Create Simple Apps for Dynamics With Microsoft PowerApps

What is Microsoft PowerApps?

Microsoft PowerApps is a very flexible and powerful tool for creating mobile apps for smartphones and tablet PCs. PowerApps offers a variety of configuration options and data connections. The focus is on business applications which exchange data. For example, this could be the exchange between an ERP and a CRM system, the display of contacts, or the creation of management of call reports.

Concept

Using PowerApps, you can create Mobile applications in a WYSIWYG browser editor, without needing an app developer. The interface is similar to Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Excel, so that text and input fields can simply be placed at a desired position using drag & drop and can be provided with simple formulas. The PowerApps Web Studio is an interface developed and provided by Microsoft that does not require any local installation and is displayed in the browser.

Preconditions

Microsoft PowerApps requires a subscription license from Microsoft, either a web browser or the PowerApps App, and an internet connection. Microsoft offers different packages depending on the application. Depending on the desired data connections, there are additional infrastructural requirements as well as required licenses for Microsoft Office 365 and/or Microsoft Dynamics.

Infrastructure

The service is based on an infrastructure provided by Microsoft, so that the app definition and all data are stored in or routed through the Microsoft Cloud. Even if the data is finally connected to a local ERP system via a connector, the data always passes through the Microsoft Cloud.

What is Microsoft PowerApps?

Summary of the most important points you should know about Microsoft PowerApps.

Anveo PowerApps Services

Anveo offers various consulting and services for Microsoft PowerApps.

Mobile App Solution Finder

Solution comparison Microsoft PowerApps and Anveo Mobile App.

How to learn PowerApps

Microsoft, as well as many partners, advertise PowerApps with the statement that it is so easy, you can create a mobile app in just one day. There are many “App-in-a-Day” workshops and training opportunities. The Anveo team itself took part in some of these workshops to get their own picture of the solution and this marketing statement. And the good news is: it’s true, though with a few limitations. Here are the details:

What is particularly simple?

For very simple applications, it is indeed possible to deploy a mobile application in a day, with just a few clicks. If the entire MS Dynamics infrastructure is in the cloud, or if you are using other data connectors that can be reached via the cloud, then an App with simple lists and map view is created very quickly.

The steps are as follows: Simply connect to the data source, authenticate, select table and fields, and you can freely place the controls in the web-based WYSIWYG editor. A contact list, for example, is quickly clicked together.

Offline Capability

Is Microsoft PowerApps offline capable?

Offline capability is a function that is always in demand and requested. Local storage of data and business logic is required for guaranteed performance without an internet connection. This is possible with PowerApps, but unfortunately not by default. Basically, the solution is designed for a direct online connection.

Complex programming of the offline capability

If the app is to be partially or completely offline, online queries must be programmed and developed for each data source which stores data locally on the device. This is not only a lot of effort, but also has a limited application, as the data filtering for the query, depending on the connector, may only take place locally on the device. This means that the concept quickly reaches its limits with large amounts of data.

Limits of offline capability

Microsoft PowerApps also limits the local data storage to approx. 500 data records per type, i.e. a maximum of 500 contacts, 500 articles, etc. This must be taken into account when planning the project. If the connector does not support “delegation”, e.g. for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central On-Prem or Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the original table must not contain more than 500-2000 data records.

When will it be more expensive?

Unfortunately, the effort involved should not be underestimated if the data originates from a local ERP system, contains its own individual tables or table fields that do not originate from the standard, or if several data sources are to be used simultaneously. The parallel development of apps that are to be displayed reasonably and meaningfully on both the smartphone and the tablet PC is also possible, but somewhat more complex.

Lack of synchronization and conflict management

If the data is sent to Microsoft Dynamics when the Internet connection is re-established, the changes must be processed and conflicts detected and resolved. Unfortunately, this synchronization is not organized by default. This must be developed individually for each case. Also role center cues for the clear representation of the system status are unfortunately not available.

