Start with First PowerApp

In my previous blog post, I have explained about canvas apps and model driven apps. Let us first see how to build a canvas app in PowerApps.

Development for PowerApps can be done either in web PowerApps studio or desktop PowerApps studio. First step is to create the Environment for the development. You can start with the trial version for free.

Login to the Powerapps.microsoft.com

Let us first create the environment to create our app.

To create the environment follow the steps as shown in following screenshots

Click on the setting icon at the right top of the screen and select Admin center.

Then click on the Create New Environment again at the top right corner.

Enter the details about the new environment and create the new environment.

Create EnvironmentCreate Environment1Create Environment2

Once you create the environment, you can select that environment to start the app development. Make sure that you have chosen the right environment and then start with the application development.

We can develop apps based on various backends such as CDS, Excel, OneDrive, Sharepoint etc  Let us build our first app for some specific requirement in Dynamics 365 CE for the  scenario mentioned below:

A product company, has a call center and sends the service mechanics  to repair existing machines or install new machines at the customer site. They are always on the move and while doing assigned jobs if they find that there is additional work to be done, they should be able to create the case or opportunity on their mobile quickly.

As a first step, select Apps from the left menu as shown in below screenshot and click on create an app button.Create New App1

Powerapps studio would provide you options to select the base data on which you want to create an app. Here since we want to create case or  Opportunity in Dynamics 365, select Dynamics 365 as show in below snip.

Create new App2

Studio would guide you to step by step to connect the D365 instance

Create new App3Create New App4

Once you are connected to D365 CE, you have to select the entity on which you would like to do the operations through the PowerApps app.Create New App5Create New App6

Let us select case entity and see what PowerApps does it for you.

Create New App7Create New App8

Just save the app with appropriate name and even you can select icon for the same.Create New App9

PowerApps would build the complete app for you to view the cases, view the  case details and editing particular case or creating a new case as shown below

Create New App8

Let us see all these screens in details one by one

Browser screen : It is a list screen where you can find all the cases, you can search for specific cases, you can sort the order of the cases. All these functionalities are given by PowerApps automatically and you don’t have to do anything to achieve the same.

Now let us see the components of this screen. Major component is BrowserGallery1. This is the gallery control which can be connected to the the database table Case. You can see the property pane at If you look at the properties of the gallery, Data is the most important property of the gallery which connects to the data. With this property you can change the data source if required. Browsescreen1

Browsescreen3

With the layout property, you can change the way your data is displayed, even select the columns which should be displayed in the gallery.

Browsescreen4Browsescreen5

When you see the items property of the gallery, you can see below text

SortByColumns(Search(Cases, TextSearchBox1.Text, “description”), “description”, If(SortDescending1, Descending, Ascending))

This function actually works for the sorting and searching functionality.  I would recommend you to go through the all controls present on the screen and try to understand their properties.

Once you understand these properties, you will be able to play with those based on your requirements. These are very intuitive and can be easily learned

If you click on the “>” next to any item in this gallery , that record would open in edit mode in the new screen.  Just check the action defined to achieve this functionality.

Browsescreen7

Similarly you can see the “+” symbol which would navigate to the new entry page and you can create new case from this screen. Just check the action defined to achieve this functionality.Browsescreen8

Now let us see second screen in this App.

In the second screen, you would understand the usage of data card control of the PowerApps. This screen has DetailForm which consists of various data cards.

The form is bound to the data source and the record which is selected in previous screen.

Detailedform1Detailedform2Detailedform3Detailedform6

The datacard is created for each field and fields can be selected from the layout.

Based on the type of the  field, the type of data card is selected, which can be changed later if required. If you want to do any changes in datacard, you must first unlock it and do the changes.

Detailedform4Detailedform5

Each Datacard consists of a Value and Key which represents the actual data value and field name correspondingly I would recommend you to look at the various properties of these data cards and understand how intuitive it is to use.

I am hoping you must have understood of the basics of PowerApps app development with this post.

Thanks for reading. In case you have  any questions about the PowerApps, please leave in comments and I would get back to you.

