powerapps deep dive

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Post on 16-Apr-2017




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PowerApps and FlowJussi RoineCTO @ Onsight HelsinkI


Jussi RoineCTO, MVP, MCM, MCTOnsight Helsinkiwww.jussiroine.com@JussiRoine

Session takeawaysLearn when to choose PowerApps and Flow

Quickly build effective LOB solutions

Migration guidance from InfoPath

Additional session takeway

NoniinRight, lets get started, shall wenoNIIIINI TOLD YOU, IT WORKS, SEE!No. Niin.It should.. work? Give me a second..NONNIHHelp me god, work! You piece of #%%#@(Basics of Finnish: Completed)

What is PowerApps?

And what is Flow?

Building & managing PowerApps and Flow solutions

Best Practices

What is PowerApps?

What is PowerApps?Create apps with a Windows 10 App, share securely with Office 365 usersAccess via mobile devices, tablets, web browser and Windows appsGet & manipulate external data via ConnectionsA fully cloud-based platform for building, sharing and using business apps


Why PowerApps?Forms tools unless you count InfoPath and/or Excel SurveysRapid App Development environmentMobile app story for information workersMicrosoft does not have great solutions at the moment for:PowerApps tries to redeem these omissions with a modern approach A tool for power users to quickly design and build apps around dataWorks in mobile, works in the browserCloud first, Mobile firstWifi first,


What about InfoPath? Wheres that going?XML-based forms are from the past no real benefits anymoreVery limited connectivity & too SharePointyNot really web/mobile focused and challenging to customize

InfoPath is on its way out and has too much technical debtIs PowerApps an InfoPath replacement?PowerApps lacks features that InfoPath has more on these in a momentPowerApps is not forms on web page with clunky workflows

PowerApps is what InfoPath should have been in 2003-2013


What can I build with PowerApps?PowerApps is flexible, but it also has specific strengthsGenerate apps based on data (Excel, SQL etc.)Form-based apps for capturing and updating dataLine of Business apps with modern capabilities (microphone, camera, GPS coordinates) Apps for specific needs, signups, events for power users and role-based needsPowerApps-based apps can contain:

Multiple data sources

Multiple screens

Ink & pen support

Custom APIs


Current limitations with PowerAppsSupported platforms for using PowerApps

PowerApps is still in Preview not supported for production useDocumentation is somewhat limited and scarce, more like a referenceYou will need custom development, if default connectors are not enoughLimited SharePoint support does not replace forms/list views


PowerApps Demo

What is Microsoft Flow?

Microsoft FlowA new workflow & activity engine for power users in the cloudDesign workflows with a simple design interface

Run workflows continuously or as triggered activities

Connect with PowerApps via control activity


Building FlowsDesign flows at https://flow.microsoft.com using the web UIGraphical designer shares the same UX with Azure Logic Apps designer Dozens of triggers and actions, more being added monthlyData does not have to reside in Office 365 at allData sources include Box, Dropbox, Salesforce, Wunderlist etc.Things to consider before going to productionRecurrence of a Flow can be automatic (~30 sec) or sec/min/hour/day intervalCan connect with custom APIs that are registered through Office 365Credentials to external services are stored within the Flow (and shared with PowerApps)

Flow GalleryReuse pre-defined recipes from Flow GallerySubmit custom flows to Flow GalleryMust not contain custom APIs

Flow Demo

SharePoint-based workflow vs. Microsoft FlowFeatureWindows Azure WorkflowMicrosoft FlowSupports SharePoint 2013/2016Built-inRequires integration work (webhooks in the future)Supports SharePoint OnlineBuilt-inBuilt-inForm technology approachInfoPathPowerAppsInfoPathSupports complex workflowsVia Visual StudioVia Custom APIs & Azure FunctionsLogs & troubleshootingSimple view with errors (if any)Exceptions & graphical view, history view, input/output viewsFuture-proofSupported for 10 more years, default (and only) choice for nowFlow support coming to SPO, evolves rapidly during PreviewPricingNo license required Not announced

Building & managing PowerApps and Flow solutions

Building PowerApps solutionsDesign apps based on data, or design apps based on UI

Data must be accessible, so sharing can use Dropbox, OneDrive for Business etc.

