Apps allows you to develop for a phone form factor right in the same interface so you can always be sure that the great new app you are building will work for your road warriors. Thanks to the easy to use interface and common connectors, chances are there is a way to easily create a mobile friendly version using the same data access that the desktop version already uses.

  • INTEGRATION WITH POWER AUTOMATE

Power Apps comes integrated with Microsoft Flow. This Power Apps benefit lets apps react to changing or updating data without the need to build your own poll or check to alert the app to run when there is an update. Various Power Apps subscriptions come with different numbers of flows that can be run each month, but the number can be increased if necessary.


  • LOW COST

Another benefit of Microsoft Power Apps is its low cost. Standalone plans start as low at $10 per month for two applications and one portal, or $40 per month for unlimited applications. With an Office 365 license, it’s even easier to add Power Apps to your stack. Contact your admin to add-on or try it out yourself.



JSON Free course which gives Power Apps / Power Automate to understand how JSON is core skill to learn Power Platform.


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