Screenshots of our Anveo Meeting Report app, created with Microsoft PowerApps.

What is Microsoft PowerApps?

Summary of the most important points you should know about Microsoft PowerApps.

Anveo PowerApps Services

Anveo offers various consulting and services for Microsoft PowerApps.

Mobile App Solution Finder

Solution comparison Microsoft PowerApps and Anveo Mobile App.

Anveo PowerApps Services

Depending on the requirements, we offer various workshops to identify the best solution.

› Quick Start

A more precise analysis of the various requirements and solutions is necessary.

› Workshops

Anveo offers various workshops.

› Comparison of PowerApps and the Anveo Mobile App

Depending on the application, PowerApps or Anveo Mobile App is the right solution.

POWERAPPS
WORKSHOP

Get to know the features of Microsoft PowerApps. Together we will analyze your requirements and draw up a project plan for your Microsoft Dynamics App.

ORIENTATION
WORKSHOP

To select the right product, we present both solutions and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the solutions in relation to your requirements.

ANVEO MOBILE APP
WORKSHOP

Get to know the ready-to-use Anveo Mobile App solutions and the App Builder. Together we will analyze your requirements and plan your app project.

We are happy to consult with you.

Get started quickly with Microsoft PowerApps

If there is a desire for a mobile application for the field service, e.g. for mobile sales staff or service technicians, a more detailed analysis of the various requirements and solution approaches is necessary. Only then is it possible to estimate the feasibility in terms of budget, time frame and technology. Anveo offers a workshop for a detailed requirements analysis.

The Anveo PowerApps Workshop

In a one-day workshop, we present the Microsoft PowerApps solution, report on typical application areas and technical requirements, and work with users to develop a concept and timetable for implementation. We ask the right questions in order to get an exact picture of the desired solution.

The shortcut: Benefit from our experience

Anveo has over 10 years of experience with the requirements of mobile applications. We see Microsoft PowerApps as an interesting addition to the toolkit for mobile application creation. Used for the right scenarios, Microsoft PowerApps is a very powerful solution for the mobile connection of colleagues and employees. With our knowledge as gained from hundreds of mobile app projects, we point out, at the earliest possible stage, special features that could represent a budget or technical feasibility limit. This means a huge gain in planning security and the guarantee for your project success.

Our Product Flyer gives you a short introduction to the Anveo PowerApps Services. Download the PDF and learn about the basic differences between the Anveo Mobile App solution and Microsoft PowerApps.

Microsoft PowerApps and Anveo Mobile App Solution Comparison

The right solution for every field of application

Selecting the right product can be a complex and time-consuming task, especially for non-developers. Many aspects have to be considered in order to achieve the desired functionality and to find a cost-effective solution. In our past projects we have actively advised our customers and partners and can summarize the most important criteria. These help to decide on the right product: Is offline capability important to me? Do I need a customizable solution?

Anveo offers solutions based on both platforms

The two solutions Microsoft PowerApps and Anveo Mobile App pursue two very different concepts, so that depending on the field of application the one or other solution is suitable. Anveo offers workshops and app development for both solutions, so that you are guaranteed to have the right infrastructure and your investment is secure.

Comparison Anveo Mobile App with PowerApps and with Dynamics Apps

Microsoft Dynamics App

Dynamics desktop processes as a template, no mobile processes

Online only, requires stable internet connection

Mobile processes written by Dynamics developers

Implementation with moderate effort

For occasional
mobile use

Microsoft PowerApps

No dynamic templates, just a development environment

Mostly online,
limited data caching

Implemented by Dynamics developers and PowerApps experts

Extensive investment and project risk

Optimal for
mini Apps

Anveo Mobile App

Ready-to-use solutions for mobile sales and service technicians

Always available due to full offline capability

Setup in Dynamics by users, partners and/or Anveo

Rapid Implementation with less resources

App as a daily
working tool

Configuration

Microsoft
PowerApps

Anveo
Mobile App

App design per setup without programming

User interface flexibility

Fast and easy user interface setup using standardized views

Real app in the familiar device design

web-based

native app

Setup via drag & drop in the WYSIWYG editor in the browser

Setup directly in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central or Dynamics NAV