Shadow IT solutions unexpected usage and growth


Converting InfoPath forms to PowerAppsNo tool available for InfoPath to PowerApps conversionNo public information if a tool will even be released by Microsoft

Challenges in moving to PowerApps-based forms from InfoPath:Repeater controlTable-based positioningOffline supportWindows Phone supportOn-Premises supportComplexity for workaroundNice-to-haveMust-haveNot neededSharePoint supportForm View supportAnonymous use


Converting SharePoint Workflows to FlowsNo tool available for WAW/SharePoint Designer-based workflow conversionProblem: SharePoint Designer 2013-based workflows are often complex and include multiple steps and path logicFlows only support simple conditions (If/Else, but not Default/Finally)Flows do not support looping (for now, at least)

No Visual Studio-support for building FlowsRecommendation: Build only simple Flows, with Flow strengths

Integrations & external data

High volume

Always running


Managing PowerApps & FlowsUser access to apps is based on Office 365 accountsForms are in-house and per organization No anonymous use all apps are for internal use onlyAAD B2B support is not confirmedShare with individuals, or share with the whole organizationCreate and enforce a governance model! User builds a fantastic PowerApps/Flow solutionUser leaves the companyRe-provision/claiming solutions during disabling/deprovisioning of AD account ChallengeSolutionUser actionUsers love PowerApps & FlowUnmanaged, undocumented LOB tools, Shadow IT approachProvide guidance, take ownership of solutions, monitor solutions


Extending beyond PowerApps & Flow basic featuresCustom APIs extend PowerApps & Flow OOB functionalityAzure Functions provide effortless building blocksLogic Apps provide true integration logicServerless computing

Trigger via HTTP call, polling or webhooks

Can run C# scripts and .BAT files

Ad-hoc modifications, real-time loggingAzure API Apps as a platform

Swagger-based metadata finding

Can do *anything*

Best suited for integrating external datasources

API Management PortalEnterprise integration features

Full integration capabilities

Not dependent on single user

Fully Azure-based

Hybrid integration solution


Best Practices, lessons learned, dont do what I did

Lessons learnedPowerApps is in preview plan ahead & keep plans looseThings are changing prepare for ad hoc change of plansCase: Put all APIs in Microsoft Azure and manage them separatelyMicrosoft retired the Azure-based PowerApps management functionalityDoes PowerApps support X? be careful not to overpromiseThe roadmap is not locked down, so things are moving and shiftingDont assume things & remember your lessons from InfoPathInfoPath was released in 2003 and then I felt the same as now AMAZING!Workarounds easily turn into hacks and kludgesUmm, AD lookup is not there so let me just code it quickly..


Best practicesPowerApps is flexible, but it also has specific strengthsIt revolves around data so best start with a data model & mindset

APIs are the key to accessing data and external systemsProvide centralized access to APIs via Azure API Management PortalUse other Office 365 workloads to your benefitPlanner, Power BI, OneDrive for Business, Groups etc.Avoid trying to rebuild InfoPath forms to look the same in PowerApps


Where to learn more?PowerApps referencehttps://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/tutorials/formula-reference/ Custom APIs and PowerAppshttps://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/carlosag/2016/05/09/using-azure-functions-in-powerapps/ Using Azure Functions in PowerAppshttps://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/using-azure-functions-in-powerapps/

GroupsResponse time / CriticalityVisibilityPlannerDelve AnalyticsDelveIndividualOrganizationNon-realtime / LowReal-time / HighSkype for Business (call/video)Skype for Business (IM)EmailOneDrive for BusinessSkype for Business (online meeting)YammerSkype BroadcastSharePointOffice 365 VideoProject OnlinePowerApps





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