If you like  my blog, please hit the like button or share with others

Continue reading “Start with First PowerApp”

Data Binding in PowerApps

Let us see how data binding works in PowerApps. In this blog let us see how to fetch data from various data sources in PowerApps. It’s very intuitive and easy to achieve the same.

PowerApps can connect to various data sources, let us take an example of Dynamics 365 CE. It can connect to Dynamics 365 online directly and for on premise, it can connect to SQL server via Gateway.

We want to create an app for the sales executive to create an opportunity on the mobile. Instead of entering whole lot of  information, he can just enter few mandatory fields and  create the opportunity.

We can achieve the requirement by building a PowerApps which connects to Dynamics 365 CE with below easy steps

  • Create data source for Dynamics 365 connectivity
  • Create UI to view the Opportunities, create new Opportunity and edit existing opportunity
  • Publish the PowerApps to make it available for the users to use

In case you already have data in the opportunity entity, you can create entire app just in few minutes.

Go to PowerApps

Build POwerAppS
Select PowerApps from Office Portal
Start from Data
Click on the start from data

You have to select the data source as Opportunity and click on phone layout. PowerApps will create the entire application in few minutes

This App would consist of  the three screens

  • Browse Screen – List screen to view the existing opportunities
  • Detailed Screen – Details of the single opportunity
  • Edit Screen- To edit  the existing opportunity

Once you look at these screens you would realise that how powerful and helpful PowerApps is.

 

The Browse screen would by default have the search and sorting feature . Along with this , it would have the ability to select any record and go to detailed view of the same. We can click to create new record as well from this screen. Don’t you think it’s really easy to create simple app using PowerApps. We really do not have to worry about the data connectivity, any SQL queries etc 🙂

Edit screen is also used for creating new record and its interesting  to see that PowerApps does everything on its own.

PowerApps decides which fields to be displayed on its own however we can change the fields later. You can just try creating such default app and we can further edit the functionality as we need. We will see in my upcoming blogs.

Thank you very much for reading my blogs and please hit the like button if you think the content is useful and leave comments here. Your comments really mean a lot for me.

Happy making PowerApps which is need of the hour !!!

Continue reading “Data Binding in PowerApps”

Kaizala -Initial configuration

In previous post we have seen how to do the initial setup for Kaizala.

Now let us see how to do initial configuration and look at various features provided by Kaizala.

To start using Kaizala, you need to first download the Kaizala app from play store or App store. The Admin of the Kaizala can use the Kaizala management portal. Once you login to the portal, its home page will look like as mentioned in the below screenshot.

Kaizala MGMT Portal-Home page

User can use the left side menu and perform various configuration such as managing the users, managing groups, managing actions, creating connectors,  view reports and settings etc as mentioned in bellow screenshot.

Kaizala MGMT Portal-Menu

Using Kaizala, we can  create public /work Groups,  perform various actions along with the basic chat functionality.

Actions which can be configured are as mentioned below

  • Announcements – Make key announcements or share updates
  • Attendance-Mark attendance with location and photo
  • Checklist– Create to-do lists and  capture everyone’s individual status
  • CHESS– play a game of Chess
  • Assign jobs–  Assign jobs to the people and track the completion status
  • Lets Meet-Invite people to meetings and confirm their availability
  • Live location -Request live location and help people to find their way
  • Photo with location-Share picture with your current location
  • Quick Poll-Ask question and get people’s opinion
  • Request Location-Request people to share their location
  • Share Location-Share your location with people
  • Submit Bill– Submit your bill and expenses
  • Survey-Add  a series of questions and get people’s opinion
  • Tic Tac Tow(Preview)– Enjoy this classic game with your friends
  • Training-Publish trainings for your teams and track completion status

Managing Groups , adding users is very intuitive and I am not going to go in those details, You can just try and should be able to do it. In case of any questions please leave your comments here and I would try to respond with best of my knowledge.

As technical people, we need understand how we can integrate Kaizala with various business applications so that we can improve productivity within the organisation.

Kaizala provides good amount of  RESTful APIs for integration. Let us see how to use those in my next blog.

Keep reading!!