Introduction to Power Apps

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Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, connectors, and a data platform that provides you with an opportunity to build custom apps for your business needs. Power Apps also provides an extensible platform that lets pro developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data.

With Power Apps, you can:

  • Build an app quickly by using the skills that you already have.
  • Connect to the cloud services and data sources that you’re already using.
  • Share your apps instantly so that coworkers can use them on their phones and tablets.

Power Apps building blocks

Power Apps is a collection of services, apps, and connectors that work together to let you do much more than just view your data. You can act on your data and update it anywhere and from any device.

To create, share, and administer apps, you’ll use the following sites:

  1. web.powerapps.com – On this site, you can open apps, specify the type of app that you want to create, share your app, and create data connections and flows. To use this site, you’ll need to log in by using your organizational account.
  2. Power Apps Studio – On this site, you build apps by configuring user interface (UI) elements and Excel-like formulas.
  3. Power Apps admin center – On this site, you’ll define environments and data policies.

Power Apps building blocks

  • Power Apps Home Page – Apps start here, whether you build them from data, a sample app, or a blank screen.
  • Power Apps Studio – Develop your apps further by connecting to data, adding and arranging user interface (UI) elements (known as controls), and building formulas.
  • Power Apps Mobile – Run your apps on Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS, and Google Android devices.
  • Power Apps Admin Center – Manage Power Apps environments and other components.

Power Apps related technologies

Microsoft Power Apps works with other technologies to help you build powerful apps for your organization.

Data sources – Without data, you don’t have a business. Data sources bring cloud and on-premises data into your apps. You access data through built-in connections, custom connectors, and gateways.

Common Data Service – A compliant and scalable data service that’s integrated into Power Apps.

Power Automate – Allows you to build automated workflows to receive notifications, run processes, collect data, and more.

All apps that are generated from data have the same set of screens that you can view from the Screens pane:

  • Browse screen – This screen appears by default. In it, you can browse, sort, filter, and refresh the data from the data source. In the browse screen, you can add items to the data source by selecting the plus sign (+).
  • Details screen – The details screen shows all information about a single item. In this screen, you can open an item to edit or delete it.
  • Edit/create screen – In this screen, you can edit an existing item or create a new one.

Understand environments in Power Apps

An environment is a container for apps and other resources, such as data connections and flows from Power Automate. It’s a way to group items based on business requirements.  In the upper-right corner of the home page, you can view your current environment.

DifferenetEnvironments

If you’re new to Microsoft Power Apps, you might have only the default environment at this point. If a drop-down menu is visible next to the environment name, this indicates that other environments are available.

Reasons to use environments

  • Separate app development by department – In a large organization, each department can work in a different environment. That way, department employees see only apps and company data that are appropriate to their needs.
  • Support application lifecycle management (ALM) – Separate environments let you separate apps that are in development stages from those that have already been shared. Alternatively, you might want to use a trial environment so that you can receive feedback from employees before publishing the final app. For some organizations, showing apps before they’re completely developed and published can present security concerns.
  • Manage data access – Each environment can have its own source of business data, called a database for Common Data Service. Other data connections are specific to an environment and can’t be shared across environments.

Only admin can create new environments. Go to PowerApps Admin Environment then select New environment, create environment, create database, select the currency and language for the data that is stored in the database. You cannot change the currency or language after the database is created.

It might take several minutes to create the database on Common Data Service. After the database is created, the new environment appears in the list of environments on the Environments page

Manage access to an environment

By default, you can access an environment in one of two ways:

  • System admin – A system admin has full permissions to create and manage environments.
  • Environment maker – An environment maker can view all apps in that environment, create apps, and work with Common Data Service (other permissions apply).

Environment admins can create other security roles as needed. They can also add and assign users to these roles.

  • On the left pane, select Environments.
  • Select the test environment that you just created, and then select the Security tab.
  • Add the user by entering the email address of the user in your organization and then selecting Add user. Wait a few minutes for the user to be added.
  • To verify if the user is now available, select list of users.
  • Hover over the result that you want, select its check box, and then select MANAGE ROLES on the top bar.
  • In the Manage User Roles box, select the role(s) for the user. In this example, assign the user to the Environment Maker role.
  • Select OK.

Power Apps resources

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