PowerApps is part of O365 and Dynamic 365. It is an easy-to-use tool for building business applications. It allows you to create Mobile Apps that run on Windows (Modern Apps), Android, iOS and with browsers. It is has native integration with many tools from O365 family including Microsoft Flow or Power BI and connects to many data sources, like SharePoint, OneDrive, Dynamics and more. Check out the licenses price plan from Microsoft.
I am an experienced software developer and I have developed many PowerApps for the clients of EFEXCON so far. However, I would like to form that Blog Post from the perspective of a casual user who just want to start the adventure with PowerApps and discover how it looks like to create own application from the existing templates.
Someday I wanted to check if the templates proposed in PowerApps might be useful for EFEXCON’s internal purposes. While reviewing the templates, one caught my attention and evoked memories. I thought I would take a closer look at it. Leave Request is an application in which an employee can request a vacation or report absence due to sick leave, etc.
In one of the companies where I worked previously, the leave request was done in a rather primitive way. I had to go to the manager, take a special card, fill it out, ask for approval and signature. After successful approve the leave request, I had to go to the human resources department and leave the print there. A simple procedure. However, when the manager has left somewhere, and the HR department is located at the far end of the second building, in practice it could take a lot of our valuable time. Imagine how much time a company loses when we multiply it by the number of employees in the company several times a year.
Cards - you ask? Impossible! Unfortunately, many companies are still working this way. Over time, someone will come up with the idea to solve this problem. He will say: create a tailor-made application, perfect for our company, without any notes! How much would it cost to implement such a simple application? Requirements analysis, custom architecture, interface design, creating an interface, implementation of functionalities, some database, tests, feedback, bugs, fixes. It's a simple thing, but it will consume a lot of time and money, so maybe we will stay with the cards ...
There are ready-made solutions! Just look around the market and buy a license. However, it sometimes happens that a ready solution does not fully meet our needs. What if there were ready-made solutions that we can additionally modify according to our wishes?
PowerApps! The template I mentioned at the beginning. To create an application, you only need a few clicks in theory. For sure? Look!
Note: the manager field is a standard field in Azure Active Directory.
It works great!
I mentioned at the beginning that the application can be adapted to suit your needs. What would I change?
The application needs some time for initial setup. For beginner users it might be confusing, but if someone already has some experience with PowerApps it will be a piece of cake.
We may wonder if these issues can be avoided? Should creators prepare a template better? In my opinion, yes. Duplicating connections or not creating an Excel file when asking for OneDrive permissions should be improved. However, the error regarding the lack of configuration of the manager on my account is my fault. I worked on the test tenant. Although, in my opinion, this information should be conveyed in a different way, with a clear message what is wrong, what should be done to be ok and why. However every IT Professionals should easily associate the term field manager with the Active Directory 😉
After all, I checked if others had similar issues. You can read about it here:
I rate the application very good and useful. After its configuration, it will certainly improve a range of activities in the company and simplify the life of employees. It will save you some time. The collected data can be easily analyzed using, for example, Power BI in terms of holidays or sick leave, which in turn will allow for proper planning of the company's activities.
I would like to add, that the template used is a good example for building applications in PowerApp. It clarifies the operation of certain PowerApp mechanisms during learning.
I hope, that the tutorial will be useful for beginners in creating applications from the template. Others could see what this template offers.
What do you think about PowerApps and the template used? What would you change in it? Would you like to see how I make changes in the application?