PowerApps, what is it?

Have you seen or heard about this new Microsoft technology and are wondering what it is? In this connected world, business is changing and changing fast. It’s important to stay up to date and see what developments are happening. In this report, I’ll give you an idea of ​​what this new technology can do for your business.

With PowerApps, you can create mobile apps that cater to the unique needs of your business. You need a lot of expertise? Yes and no. A simple system can be created quickly, but for more complex functions, a better understanding is helpful.

Office365 enables better collaboration by bringing products like Excel, Outlook, Word and PowerPoint to the cloud. Microsoft Access never made it to the cloud, and there are probably good reasons for that. Access databases are used less and less these days. As powerful as they are, there are limitations.

PowerApps works in the cloud and you don’t need to install your system on each user’s PCs. Every time you make an update, all you have to do is repost it and users will automatically get the latest version. What can PowerApps do to make installing software easier? PowerApps works in a browser, so there is no software to install on a user’s PC. As long as they have access to a browser, they can use your system. You must also have an Office365 account and a license to run PowerApps.

So how can this new technology add value to your business? It’s advertised as a tool for mobile devices, and essentially it is. You don’t necessarily have to be a PowerApps developer. It’s pretty easy to get started, but if you have development experience, it’s even better. You can create apps for your mobile phone or tablet device like an iPad. Examples are billing app, helpdesk, booking system etc.

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One downside is that you can’t create an app for a phone and expect it to look the same on a tablet or desktop. You would have to create a separate version for the mobile platform and the desktop platform.

Although geared towards mobile devices, you can also create apps that run on your laptop or desktop PC. Here too, just like with mobile apps, everything runs in the browser. PowerApps can be used to convert existing applications on other platforms? If you have an InfoPath form or MS Access database, then these are prime candidates for conversion to PowerApps.

Now you might be wondering what the cost will be. If you have an Office365 subscription, PowerApps is included. Prices can sometimes change and it’s worth checking the Microsoft website.

PowerApps is best used for small systems. Don’t try to port or build a system that requires complicated code and lots of screens. Try to keep things simple. There are many PowerApps samples to help you get started. However, there is no substitute for a good PowerApps tutorial, and a PowerApps for Beginners course can quickly get you up to speed.

What can PowerApps do with data sources?

PowerApps can connect to a variety of data sources. For example, it can connect to Excel, SharePoint, SQL Server, DropBox, and many, many more. It is currently not possible to connect to an MS Access database, but there is a workaround.

SharePoint is an ideal candidate for the connection because, like PowerApps, it’s cloud-based and part of Office365. It is possible to connect to on-premises SharePoint and SQL Server, but you must use what is known as an on-premises gateway.

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All in all, PowerApps along with Office 365 are solid products that Microsoft is constantly improving. More and more companies recognize the advantages and get involved. Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised.

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