What Are Power Apps?

By Jesse Bucholz | February 14, 2020

What are Power Apps?

What are Power Apps?

At a high level, Power Apps give you the ability to create your own custom apps that are specifically designed to suit your business needs. And you don’t have to know how to code to use them.

Power Apps can really be as simple or complex as you’d like to make them. For developers, Power Apps give you the ability to write code, add plug-ins, use JavaScript, and more. And for those of us that aren’t developers, it provides an easy to use Power Apps Studio for creating apps from scratch, as well as a user-friendly App Designer for creating model-driven apps that can be quickly implemented into your Customer Engagement environment.

Here are the four major components:

Canvas Apps – These were appropriately named, as they are apps that start out as a blank canvas. Canvas Apps provide an incredible amount of creativity and flexibility in the design and functionality. Choose to build them with a phone or tablet format. Embed them into an existing form in your Customer Engagement environment, or simply as a stand-alone app. And you will have the option to start with a template also if you’d like. One thing to add in regards to Canvas Apps, if you are comfortable with using formulas in MS Excel, you’ll feel right at home designing your own app.

Model-Driven Apps – These apps allow you to pick and choose existing entities, forms, views, and dashboards, and throw them all together in your own app that may better suit your business needs. This allows you to not be tied down to the out-of-the-box apps such as Sales Hub, Customer Service Hub, etc. You can choose the name of your app, reorder the site map, and then assign which security roles you’d like to have access to.

Portals – If you’ve thought your business could really benefit from an external-facing site that your customers, clients, contractors, or vendors would have access to, now you have the option of creating one that integrates with your data however you choose. Allow them to view their accounts, request service, complete a work order or a number of other options that may be more specific to benefit your business.

Common Data Service – The CDS is the platform on which all Dynamics 365 Apps are built. This is where your data lives. It provides you with secure storage and allows you to manage your data through the applications that are connected to it.

Consider how your business could benefit from Power Apps and start building your very first app!

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