Get started building apps with Power Apps

Build apps with Power Apps

Building apps is often seen as being a complex, expensive, and time-consuming process. But it does not have to be. Power Apps from the Microsoft Power Platform enable anyone to create business apps – without having extensive coding skills.

Matthijn Hoogenboom

By Matthijn Hoogenboom, Sales Director, MicroPartner

Building apps with Power Apps

Power Apps are so simple to use that beginners can build high-value apps, just as Power Apps also can support the need of experienced developers to build complex apps. By building apps with Power Apps, both the beginner and the experienced developer reduce the time it usually takes to get an app up and running.

Turn your ideas into solutions

Through a simple user interface in Power Apps, you can create apps that digitize paper processes, collect and share important data, and streamline the workday – without learning to code. In other words, Power Apps help you turn ideas into solutions.

But as a beginner, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help you get the most out of building apps with Power Apps, we have written this step-by-step guide.

Get started building apps with Power Apps

1. Get to know the Power Apps tools

If you have previously worked with PowerPoint, Excel, or SharePoint, you have an advantage, because it is very similar to working with Power Apps.

If you have an Office 365 / Microsoft 365 subscription, you may already have access to Power Apps? If you have access, you will be able to see the Power Apps solution along with your other Office 365 applications, when you log in online.

To get to know the tools, you can explore the Power Apps beginner module, ‘Get started with Power Apps’, which you will find here.

2. Learn how Power Apps works

Once you have gotten an overview of the tools in Power Apps, you can move on to the next learning module, which is called ‘Build a Canvas App in Power Apps’. Here you will learn the fundamentals by creating and customizing a test app in just a few hours.

Read more about Kanvas Apps here.

3. Learn from others

Power Apps has a large community of users who are ready to spar with you. You can be inspired by various customer stories where users explain how they have worked with Power Apps. Use the inspiration from others as a starting point for how you can transform your business via new business apps.

Do you need inspiration for which apps you can build with Power Apps? Read the blog: Build Custom Business Apps with Power Apps.

4. Start small

When you are ready to build apps with Power Apps, your very first app that is, you should start small. Choose a well-defined task that your app must perform and clearly define what your success criteria look like. For example, it could be an app that displays information from an Excel sheet or a SharePoint list. Such an app is easy to create and customize – and it gives you valuable experience.

Power Apps templates

There are also templates in Power Apps that you can use and that can help you along the way. You can explore the Power Apps templates and get inspiration for your first app.

Customer insights, CRM project

5. Understand your target audience

The first important step towards building your app with Power Apps is to understand the problem that your app should solve and which data you will need. The next step is to uncover who the target audience is and how they should use the app.

You should consider the following:

  • Which problem should the app solve?

  • Which data do you need?

  • Who is your target audience?

  • Which needs do your target audience have?

  • Do you your target audience use mobile, computer og tablet?

Responsive apps

Power Apps can be made responsive, but you also have the option to publish them to specific screen sizes such as phone, tablet, or browser. It is a good idea to decide which device (s) your app (s) should be accessed from before you start building it.

6. Use what you know

Power Apps are designed to work with Office 365, Dynamics 365, and many other external apps and data sources. When you start building apps with Power Apps, however, it pays to stick to a solution that you already know.

Office 365

A good way to start is with a spreadsheet stored in One Drive for Business. This guide shows you how to quickly create an app from an Excel sheet, and then customize it to your needs. You can do the same with a SharePoint list. Once you have published your app, you can embed it in Teams and thus make it more accessible to your organization.

If you are used to working with Office 365, you will experience many similarities between Office 365 and Power Apps. The design interface is very much like that of PowerPoint, where you can work with drag and drop. If you want to add functionality to your app, it is like the way formulas work in Excel.

Dynamics 365

Another great way is by using Dynamics 365 data for your app. From the Power Apps menu, you can automatically generate a new app that uses Dynamics 365 data. See how you build apps with Dynamics 365 data here.

7. Remember data security

When you use Power Apps, you are building on a secure Microsoft platform. The platform is designed for business use, with built-in controls that control data access, security, and compliance.

Nevertheless, it is important to consider whether any of the data, that you want to use for your app can be considered sensitive or proprietary. If so, take your precautions.

Read more about data security in Power Apps here.

8. New options and new features

Power Apps is constantly updated with new features and functions, which means new opportunities to build apps with Power Apps. You can follow the updates on Microsoft’s Power Apps blog.

Good luck building apps in Power Apps!

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