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> Anyone Know More About Power Apps?    
 
   
johnpdmccall
post Jan 7 2018, 08:37 AM
Post#1



Posts: 1,808
Joined: 14-March 00
From: Ayrshire, Scotland


OK Microsoft are pushing Power Apps but:

1) Can a Power App be made available to potential customers in the same way that Access web apps could?
2) Or can I invite guest users to a Power App?
3) Do Power Apps work with relationships? I can't seem to make this work on my test Power App

All I want to do is give field users a basic web app that will have a user friendly front end where data connected to thee or four related tables can be edited.
The backend can be in SharePoint or SQL (Azure). The current desktop FE doing all the fancy stuff is Access 2016 but users are increasingly looking for a "multiplatform", "any device" solution for the basic data input.

If Power Apps can't do this do I need to go to Visual Studio (.net?) and experience some brain pain?
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GroverParkGeorge
post Jan 7 2018, 10:29 AM
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From: Newcastle, WA


First, I am not a PowerApps pro. I've dabbled a bit, but mostly to satisfy my curiosity.

I can't see them as a replacement for AWAs, although they are an alternative, if that makes sense.

At this point, they do NOT support relational tables, although you can connect them to SQL tables individually.

I believe that you can give users a URL to use one of your PowerApps. I'm not sure how that all works, but I don't think you need to worry about accounts and invited guest users, etc.

There are some interesting things being done with PowerApps, and I know that Microsoft has made a major investment in them, so they have some future.

And, there are alternatives to AWAs, including .Net.

I run an online Access User Group for AWAs. For the last year we've been looking at some of the many alternatives out there. You can find videos of the meetings here.

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johnpdmccall
post Jan 7 2018, 11:32 AM
Post#3



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From: Ayrshire, Scotland


Thanks George, the videos look interesting!
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GroverParkGeorge
post Jan 7 2018, 11:54 AM
Post#4


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This month we'll hear from ZOHO Creator again.
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johnpdmccall
post Jan 7 2018, 12:00 PM
Post#5



Posts: 1,808
Joined: 14-March 00
From: Ayrshire, Scotland


Yeah George, I saw that on the link you sent and, just this minute, have been looking at the ZOHO Creator site. So I'll try to join in on the 16th.
ZOHO is easy to use to build an app - my main question (again) how do customers buy the app and access it. Also I'd like to be able to mighrate an access back end database to Zoho and then connect my current Access 2016 app to the data in ZOHO.
ZOHO say it is possible but I haven't found out how yet :-)

Zoho does look good - I tried it a few months ago but got bogged down in other aspects of business life - so I'm looking again.
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GroverParkGeorge
post Jan 7 2018, 01:15 PM
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I'll make sure to let the ZOHO presenters know that is a question to be addressed....

Thanks.

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GroverParkGeorge
post Jan 9 2018, 08:49 AM
Post#7


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I received this response from Zoho:

"There are 3 ways a customer can access an application built by a developer. They are:

1) Transfer of .ds file
The developer builds the application on their account and transfers the application to the customer's account by giving them a .ds file - Zoho Creator proprietary exchange format. The customer can import the .ds file in their account, and it will recreate the app. In the Access world, this is the equivalent of giving your customer an .mdb or .accdb file. The developer directly invoices the customer for this.

2) Publish app to Zoho Marketplace
The developer builds the application on Zoho Developer (the Custom Applications section) and can publish their application from that console to the Zoho Marketplace. A customer can visit the Marketplace, pay for the app and so to speak, download the app onto their account. Version Control on the application is possible using this technique, but at the Marketplace level, and not customer level.

3) Publish app to Customer's account
The developer builds the application on Zoho Developer (the Custom Applications section) and can publish their application from that console to the customer's account. The application is then available in the customer's account. Version Control on the application is possible using this technique at the customer level. The developer directly invoices the customer for this.

P.S - Attaching a document with this email, a step-by-step guide on Publishing a Creator application to the Zoho Marketplace.

Migrating from Access to Creator
We have a page that deals with this in detail, page can be accessed here. Any queries regarding this can be pointed to ask@zohocreator.com or support@zohocreator.com.

Connecting your Access App to Creator
Zoho Creator has an API that can be used to connect your Access app to Creator. You can find the complete Creator API Guide available here."
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PDTech
post Jan 21 2018, 02:14 AM
Post#8



Posts: 194
Joined: 8-August 07
From: Doha, Qatar


Hi

I've been playing with PowerApps quite a bit over the last couple of months. For gathering data in the field on a variety of mobile devices I think it is a good solution. Once the data is captured you can, of course, use Access, PowerBI or whatever to analyse, report or process as required.

