Out of Office – What can you do with the PowerApps Template?

Mai 7, 2018 / Business Solutions / Office 365 / PowerApps / Sharepoint January 23, 2020

You’ve probably already seen a post about creating an application using a PowerApps template. I wrote about the configuration and possibilities of the Leave Request template. There is another App Template which suits perfectly to the Leave Request App and might by perfectly combined.

Out of Office template! It is used to define automatic email responses during our absence. It uses the mechanisms available in Outlook. Check out the configuration process and what you can do with the application.


1. Let’s create an application based on the Out of Office template.

2. The application will ask for the permission for the following services.

…and done! Wow, quite fast. Run it in view mode.

Application review

1. On the home screen you can see two options:

  • You can add manually a new „out of office“ definition for automatic response.
  • Or you can add new „out of office“ definition for automatic response by selecting an event from the calendar.

2. Both options redirect us to the next view, in which we define dates when we are out of the office. When choosing the second option, dates are automatically set to those from the event.

3. Then, we choose the type of our absence.

4. We define our availability or lack thereof.

5. Optionally, we can choose a contact person during our absence, for example in a specific case.

6. In the summary view an email message has been generated. It can be modified. The message was based on previously selected options. This text will be sent as a reply to incoming emails during our absence. In addition, we can determine if automatic emails should also be sent outside the organization. To do this, simply select the checkbox „Send response outside my org.“ Then the second field with the message will appear. This enables us to define another custom message for the recipients outside the organization.

7. After saving the selected options everything is configured automatically in Out of Office in Outlook. Additionally, an event is created in Outlook. The application displays a summary view – specifying when we defined Out of Office and the content of defined e-mails (excuse me, the post was created over time, hence the difference in dates in the screenshot, beyond the dates the entire content is identical).

8. In addition, we can invite users to an event created in the calendar, for example to inform them about our absence.

There is also a great third option that detects conflicts of events occurring at the same time as we defined our absence. Thanks to this, we can react to it and, for example, arrange a meeting for a different date. We can also delete all conflicts with a single click to peacefully go on vacation 😉.


The application is very cool. The configuration ran quickly. The interface is very simple and transparent. Is the template noteworthy if we can define the same in Outlook? In my opinion, yes.

First of all, the application helps to generate the content of the email. We can (by modifying appropriate places of the application) impose a company standard. In addition, the application has some interesting features that cannot be found in automatic responses in Outlook. We can inform our colleagues in advance about our absence. Thanks to this, others can react to this situation and explain certain matters before our departure. In addition, the application allows you to organize the calendar and matters in case of conflicts. As you can see, the application is very useful.


However, I would modify couple things:

  1. I would allow to define several users, each responsible for a different matter during our absence.
  2. It disturbed me that after defining our absence and refreshing the application, the application does not recognize the previously created Out of Office event and does not load it, only displays the initial view to redefine the automatic responses. I would try to fix it. In my opinion, the last view in which we saw the definition should load and we could manage it properly (send emails, clean conflicts).
  3. Do you remember the previous post regarding the application for reporting holidays? What if I connected them? After accepting the vacation request, automatic replies in Outlook would automatically be set at the right time. How many times does one of the employees forget to define automatic answers during his absence…

What do you think about PowerApps and the template used? What would you change in it? Are you interested in carrying out the above modifications?