Flexibility

Microsoft
PowerApps

Anveo
Mobile App

Presentation of web-based content

exclusively

optional

Access to all Microsoft Dynamics data


only with own connector / development

User-defined tables and fields


only with own connector / development

Any screen/page layout from different controls

Customize the login screen theme

Own app logo

Start-screen link to the app with your own logo

Own app in App Store, Microsoft Store, and Google Play

Flexible scaling of the user interface

Automatic adjustment to different device sizes

time intensive

automated

Multilingualism with one app definition

Automatic transfer of field captions from Microsoft Dynamics tables

Automated multi-company support

Dialogs like MESSAGE and CONFIRM

time intensive

easy

Local fields (virtual fields)

Areas of application

Microsoft
PowerApps

Anveo
Mobile App

Optimized for small apps e.g. meeting reports

Optimized for extensive apps e.g. service technicians

Setup of very simple processes


similar to Excel


similar to AL

Setup of comprehensive processes

time intensive

easily scalable

Link to Microsoft Flow

Establishment of available data

Microsoft
PowerApps

Anveo
Mobile App

Simple configuration of available data

Access to data from outside of Microsoft Dynamics

Server-side data filtering

partly

always

Optimized for large amounts of data

Optimized for flexible data filtering across multiple tables

Working with data: Offline capability and maximum data volume

Microsoft
PowerApps

Anveo
Mobile App

Ready to use at any time due to offline capability


time intensive


standard feature

Integrated offline capability without development

Maximum number of data records stored locally


max. 500-2000 records per table


1.000.000 to 3.000.000 records in total (no table limit)

Fast synchronization of only the amended data


time intensive

Speed of data entry processing


fast & reliable, if offline capability has been programmed


always fast

Access to all features without mobile internet


yes, if offline capability has been programmed


fully offline-capable

Scaling of images before uploading

limited

extremely flexible

Sample solution

Microsoft PowerApps

Anveo Mobile App

Prefabricated templates


approx. 20


for sales and service

Optimized for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics NAV

Technology & Security

Microsoft PowerApps

Anveo Mobile App

Core app technology


web-based solution presented as an app


real, native app with complementary web technology

Storage location of the app data


Server from Microsoft
(Azure Cloud)


exclusively on your own infrastructure

Secure data access to Microsoft Dynamics

Support of special device hardware


occasionally possible

Security: Additional login after unlocking the device


additional development required


standard feature

Administration

Microsoft
PowerApps

Anveo
Mobile App

Role center for monitoring users and devices

Web-based user management in PowerApps Admin

Distribution and control via Mobile Device Management (MDM)

Controlled introduction of new versions

Easy distribution of an app from a partner to their clients

Service & Support

Microsoft
PowerApps

Anveo
Mobile App

App setup through own IT

App setup by Microsoft partners

App setup by Anveo

First level support during go-live through Anveo

First level support after go-live by Anveo Partner

Second level support by Anveo

Telephone or personal support from the app manufacturer (Microsoft/Anveo)

Send feature requests personally to the app manufacturer (Microsoft/Anveo)

Do you have questions about Microsoft PowerApps, Anveo PowerApps Services, or the Anveo Mobile App? Give us a call – we’ll be happy to help you find the solution that’s right for you.

What is Microsoft PowerApps?

Summary of the most important points you should know about Microsoft PowerApps.

Anveo PowerApps Services

Anveo offers various consulting and services for Microsoft PowerApps.

Mobile App Solution Finder

Solution comparison Microsoft PowerApps and Anveo Mobile App.

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