Note that PowerApps are following the modern trend of shipping a product while features are missing and there are still known bugs. However, PowerApps is being updated very frequently with new features and fixes and combining PowerApps with things like Flow can fill in some of the blanks (for example, taking pictures with a device's camera and saving them can be a pain when SharePoint Libraries are the datasource, but there are work-arounds while we wait for this to be properly supported).

To answer your specific questions:
I don't think you can do 'Guest Access' currently *but* for $5 a month you can add a single Business Essentials license to your tenant then give that account minimal permissions and let a whole bunch of users work with the same account.

PowerApps will support the LookUp data type from SharePoint lists which is a sort of like a relationship.

When using SQL Azure, you can only link to tables, not views, and you can't link to tables with triggers or complex calculated fields that perform lookups. However, PowerApps will link to multiple SQL tables and you can perform lookups from within PowerApps itself. When doing this it is best to cache the data from the lookup tables (assuming relatively static data) as lookups can harm performance.

I think the positives of PowerApps are:
* Declarative rather then Imperative 'programming' model - takes some time to get your head around, but bugs are much easier to avoid/find/resolve
* The same app runs on iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and web without modification (though layouts are *not* dynamic, so if you desing for a phone layout, that is also what you see when opening via web browser)
* Very easy to deploy - for mobile, just download PowerApps from the appropriate store, log-in to your organisation and select the app you want (which can be pinned to the home screen)
* There is a good community of people to help you out if you get stuck
* You can now use PowerApps to create custom front-ends to SharePoint lists that run from within the SharePoint list itself (effectively replacing InfoPath), so PowerApps is now in lots of places

Negatives are:
* Designer experience can be slow and 'crashy', especially with larger solutions. The web-based designer actually tends to work better than the Windows-based designer.
* Some features you might expect to be present are still 'coming soon' (like support for SQL views and better image handling)
* Declarative approach takes a bit of getting used to
* Although superficially simple, if you want to work with larger datasets you need to read up on delegation and understand the limitations of different datasources (SQL Azure gives the best options and performance)
* PowerApps is best for simple data gathering or quick look up scenarios - keep apps small and focused on specific tasks rather than creating monolithic solutions that cover many different users/scenarios

I've been making a few videos as I get to grip with PowerApps which are viewable from the link in my signature. My background is Access and SQL so I might be coming at this from an angle you can relate to.
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johnpdmccall
post Jan 21 2018, 04:36 AM
Post#9



Posts: 1,808
Joined: 14-March 00
From: Ayrshire, Scotland


Thanks for taking the time to write that comprehensive and useful reply.

Sounds like it would be worthwhile to have a closer look and do some experimenting.
I've got plenty of experience using Access, a little using SQL and have done some web design, some HTML from scratch many years ago, nowadays its PHP but I'm mostly using Drupal or Wordpress and don't get into the raw PHP/CSS unless something needs to be understood/tweaked etc.
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GroverParkGeorge
post Jan 21 2018, 09:17 AM
Post#10


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Joined: 20-June 02
From: Newcastle, WA


Hey, thanks for the update on PowerApps.

Personally, I've postponed trying to do much with them, beyond a bit of dabbling. I was put off by several direct and indirect factors such as the inability to link to accdbs, which is quite understandable in itself, of course. But as an alternative to AWAs, there are a number of better options, IMO.

That said, it's reassuring that Microsoft is pouring resources into the project and that PowerApps continue to make advances.
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PDTech
post Feb 5 2018, 04:19 AM
Post#11



Posts: 194
Joined: 8-August 07
From: Doha, Qatar


PowerApps will now work with Views in SQL Server and Azure SQL DB! You cannot (currently) update a record in a view using a PowerApp form control, but you can update the underlying table via a Patch command. Also Stored Procs still have to be triggered via a work-around using Flow.

The lack of support for Views was one of my biggest annoyances with PowerApps but is now resolved. I just experimented with rebuilding some apps I created previously to take advantage of using Views and the development process is much quicker/simpler and app performance much improved.

IMO this makes PowerApps a much more viable platform and something well worth looking into.
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GroverParkGeorge
post Feb 5 2018, 09:49 AM
Post#12


UA Admin
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Joined: 20-June 02
From: Newcastle, WA


Outstanding news. Thanks.

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johnpdmccall
post Feb 5 2018, 10:40 AM
Post#13



Posts: 1,808
Joined: 14-March 00
From: Ayrshire, Scotland


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