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Power Apps is one of 4 major components of Microsoft’s Power Platform technology.  It is a suite of apps, services, and connectors. It allows businesses to rapidly customize apps that connect to their data.  Microsoft has empowered businesses by providing a means to develop custom apps to display and manage their data by using this technology. There are three types of Power Apps that businesses can utilize: canvas, model-driven, and portal.

1. Canvas Apps

All three types of Power Apps allow users to interact with data in a meaningful and well-defined way.  Canvas apps allow businesses to create highly tailored forms for web, mobile, and tablet applications that connect to data stored in SharePoint, Dataverse, or Azure.  Model-driven apps are perfect for businesses looking to create custom views, forms, and other components to connect to their data in Dataverse.  Portals, now known as Power Pages, give businesses a means to allow users outside of their organization to work alongside them and contribute to their processes. 

Power Apps ROI
Figure 1 – Power Apps ROI

When creating a canvas app, businesses utilize templates, which allows them to quickly connect to their data. However, canvas apps also allow businesses to create flexible user interfaces that can handle complex logic and enforce business processes.  From providing users with a simple request form to managing your business’s capital expenditures, a canvas app can handle many business needs. 

2. Model-Driven Apps

If your business is utilizing Dataverse, model-driven apps allow a business to tap into the full power of Dataverse by rapidly configuring forms, business rules, and process flows.  Model-driven apps make it easy for users to view large amounts of data seamlessly between related records.  Is your business looking for a solution to handle onboarding new employees, managing sales processes, or other complex operations? Model-driven apps are a great tool.

Power Apps: Model Driven Apps
Figure 2 – Model Driven Application

3. Portal Apps

Businesses will need users outside of their organization to fill out forms and submit requests to their system too.  While there are many tools that can help them achieve this, Portals give businesses a secure way for both internal and external users to collaborate effortlessly.  On the surface, Portals appear as normal website that is customizable.  However, underneath, Microsoft has provided businesses with a powerful tool that gives them security and control of their data. Portals is the tool for you if your business needs to meet compliance standards while remaining accessible to outside users.

Which Power App is right for you?

Regardless of which of these three types of apps that a business chooses to build, Microsoft has given businesses the ability to manage their apps by creating solutions.  Solutions allow businesses to implement application lifecycle management (ALM) on their apps. This will improve their ability to move them from one environment to another while seamlessly updating their connections.  These solutions can either be managed or unmanaged. This means businesses control when and how the production version of their apps is updated. 

Power Apps Editing Interface
Figure 3 – Power Apps Editing Interface

Total Solutions, Inc. has been designing and building Power Apps for our clients over the past 5 years. Power Apps will improve your business processes and give your users a set of apps that they will enjoy using.