Since I started using Azure and Office 365.I love it more and more as the days pass, with new functionalities on board everyday I guess development of simple applications will become obsolete. Most of the times before if someone assigns me to make a simple form my go to solution for a quick and dirty answer is to use Sharepoint List, gone are those days and welcome to PowerApps.
Just the name alone defines what it does exactly, build you an app easily without coding, which comes to why I gave that title. You don’t need Junior Developers anymore to do this stuff, all you need is a very snazzy IT literate personnel to do the work.
I started using this when one time I have a scenario where I need to terminate an old application needed only for its old data as a reference, this app is sitting on an old server and maintained by third-party company that was never helpful. I then thought of using PowerApps after I played a bit of in on my Office 365 license. With power apps I can create an app in a matter of minutes just by consuming the old database in PowerApps, meaning I don’t need the buggy application, the clunky servers and it will save me a lot of money for maintenance plus I can decommission 2 old servers, a database and a web server after I migrate the old DB on a newer VM that we already had.
I know it will not answer the worlds problems but for a simple solution like I needed this is suitable enough, all I need is to search that old database of information and update it with status that I want, simple! So lets start with my real world example.
First you need proper licenses for Office 365 for this to run once you have it, activate your PowerApps but logging in to web.powerapps.com then let the fun begin.
Download the installer, and then run it on a dedicated server on your domain if your database is in the network. You can get it here, On the first screen of the installation wizard, click Next.
Choose a directory you want to install the gateway
Enter your account name on Office 365 to register your gateway
Give you gateway a name and assign a recovery key take note of this as you’ll need this key if you want to migrate, restore, or take over its gateway. Click Configure.
Now your On-Premise connection is ready to be used
Go to web.powerapps.com and in Gateway you will see the newly created gateway. This was associated by your log in name.
Now lets use that and create a connection. Go to connections then click on New Connection.
There will be tons of connection types but we only need SQL Server so type SQL on the search box then click on the add sign to add this type of connections
Confugure your SQL Server connection, use the on-premise data gateway
Then choose the gateway you configure above. Put all the necessary information then click create.
Now you have the SQL Server connection, its time to create your app. Choose and click the New App button.
Choose PowerApps studio for web if you don’t have it installed locally
Choose your data, it will not be on the default screen to click the right arrow.
Now choose that SQL connection you just built.
Now you will see all the tables in that database connection. Choose the table you want then click connect.
It will start building a default CRUD application for you.
Then in less than a minute based on experience, I have a default app with Create, Update, Delete, View and List. At this stage I can run it immediately, its a working app.
Now give it a name, then save it.
Wait it to save.
Now its published and you can use them immediately, on the web and on your phone (if you have the PowerApp app).
If you dont like the default feel free to modify it using the PowerApp Studio ———-, and you can do a lot with this, even do complex logic just by dragging and dropping objects. Watch this space, I will have more posts on this since I think I will be using this a lot. Click on run to see the changes.
Now you are ready to publish your app, make sure you share it. Go to the apps section of PowerApp then click the ellipsis icon to share the app you just developed. Make sure you share the connection as well
Make sure you share it with everyone in your organization
So that they can install it on their Dynamics 365 console
Now to see how it looks like on mobile, here are the real screenshots of the working application.
Its easy right!