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powerappslogoHave you ever wished you knew how to build an application for your business? How about building one in less than 5 minutes? With PowerApps you can do that.

PowerApps is a Microsoft tool and part of the Microsoft Power Platform (along with Power BI and Microsoft Flow) that enable business and power users to build business-centric applications super quick. It builds web-based applications that can be seen through a native application or on a webpage through things like SharePoint or Dynamics.

It is meant for internal use, so you can install a native phone application called PowerApps and inside that application you can choose your application and run those internal apps. It’s great for replacing things like internal onboarding applications, task management or maybe taking pictures of a scene or inspection for instance.

PowerApps is not a replacement for external users for things such as .net where you’re building massive applications that have tons of business logic. It does support business logic and has extensibility, but not the level of extensibility of something like .net, so just keep that in mind.

In this demo, I’ll show you how to build your first app:

    • I start in the PowerApps website, powerapps.com. In this demo I’ll build a simple app to organize the snack schedule for my child’s soccer team.
    • I have a spreadsheet with 3 columns for game date, parent responsible for that game and what they will bring. My goal is to build an application that can write to that same spreadsheet.
    • First, I click on Start from data; I’ve got my data set already built and ready to go. In future blogs/videos I’ll show how to build an application from scratch.
    • In this case, after I click on Start from Data, I choose my Excel data source which I’ve already created myself inside of OneDrive for Business.
    • From here I go to phone layout application which takes me to connections, and I’ll see my one data source in there. I also have a list of Excel files that I have in OneDrive
    • When I select the Panthers Snack Schedule, it’s going to ask me which table I want to select, and this table is going to match the spreadsheet. The default title will be Table 1, 2, etc. but you can change this to whatever you wish inside the Excel environment under the data tab.
    • So, I select that table and hit connect and then it will start to build the application for me. It’s doing all the mundane stuff that developers hate to do like creating the read application, the insert application, the update one and the details.
    • Once it’s done building these screens, let’s go back and look at what it’s done for me. To preview the application outside of the actual player environment, I click the play button on the top right.
    • I can do things like sort the table or search at the top bar of my app, as well as click on a line to dig deeper into it.
    • If I want to make it better, I close the preview environment and can do many things to make this app even better; be sure to watch the video included here to see what I can do like change the layout of what’s being shown and some simple code changes.

I built this app in about 5 minutes and it’s very simple to do with PowerApps. This was a core basic application, but it can get a lot more interesting and I’ll show you more in future PowerApps episodes.

If you want to take a deep dive into PowerApps to learn more about how you can leverage it for your business, check out our PowerApps courses in our On-Demand Learning platform. All our 50+ courses covering PowerApps, Azure, Business Intelligence, Data Science and much more are taught by industry experts and taken at your pace. Click the link below for your free trial!

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