What is Power Apps?
Power Apps is an application within the Microsoft 365 Application Suite and specifically within the set of applications called Power Platform. Which allows you to develop business applications, these are not intended so much for external use with clients. But rather for use internal to the business/organization itself, such as; resolution of problems, automation, and digitization of processes, etc.
Apps built with Power Apps can work with data from a variety of online and on-premises sources. Including Excel, SharePoint Online, Dynamics 365, or Microsoft Dataverse itself, where a company can store all the data about its business.
These applications can be used both from a Web browser and from mobile devices (phone or tablet) through their APK, available for iOS, Android, and Windows.
What types of applications can we create with Power Apps?
Thanks to Power Apps, we can create different types of applications for our company.
Let’s see below the three types of applications we can create with Microsoft Power Apps:
It allows you to create a highly personalized interface starting from a blank canvas and being able to connect with more than 200 data sources to choose from, and as we have mentioned before, these applications can be for web, mobile, and tablet.
These Canvas apps can be started in a variety of ways:
- From a data source
- From an example
- From a Dataverse origin
- Totally from scratch
- Via App Source
They are applications that start with your data model and grow from the form of the Dataverse’s core business data and processes to the forms, views and other components of the model.
The great advantage of this type of application is that the full potential of Dataverse can be used to quickly configure forms, business rules, and process flows.
These applications help us build outward-facing websites that allow users outside of your organization to log in with different entities, create and view data in the Dataverse, or even browse content anonymously.
How can we generate these applications?
To generate these applications in Power Apps, we have three methods:
Power Apps Studio
It is the app designer used to build canvas apps, with a user interface that tries to resemble the PowerPoint Slide Builder Layout.
For model-driven apps, allows you to define the map and add components to build the app.
Power Apps Portals Study
For the creation and configuration of web pages, components, forms, and lists.
If you want to know more details about creating apps, you can refer to the app creation overview.
Is it worth using Power Apps in my company?
On many occasions, we find that companies need an IT team to create any type of application.
If we did not take into account PowerApps, any type of solution at the level of the digital process, form, etc.; we would need custom development, with its corresponding development process, security, maintenance, etc.
A much more expensive development in terms of money and effort, than using a tool like Microsoft PowerApps, which allows us to generate applications much more easily thanks to everything mentioned in the previous point.
And not only does it give us these boosts in terms of cost and time. But it also allows non-technical users to develop this type of application thanks to LOW CODE. Which allows us to develop our application without having to have a great idea about programming.
Another very important point today is the issue of security, PowerApps, being within the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, takes away much of the concern for the security of our applications, thanks to all the management that the environment itself already provides us from Microsoft.
Let’s see below a use case where we could use PowerApps to solve a day-to-day problem in our company:
Let’s imagine this example of the image if PowerApps did not exist, it would be much more expensive to prepare a custom solution by the IT team with any technology in which to create a custom application with a form, connect it with a Backend to the database, link it with the appropriate services, etc. While using PowerApps we could achieve it with a much smaller effort.
Other examples of applications would be:
- App for managing the documentation of lawyer cases
- App to manage office shifts (doctors, masseurs, psychologists, or other professionals)
- App for merchants where you can upload product purchases, attach invoices, upload sales, manage stock, etc.
- Vacation management
Does my company need Power Apps, yes or no?
There is no correct answer to this question, will depend on the characteristics of our company and its needs.
But we can assure that having Microsoft PowerApps within our company gives us an enormous capacity to digitize processes that consume a lot of effort for the company in terms of time and costs, in addition to making it possible to generate applications for users outside the IT department.
Adrian Cano Esteban – Lead Developer at Itequia