What is Power Apps?
Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, connectors and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. Using Power Apps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored either in the underlying data platform (Common Data Service) or in various online and on-premises data sources (SharePoint, Excel, Office 365, Dynamics 365/BC, SQL Server, and so on).
Apps built using Power Apps provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities to transform your manual business processes to digital, automated processes. Further, apps built using Power Apps have a responsive design, and can run seamlessly in browser or on mobile devices (phone or tablet). Power Apps “democratizes” the custom business app building experience by enabling users to build feature-rich, custom business apps without writing code.
Power Apps also provides an extensible platform that lets pro developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data.
Power Apps for app makers/creators
Using Power Apps, you can create three types of apps: canvas, model-driven, and portal.
• Power Apps Studio is the app designer used for building canvas apps. The app designer makes creating apps feel more like building a slide deck in Microsoft PowerPoint.
• App designer for model-driven apps lets you define the sitemap and add components to build a model-driven app.
Ready to convert your ideas into an app? Start here!
Power Apps for developers
What is Common Data Service?
Common Data Service lets you securely store and manage data that’s used by business application Dynamics NAV/BC. Data within Common Data Service is stored within a set of entities. An entity is a set of records used to store data, similar to how a table stores data within a database. Common Data Service includes a base set of standard entities that cover typical scenarios, but you can also create custom entities specific to your organization and populate them with data using Power Query. App makers can then use Power Apps to build rich applications using this data.
Why use Common Data Service?
Standard and custom entities within Common Data Service provide a secure and cloud-based storage option for your data. Entities let you create a business-focused definition of your organization’s data for use within apps. If you’re not sure if entities are your best option, consider these benefits:
- Easy to manage– Both the metadata and data are stored in the cloud. You don’t need to worry about the details of how they’re stored.
- Easy to secure– Data is securely stored so that users can see it only if you grant them access. Role-based security allows you to control access to entities for different users within your organization.
- Access your Dynamics 365 Data– Data from your Dynamics 365 applications is also stored within the Common Data Service allowing you to quickly build apps which leverage your Dynamics 365 data and extend your apps using Power Apps.
- Rich metadata– Data types and relationships are leveraged directly within Power Apps.
- Logic and validation– Define calculated fields, business rules, workflows, and business process flows to ensure data quality and drive business processes.
- Productivity tools– Entities are available within the add-ins for Microsoft Excel to increase productivity and ensure data accessibility.