What is PowerApps?
Powerapps is a collection of programs, applications, services and data platforms which enables rapid application development. With the help of Powerapps, we can build and personalize the business apps quickly, without depending on the IT Professionals and Programmers. Applications developed through PowerApps provide abundant workflow and business logic abilities to make your manual business automated. Users can subscribe to Microsoft Powerapps in office 365, Dynamics 365 or as an independent product.
Powerapps is introduced by Microsoft to make way for non-programmers to use and build mobile apps. Powerapps was released in April 2016, and around 1,24,000 people from different countries benefited from the Powerapps. Recently, Microsoft has made Powerapps available commonly, so, it is now open in 6 regions and 42 countries.
Need of Powerapps
Microsoft introduced Powerapps to overcome the following problems.
- Lack of professional mobile app developers
Gartner forecasted that the demand for mobile app developers would increase at least five times more compared to the IT organization ability to deliver. Reason for this situation is the deficiency of professional mobile app developers to meet the requirement.
- Expansion of business data
Business data is expanded across various systems and exceeded the firewall and SaaS cloud. As data is stored in various systems, we cannot access the data from the app.
- App sharing and IT Activities
Mobiles apps are distributed through app stores and mobile devices. This established an inheritance methodology to get the app onto the mobile device.
With the help of Powerapps, we can build and personalize the business apps quickly, without depending on the IT Professionals and Programmers. Users can subscribe to Microsoft Powerapps in office 365, Dynamics 365 or as an independent product.
Powerapps can be classified into three categories; they are:
- The App itself
- Connections to your data.
- Flows: Workflows thrown by apps.
The App itself
Through Powerapps, We can create any app for mobiles, tablets or desktops. The developed apps perform some general functions based on the template. Customization of apps can turn it more specialized and specific. PowerApp studio can create and modify the layout the same as with the App. In addition to templates, we can also develop the apps from scratch to get more adaptability concerning the application’s flow.
Connectors to the data
While creating an app through a template, Powerapps queries about data source that you want to use for your App, some of the accessible data sources are:
- Dynamics 365
- Sharepoint list
For instance, if we want to develop an app which performs some operations on the contacts of the client, then we have to develop the application on that SharePoint.
For developing mobile applications through Powerapps, it will take only a few clicks. For customizing and prioritizing the data, we can use drag and drop mechanism. After creating the App, you will have separate screens for browsing records and displaying the details of documents.
Microsoft flow is the primary engine running behind the apps you run. An app is defined as a collection of many automated processes or workflows. An app is created to do certain operations on the data. Flow teaches us how our apps should perform these operations. To run our app on our device, we should install a Powerapps app in our machine.
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Microsoft Flow automates various repetitive tasks, which enables you to dedicate more time for essential tasks. In addition to automation, we can establish API connectors and gateways for traditional solutions through the sophisticated integration tools of Powerapps.
Microsoft Powerapps is useful in various industries like Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Information Technology(IT) as it can automate any routine task.
Advantages of Microsoft Flow
Through Microsoft Flow, we can perform the following things easily.
- Establishing the workflows to receive notifications and handling the work
- Applying various connectors to interchange the data between SharePoint and other Microsoft or different third-party services.
- Create items and custom APIs.
- Using the SharePoint list, we can create CRM entities.
- We can share the data between SharePoint and Dropbox, one drive, etc.
Working of Microsoft Flow
To create a workflow, Microsoft Flow provides various templates to create the workflow immediately. If we cannot find a suitable template for a specific task, we can create a template which meets our requirements.
Installation of Microsoft Flow has explained in detail click Here
The main functions of Powerapps are as follows
1. Powerapps Search Function:
Powerapps Search function is used to locate the records which contain the required string. The string can occur anywhere in the column.
The syntax of the search function is as follows: Search( Table, RequiredString, Column)
- Table: This field refers to the table to be searched.
- RequiredString: This field refers to the string to be searched.
- Column: This field refers to the column within the table to be searched.
Now, we will apply the search function on the above employ table.
Search(Employ, “esh” . Emp_Name)
The above search function returns the records which have “esh” string in the Emp_Name Column.
As the “esh” string is present in every Column of the Emp_Name field, the search function returns a complete table.
2. Powerapps Filter Function:
The Powerapps filter function is used to locate the records which fulfil a particular Formula or a condition.
Syntax: Filter(Table, Formula)
- Table: This field refers to the table to be searched.
- Formula: Formula by each record of the table is assessed.
The Powerapps Filter function is applied to the above Employ Table in the following way:
In the above Filter Function, we have applied a formula, i.e. Emp_Salary>25000, so the records which satisfied this formula are returned in the above Employ Table.
3) Powerapps Lookup Function:
The Powerapps Lookup Function first locates a record based on the formula, and then it uses a reduction formula to reduce the record to a single value.
Syntax: Lookup(Table, Formula, ReductionFormula)
Table: This field indicates the table to be searched.
Formula: This field gives the formula to be applied on the table.
ReductionFormula: This field reduces the returned record to a single value.
Now apply the Powerapps Lookup function on the above Employ Table
Lookup( Employ, Emp_ID=”03”, Emp_Salary)
The above function says that we have to select the record which has the Emp_ID Value is equal to “03”, and then we have to display the Emp_Salary Value of that record. So, now the above function returns the following single Value:
“50000”-It is the Value of Emp_Salary of the employee who has Emp_ID as “03.”
Applications of Powerapps
- Powerapps contain azure app service so that employees can get the mobile apps quickly onto their device.
- We can build new connections to the already existing business systems and thus enabling any employee of the organization to develop their apps.
- Powerapps honours privacy and data security issues to maintain data access and corporate policies.
Powerapps allows you to speed up the development process of business apps. Time for developing apps can be reduced from months to minutes. Powerapps allows organizations or businesses to have their own group of app developers and designers. These developers and designers can develop apps which can provide a suitable solution for their organizations.