Abhishek Shukla
3 min readJul 27, 2020

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Microsoft Power Apps : Power your Application Development with Less Code or No Code

PowerApps is, more of , a development platform for mobile and web apps. It allows every “citizen developers” to develop applications with capabilities that can only be achieved by either high-end development tools or doing programming in any preferred language.

Microsoft defines PowerApps as a “suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment apps for your business needs.” While you can add integrations with other applications, a key strength is its ability to build apps based on Office 365 and also Microsoft Dynamics 365. If you have a particular process that uses different parts of the Microsoft universe, for example SharePoint Online, Excel and Dynamics 365, then an app based on PowerApps has the potential to bring them all together for your users in one handy, convenient experience.

Why power apps

PowerApps at its core is a Platform as a Service. It allows you to create Mobile Apps that run on Android, iOS, Windows (Modern Apps) — and with almost any Internet browser.

With PowerApps Mobile Apps, all of the PowerApps you create run through the PowerApp App. It takes care of the differences between the operating systems and just allows you to run your apps.

Following are the benefits of Power apps.

Get started quickly : Empower your team to start building and launching apps right away using pre-built templates, drag-and-drop simplicity, and quick deployment — then roll out continuous improvements as needed.

Build apps without compromises : Give everyone the power to build the apps they need with advanced functionality previously only available to professional developers — including pre-built AI components.

Enable extensibility for developers : Provide professional developers the tools to seamlessly extend app capabilities with Azure Functions and custom connectors to proprietary or on-premises systems.

Features

  • Already have library of sample apps that you can work from as a starting point and then customize
  • Over 200 out of box connectors to integrate data and systems including those across the Office 365 universe
  • Drag and drop interface for the creation of apps
  • Out of box integration with other Office 365 and Dynamics tools
  • Support from , including an active PowerApps community.

Types of Apps that can be developed using Power Apps

There are two types of application that can be developed using power apps.

  1. Canvas App : The canvas approach is similar to working from a blank canvas where you connect data sources and other services, add workflows and create interfaces for your app using the drag and drop interface, potentially relying on the library of standard connectors.
  2. Model Driven App : Model Driven approach leverages Microsoft’s Common Data Service which already has information on the various forms, data structures and business rules you have already defined, This approach allows you to start building your app on top of your data. In this approach the structure and data lead the creation of the app, a very useful approach when you are relying on potentially complex underlying data for your app.

When Not to choose power apps for your application development

  1. External Sharing of your application to out side of your organization users
  2. Performance is a key requirement.
  3. Platform or device specific application is requirement.
  4. Too much customize application development is required.
  5. Frequent changes or regular maintenance is required in application
  6. If user base is higher for your application.
  7. Custom Authentication is required for your application.

Use Cases and scenarios for power apps

As power app is a good platform for citizen developers and they can leverage is for some common scenarios.

  • Enabling field workers or technicians to capture end user data when out in the field.
  • To view the existing data in a data base table or Share point list
  • Building model standard documents such as contracts using automation based on different criteria and metadata
  • A system for IT departments to track assets such as hardware, mobile devices and software licenses
  • To create marketing automation tools like follow up with clients based on their interactions and responses.

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Abhishek Shukla

Having 20+ years of IT experience , Enterprise architect . Azure Solution architect expert, Microsft certified trainer, AWS cloud practioner (CLF-C01)