Data Modernization

Building business solutions with Microsoft Power Apps: A comprehensive guide

11 August 2023

Companies deploy ERPs, CRMs, and other mission-critical applications to monitor their business operations but fail to implement solutions to address everyday business challenges. They need solutions to migrate data and components between environments, customize existing apps, or automate redundant work. These tasks consume time and effort and involve expensive development cycles depending on IT teams.

Microsoft Power Apps is a low-code application development platform with built-in workflows, ready-to-use templates, and industry-specific tools. Power Apps platform provides the flexibility and functionality that modern businesses require. This innovative platform allows businesses to easily update and move their apps without recreating them from scratch. With Microsoft Power Apps, companies can streamline their workflows, automate manual processes, and build internal business applications easily in short timeframes.

In a recent report, Forrester cited that organizations spend 74% less with Microsoft Power Apps to develop an application

Microsoft Power Apps—build applications faster

Often, businesses presume that building applications consume time and cost. That is why they are reluctant to develop needed business applications. Microsoft Power Apps is their solution to build applications faster with limited resources. With this agile app creation method, you can save development costs and focus on driving your business forward. Moreover, the apps can be shared easily, improving collaboration and productivity. With Power Apps, you can now build low-code applications that modernize business processes and solve tough challenges.

Microsoft Power Apps empowers your team to build and deploy apps rapidly using drag-and-drop simplicity, pre-built templates, and quick deployment. Power Apps solutions are extensible and scalable, allowing you to roll out improvements as needed. Pre-built components and AI-assisted natural language development in Power Apps enable anyone with little coding knowledge to create professional-grade apps with advanced functionalities. Microsoft Power Apps also provides skilled developers the tools and custom connectors to extend app capabilities with Azure Functions and integrate into proprietary, cloud, or on-premises systems.

The Power Platform

The Microsoft Power Platform comprises various components, such as Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual agents. Together, they are much more than the sum of their parts. The Microsoft Power Platform integrates with other Microsoft products and hundreds of third-party apps. When connected with other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure, and integrated with third-party applications, the Power Platform allows users to build end-to-end solutions catering to their specific business needs. Whether you want to streamline workflows, create sophisticated analytics dashboards, or automate tasks, the Power Platform empowers you to create cohesive solutions that enhance work productivity and maximize profits.

Steps to build an app with Microsoft Power Apps

There are two ways by which you can build applications using Power Apps. One, you can develop the app directly from data sources such as SharePoint Online, Dynamics 365, Excel, or OneDrive. Two, you can create a blank app and connect to data sources later. Let us see them one by one.

Option 1:  Create an app directly from the data source

STEP 1: The most straightforward way to build an app using Microsoft Power Apps is to start from the data source. Let us start from a Microsoft list, as shown below:

STEP 2: Next, select Create an app option from the Power Apps menu.

STEP 3: This navigates you to the Power Apps Studio, where you will find a fully functional canvas app generated by the system, as shown below:

Remember that these are only the default choices. Microsoft Power Apps provides more comprehensive options, configurations, and architectural decisions.

Option 2:  Create a blank app and add a data source

Step 1: Go to and choose the Power Apps environment. Microsoft Power Apps provides five tools or environments with their roles and capabilities.

1. Power Apps Website

Power Apps Website is where you can create or manage existing apps.

2. Power Apps Studio

Here’s where you can create apps for your specific business needs. Power Apps Studio designs, builds, and manages Canvas apps. You can learn more about Canvas apps in step 2.

3. Microsoft Dataverse

Dataverse allows you to store and manage business data. Data is stored as a set of tables in Dataverse. Dataverse has a set of standard tables that cover practical scenarios, but you can create custom tables and populate data using Power Query. With Microsoft Dataverse, you can directly develop apps and workflows in Microsoft Teams without switching between multiple devices.

4. Power Apps mobile app

You can create mobile and tablet-compatible applications using Microsoft Power Apps. Irrespective of the platform, Power Apps provides a run time environment to execute all your apps, including default ones and the custom apps you coded and designed yourself.

5. Power Platform Admin Center

Administrators can manage their Microsoft Power Apps in the Power Platform admin center. They can create and manage environments, apply data loss prevention policies, and adjust user roles here, among other capabilities.

Step 2: You must choose the application type after selecting your environment. The following are applications you can create with Microsoft Power Apps:

1. Canvas apps

Microsoft Power Apps provides a blank canvas onto which you can drag and drop components and fabricate a user interface. When you think everything is in place, you can adjust the size and formatting of each component. You can connect your design to one or more data sources when satisfied with your design. SharePoint forms integration is a Canvas application that can customize any SharePoint library or Microsoft list.

2. Model-driven apps

Model-driven apps enable you to create an app without code and with simple or complex business logic. Model-driven apps can run as a standalone application or as a Canvas apps’ back-end app and are based on underlying data stored in the Common Data Service (CDS). All Model-driven apps are integrated into CDS, a secure cloud-based storage used to store business application data.

3. Power Pages

Power Pages enable businesses to create low-code, responsive, personalized websites that allow internal and external users to interact with the application. These users can view and create data in the Dataverse or browse content but must verify their identity upon log-in.

Step 3: You must choose a data source to store your data after it is imported into the app. More than 200 data connectors are available to integrate into Microsoft services such as Excel, SharePoint, Microsoft 365, and Azure and external applications such as Salesforce, Slack, and DropBox. You need a premium subscription to connect to advanced applications such as Salesforce.


Step 4: The final step is to connect your app to a cloud or on-premises data source. As Microsoft Power Apps is native to the cloud, it can connect to any cloud data source. It can also connect to on-premises data sources by configuring a data gateway. This gateway is shared between cloud services such as Azure Analysis Services, Power Platform, and Azure Logic Apps.

Note: Model-driven apps and Power Pages can only use Dataverse as their data source.

PreludeSys’ Power Apps Center of Excellence

Looking for support in your Microsoft Power Apps journey? Reach out to PreludeSys. Our Power Apps Center of Excellence has a team of highly skilled Microsoft-certified experts who can help you unlock the full potential of the Power Platform suite and Power Apps. From building top-notch solutions to training your team members on developing Microsoft Power Apps applications, we deliver class-leading solutions and guide you to success.


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