SharePoint & Microsoft Resources

What the Heck Are Powerapps?

by Jo Constantinides, Solutions Developer

What the Heck Are Powerapps?
We get asked a lot about PowerApps and most of the time, people have simply heard the term and are uncertain of exactly what they are and why they may need it. Microsoft describe PowerApps as “a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. 

Essentially, it is an app (which is included in most Office 365 subscription plans) that enables you to build custom applicationsIt provides a “low code” (note NOT no code) way to build apps that can display and interact with data from a number of sources including Sharepoint lists, libraries, OneDrive as well as other external data sources. 

 

Do I need PowerApps? 

According to Microsoft, demand for low code platforms is increasing but need is a pretty strong word but worth considering as a potential option when a new business requirement comes your way. 

 

How do I build a PowerApp? 

You can build an app online at https://web.powerapps.com/ or by installing the “PowerApps Studio” application on your Windows device. 

 

How do I use PowerApps? 

PowerApps can be run from the PowerApp app, embedded on a Sharepoint page or rather excitingly added as a tab in a Channel in Microsoft Teams. 

 

When you say “Low Code” …. 

PowerApps studio has a “wysiwig” interface that lets you create different views (screens) and add elements to those screens. Each element you add has a number of properties that can be set to determine how the element looks and behaves.  

Lets take a simple example of a button. 

It has a property called ‘Color’ that lets you set the font colour for that button. Pretty obvious. 

Other properties exist so you can tell the app how to respond to certain user interactions. For example

The ‘OnSelect’ property tells the app what to do when the button is clicked. In the above example you see that when the button is clicked, the app will “navigate” i.e. go to Screen 1 (using a fade effect when it transitions from one to the other).  

  

This sounds like a good idea. How can I find out more? 

Microsoft provide many resources to get you going such as the “Learn” tab in the PowerApps App itself as well as several courses on their Learn platform. 

If you rather get help from some pretty awesome PowerApp experts, give us a call or send us an email and we will get you on the right track.  

 

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