PowerApps Components

Those familiar with PowerApps would surely know that this software also has components. However, not many people would be aware of the same in detail. This blog reveals everything about PowerApps and its components, how to create a new component, and export and import the same. Mainly, you will understand the step-by-step guide to creating new PowerApps components.

Those who wish to develop an app without facing significant obstacles can always rely upon PowerApps. This Microsoft suit lets you launch a customised and personalised app even if you’re not well-versed in coding. 

However, if you wish to dive into the foundations of PowerApps, you will have to understand its basic elements and anatomy first. With this post, let’s navigate through PowerApps components and find out everything about the major components of PowerApps.

PowerApps Components - Table of Contents

What is PowerApps?

PowerApps is one such software that is specifically used to curate customised business applications by those who are not well-versed in application development or custom coding. This one gets covered in the subscription plans of Office 365 and is an essential feature of OneDrive, Planner, and more. 

While PowerApps is completely different from Sharepoint but gets integrated within it. Although this software is designed to run with a gamut of sources, like external databases, you can effortlessly connect it to any List OneDrive, or SharePoint library. This way, you can easily retrieve and store data even if you don’t have any knowledge of SQL or databases.

Limitations of PowerApps

There are some known limitations of PowerApps, such as:

  • You cannot configure a custom input property to a custom output property value across different or the same instances when you have two or multiple instances of one component in the app. This action will lead to a message displaying a circular reference warning. To work around this restriction, you must create a component copy in the app.
  • It does not support running or adding power to automate flows in the component libraries.
  • You cannot save controls or sources that comprise data from data tables, fluid grids, or forms with components.
  • You cannot insert any component in a form or a gallery. 
  • PowerApps components do not support the function of UpdateContext.

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What are PowerApps Components?

PowerApps components are building blocks you can use and reuse when developing an app. Through these components, you can set up a handful of controls within the apps. Having said that, the below-mentioned are some of the major components of PowerApps:

Component #1. Gallery

Through a gallery, you can easily visualise data in your application. It is basically a screen template that lets you see and navigate the data. For instance, you may add a gallery that features a screen to see or edit a record. 

Such a screen can be a calendar, form, tutorial, list, scrollable, or anything else. When put together, several screens create a gallery. When developing a new app, you can choose from a diverse range of galleries. 

Component #2. Function

This is the way wherein you get to interact with properties and modify the same. In PowerApps, you will find functions similar to the ones available in Excel.

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Component #3. Screen

The screen is a method to see a certain record or dataset on screens, be it a mobile, an iPad, or a desktop. Usually, you have one screen to see the list of records, one to showcase a certain record, and one to edit it. When you develop an app using a template, you get prebuilt screens. Although they are a part of the selected gallery, you can add extra screens.

Component #4. Property

Every control will have some or the other properties. If you think of a text entry box, it comes with a few properties, such as text colour, font style, font size, and more. You can see and edit properties from the Properties menu available on the screen’s left side and from the panel itself as well.

Component #5. Card

Cards are included in a screen. This one is an area that showcases a specific record from either the list of SharePoint or external databases used to develop an app. Typically, a card comprises a variety of attributes, also known as controls. They are related to the record display. 

Component #6. Control

With the help of controls, you can see and interact with records. There is a variety of controls that are based on the type of field you are using. For instance, you can use a toggle switch or a radio button rather than a drop-down control to make the selection look more appealing on the app. Some most common examples of controls include rating, toggle, slider, radio, list box, checkbox, combo box, date picker, drop-down, buttons, and more.

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Why PowerApps Components?

PowerApps components are useful and important when developing large apps with similar control patterns. For instance, if you have updated the definition of a component in your app, every instance will show the changes. 

Not just that, components also help decrease putting efforts again and again by eradicating the need to copy and paste controls. This way, they help enhance the overall performance tremendously. 

How To Create a New Power Apps Component?

Now that you have understood the basics of PowerApps and the importance of its components, let’s figure out how to create new components. 

To create a new component, follow these steps:

Step 1. Sign up or sign in to the PowerApps.

Step 2. Once done, click on Apps and choose the Components libraries option.

Step 3. Next, give a name to the component and choose the Create option.

Step 4. In the forthcoming screen, you will see a default component.

Step 5. Now, rename the same to Header.

Step 6. Next, add the label control as LBLHeaderText.

Step 7. Under Images, add the media control as logoImage.

Step 8. And then, you can add a new custom property of Text data type and name the same as Header Text.

