Microsoft PowerApps is a Software as a Service (SaaS) for creating custom business applications across platforms and data sources.  PowerApps is one of the suite of services now offered with Office 365 plans. This platform is the Microsoft Infopath forms and Access Services successor that allows you to build powerful data-driven business applications using a WYSIWYG drag and drop designer and Excel-like formulas.

These applications are not limited to just SharePoint list data, XML, or SQL server data sources.  There are hundreds of data connectors that allow you to plug into almost every popular platform from Salesforce, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook social media services, to platforms like Trello, GitHub, and Basecamp.  This could finally be the solution that ties your portfolio of business application data together into a single platform where applications are rapidly developed, prototyped, and published to allow your users to work more efficiently with a comprehensive dataset.

If you are proficient with PowerPoint and Excel, you have a great start into developing PowerApps applications.  You don’t need a deep understanding of XML or extensive experience with InfoPath Forms Designer like we did when creating custom InfoPath forms.   This service was designed so that any power user could quickly connect to data, build modern looking no-code apps with forms and screens, and then instantly publish apps for web and cross-mobile device consumption.

There are many other benefits of PowerApps.  It is constantly updated and patched for you by Microsoft as a cloud hosted service.  It is closely integrated with Microsoft Flow, PowerBI, and SharePoint Online. There are 100+ and growing connectors to popular data sources and allow for easy integration in minutes using the common data service.  It is mobile friendly and has built in templates for creating phone and tablet screens for Apple and Android devices.

Examples provided by Microsoft of what types of apps you can build:

examples of apps

PowerApps and SharePoint

  • SharePoint data via connector
  • SharePoint List embedded forms (replace new/edit form with a power app)
    • Tied directly to the SharePoint list vs a reusable app
  • PowerApps app from a SharePoint list (pulls in existing fields)
  • PowerApps web part in SharePoint modern pages

Customizing SharePoint List form with PowerApps

  • One form with multiple views (different users like end user and help desk)
    • Add to list of views
  • Conditional formatting like Excel!
  • Author, ThisItem.Editor instead of createdby/modifiedby

Reference: PowerApps Getting Started with Forms, Audrie Gordon, Microsoft

Contact Fpweb for more help, discuss your unique needs, and to learn about SharePoint support services.