Power Apps – A fairly new low-code application by Microsoft

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What is Power Apps?

It is an amalgam of apps, connectors and a data platform that provides a very fast application development environment to build customized applications for your specific business needs. By using Power Apps we can very quickly create custom applications which can be connected to your data which could either be stored in various online sources or on a local data source. (OneDrive, Share Point, SQL Server, Google Drive, etc.).

Manual business processes can be easily automated and digitized by creating Power Apps applications as they provide Rich business logic and a wide range of options to make the application as customized according to your business as desired. In addition to that, you do not need multiple other dependencies installed on your device to be able to create a fully functional and responsive application. All you need is the Power Apps application. Using Power Apps you can create web applications as well as mobile applications which can run seamlessly on both mobile and tablets. Power Apps does not require a lot of coding which is why anyone can easily learn to work with this application in very less time.

The Power Apps platform is extremely extensible and allows pro developers/programmers to deeply interact with data, create custom connectors, apply custom logics and integrate their applications with custom data.

Power Apps for application builders

Three types of applications can be built using Power Apps: model-driven, canvas, and portal.

Overview of creating applications in Power Apps:

  • You start by visiting make.powerapps.com.
  • Power Apps Studio is the app designer used for creating canvas apps. The app designer makes creating apps feel very easy. Just like building a slide deck in Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • App designer is for model-driven apps. It lets you define the sitemap and add components to create a model-driven app.
  • Apps portals Studio is a ‘What you see is what you get’ design tool to add and arrange webpages, forms, lists and components.

New users can easily learn to use Power Apps by going to the Learn section of the application, where Power Apps provides interactive courses, help topics for support and the opportunity to work with alongside a community.

Power Apps offers a wide option of App templates as well, for new users to start with.

Power Apps for application users:

Applications that you create or are created by someone else and then shared with you can be run, in browser or on mobile devices (phone or tablet). For running the application in browser, firstly we need to publish the application. Then we need to open Power Apps and through Power Apps we get to run the applications. For running the application on a mobile device you will need the Power Apps application which is available on App Store and Play Store.

An application needs to be published in order for it to be shared. It can only be shared with the members of a company as Power Apps works with company Emails. This feature helps maintain security and makes sharing manageable.

Power Apps for developers:

Developers are app creators with the capability to write code to extend business application creation and customization. Developers can use code apply server-side logic using Azure functions, apply client-side logic using JavaScript, plug-ins, integrate with external data, build custom connectors, and embed apps into your website to create unified solutions.

Power Apps for free:

You can use Power Apps for free by simply signing-in to Power Apps using a business email address. For more information, Sign in to Power Apps for the first time, you’ll have access to the default environment initially.

A license is needed to play the applications created with Power Apps. You can both build and play Power Apps for free if you sign-up either for a 30 day trial or community plan.

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