Step 9. Add another custom property of Image data type and give it a name as Image.

Step 10. Now, set the label controls for the Text property to the property of the Header Text.

Step 11. Set the width property of the header components to App.ActiveScreen.Width

Step 12. This will help set up the components’ width according to the Canvas app.

Step 13. Next, you can copy the component of the Header through the Duplicate component option and create a new Footer component.

Step 14. Lastly, save this component library.

Step 15. Publish this component library by pressing the Publish this version.

Step 16. The component library will get displayed in the market portal.

Creating and Using Custom Properties

PowerApps offers an option to create custom properties that are improved customisations. Some examples include colour, text, and more. You can also create your custom components or properties of several data types. Here, let’s talk about the two fundamental types of custom properties, which are:

  • Input Property: It receives values from the app that get used in a component.
  • Output Property: This one is specifically used to send data to the app from the custom property.

To create these properties, follow these steps:

  • Paste or enter the text in the form of items in the display name, description boxes and property name.
  • When you will select a component, a display name will be showcased in the Properties tab available on the right panel.
  • By giving a descriptive display name and other markers, you get to understand the purpose of the properties. This description will get showcased in the tooltip when you will hover your cursor on the display name of the property on the Properties tab.
  • Choose the table and create one from the data type list.
  • The item property will get defined as the default value as per the specified data type.
  • You can also set the value appropriate as per your requirement.
  • If you have specified a Record or a Table data type, you can also adjust the items property’s value to fit the data schema that you wish to input to the component.
  • In this situation, you can change the same to a strings list.
  • By choosing the property name from the available Properties tab, you can easily define the property value of the formulas bar.

Scope

Both input and output properties define the entire interface between a component and the host app. By default, the component gets encapsulated so as to make it easy to reuse the same across different apps. The scope limitations keep the data contract of a component cohesive and simple. Not just that, it also allows effortless component-definition updates, specifically across varying apps with component libraries. 

However,  there could be such times when a component might wish to share a variable or a data source with the host. This happens when a component is meant to be used for one specific app. For such scenarios, you can access app-level information directly by turning the Access app scope switch on, which is available in the property pane of the component.

When you turn on the Access app score, you can access the following factors from the component:

  • Global variables
  • Tabular data sources, like dataverse tables
  • Collections
  • Components and controls on the screen, like TextInput control.

Import and Export Components

If you wish to import one or multiple components from one app to another, you will have to choose the Import Components option from the Insert menu and make use of the custom dropdown menu. Alternatively, you can also see Components in the left navigation and the form of a tree view. A dialogue box will appear listing all the apps that comprise components that you can change. Now, choose the app and then choose Import to get the latest released version of all the components. Once done, you can delete or edit accordingly. 

Export Components from Your App

If you want, you can export the components to a specific file and download them to import them into any other app. Now, from the components section on the left navigation tree view, you can choose the Export components options. By doing so, the components will get exported to a file and will be downloaded.

Check out the Top PowerApps Interview Questions and Answers that help you grab high paying jobs

Most Common PowerApps FAQs

1. What are the six major components of PowerApps?

The six major components of PowerApps are a gallery, screen, card, control, property, and function. 

2. What are PowerApps code components?

The PowerApps code components are referred to as a set of PowerApps component framework (PCF) controls that are majorly used to improve the entire functioning of PowerApps. 

3. How do I add a component to PowerApps?

Creating and adding a new component to PowerApps is an easy task. You can follow the steps mentioned above to do the same. Other than that, you can choose a New Component option from the left panel in PowerApps. And then rename the same. 

4. What are the three core concepts of PowerApps?

The three core concepts of PowerApps comprise Canvas App, Portal, and Model Driven. 

5. How do I use the component library in PowerApps?

To use the component library in PowerApps, first sign in to the app. Then, choose apps in the left navigation and choose Component Libraries. Next, choose the New component library. Now, give a name to the component library, and then you can use the same.

Conclusion

PowerApps is undoubtedly a helpful software when it comes to developing apps. Now that you have understood the basics of it and are aware of how to create components as well as import and export them, you can effortlessly get started with PowerApps. 

If you’re looking forward to learning and mastering PowerApps and its components, enrol in this PowerApps Course by MindMajix today. The course provides 18 hours of practical videos where you get to learn how to develop and manage cross-platform apps for B2B businesses. It also covers the latest curriculum and helps you prepare for the Microsoft exams.

If you have any doubts, reach out to us in our MindMajix Community

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Last updated: 08 Nov 2023
About Author

 

Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .

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