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Power Apps Portals | Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

What is a Progressive Web App (PWA):

  • PWA at core is a website built using web technologies but that acts and feels like an App.
  • Users can install a PWA on any device be it a desktop or mobile from the browser or through app stores.
  • Main difference between PWA and Web App is  a web app is designed to run inside of a web browser and cannot be installed on a device. 
  • Users can also pin the PWA app directly to the home screen on their mobile device.

Portals as progressive web apps:

  • We can enable a Portal as a progressive web app (PWA), with native app–like look and feel, by using Power Apps portals Studio.
  • This capability enables external and internal customers to use a portal as an app.

Steps to build a portal as a progressive web app:

  • Connect to Power Apps maker portal.
  • Select the Portal App and click ‘Edit’
  • Portal opens up in In portals Studio.
  • Select Progressive web app icon and set ‘Enable PWA’ option.
  • Click on ‘Customize PWA’ to modify App’s details.
  • Now click on ‘Browse Website’, which opens up Portal application along with ‘App available’ option.
  • Click ‘Install’ to install Portal as a Desktop App.
  • Post installation, you would get Portal as Desktop App as below. You have options to pin the App to taskbar or to Start.

Manage offline behavior:

  • PWA offers support for a smooth navigation experience when the device being used is offline or disconnected from the internet.
  • You can choose the pages within your portal that will be available offline (read-only), and a message page for the rest of the portal capabilities that haven’t been enabled for offline access.
  • Under ‘Customize PWA’ pane, click on ‘Manage offline pages’.
  • Select the Pages that will be available offline.

Refer documentation for more details.

🙂

Categories: Portals Tags: ,

Power Apps Ideas (Preview)

February 3, 2022 Leave a comment

In this article lets explore the Power Apps “Ideas” feature, which would be a blessing for all App Makers who write formulas using Power Fx.

As we know Power Fx is a programming language for low code, and makes it possible for hundreds of millions of people with Excel-like skills to add advanced logic to their apps.

What is Power Apps Ideas:

Power Apps Ideas is created to help everyone from the new makers to the seasoned IT pros to ease and speed up the formula authoring experience by using the power of AI models.

A quick example:

  • I’ve the following Canvas App with Dataverse as Source. App has a Gallery control displaying ‘Department’ table.
  • ‘Department’ table has a Date Time field called ‘Establishment Date’ and displaying values in MM/DD/YYYY HH:MM format.
  • So what if I want to display ’27/12/2021′ as ’27 December 2021′. You need to form the syntax by yourself which could be tricky.
  • Now lets see, how ‘Ideas’ works here.
  • Select the date label from Gallery and select ‘Ideas’.
  • Go ahead and type the format you are looking for. I’ve typed my desired format as “27 December 2021 5:30 AM“.
  • Now click on ‘Get ideas’ button and you would get the formula for your desired format.
  • Go ahead an click ‘Apply’, you get following notification, that formula expression has got updated.
  • That’s the power of ‘Ideas’.
  • Power Apps Ideas feature currently supports only Gallery and Data table controls for the Items property, and it now supports Microsoft Dataverse, Sharepoint List and Excel as connectors.

Methods to use “Ideas”:

There are two methods to benefit from Power Apps “Ideas” in your app.

Method 1: Transform natural language to Power Fx formulas

Method 2: Transform examples to Power Fx formulas
  • This is nothing but the Date format example, I’ve explained in above sections.
  • With Power Apps Ideas, you can now simply select that field, then in the ideas pane, enter your desired format, and press enter.
  • One or a few formula suggestions will be popped out for you to select from.

🙂

Categories: PowerApps Tags: , ,

Model Driven App | Modern advanced find

January 28, 2022 1 comment

Finally the most awaited upgrade to the Legacy ‘Advanced Find’ Experience is coming up as part of 2022 Wave 1 release.

Legacy Advanced Find Experience

With Modern advanced find, you can access any table in a model-driven app through search and use advanced filters to explore the data easily.

Modern advanced find benefits:

  • Explore any table in a model-driven app through structured search and filters. Edit columns and filter data to construct views that help you apply the right lens on your data easily.
  • Choosing the right view to access is easier with the latest enhancement to view selector having the ability for you to search for a view.
  • Managing views is simpler with personalization options to build your own set of views, hide views, and order them differently. Your personalized view list travels with you across all apps and all devices, online and offline.
  • Collaborate with your team by sharing views easily and managing the views shared to you.
  • All of the capabilities mentioned above will replace the legacy advanced find experience.

Availability Dates:

Enabled forPublic previewEarly accessGeneral availability
Users by admins, makers, or analystsFeb 2022Apr 2022

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Power Apps | Business Rule | Set Field Value vs Set Default Value

January 19, 2022 2 comments

While configuring Business Rules you might have noticed ‘Set Field Value’ and ‘Set Default Value’ Actions.

Though the ‘Set Field Value’ and ‘Set Default Value’ Actions look identical, there are following subtle differences.

Set Default Value:

  • ‘Set Default Value’ only triggers on ‘Create’ event and does not trigger on ‘Update’.
  • To understand this better lets go with an example, I’ve a ‘Student’ table with ‘Department’ and ‘College Fee’ columns.
  • In my ‘Business Rule’, I am setting ‘College Fee’ field value to ‘10000’ using ‘Set Default Value’, when the ‘Department’ sets to ‘IT’.
  • Now in my App, on Student’s ‘Create‘ form, the ‘College Fee’ field sets to ‘10000’ when the Department is IT as configured in Business Rule.
  • If I open an Existing ‘Student’ record, and set the ‘Department’ to ‘IT’, ‘College Fee’ field will not get set to ‘10000’, which proves that ‘Set Default Value’ action defined in ‘Business Rule’ does not trigger on ‘Update’ event.
  • One more key point is, ‘Set Default Value’ can’t override an existing field value.
    • For example, on ‘Student’ create form, manually type some value in ‘College Fee’ and then change the ‘Department’ to ‘IT’ .
    • This triggers ‘Set Default Value’ action, but the ‘College Fee’ value wont get changed to 10000 as there was already a manually typed presented in ‘College Fee’.
  • Also, ‘Set Default Value’ does not have ‘Clear’ option.

Set Field Value:

  • ‘Set Field Value’ triggers on both ‘Create’ and ‘Update’ of the record.
  • Also, ‘Set Field Value’ has a ‘Clear’ option.

Hope these differences helps you while choosing between ‘Set Default Value’ and ‘Set Field Value’,

🙂

Dataverse | Traditional Quick Find vs Enhanced Quick Find (2020 Wave 1 Update)

January 10, 2022 Leave a comment

I got a following question from a blog follower who recently started working on Dataverse on ‘Quick Find Search’.

Why the ‘Quick Find’ view not fetching the data though there are matched records?

So this article is for those who recently started working on Dataverse to differentiate Traditional vs Enhanced Quick Find view.

Traditional ‘Quick Find’:

  • Traditional ‘Quick Find’ fetches the matched rows irrespective of the current view.
  • As an example, below ‘Male Students’ view contain 2 records where Gender=Male.
  • If I search for a ‘Female’ record which is not part of this view, it will show up as below.

Enhanced Quick Find (2020 Wave 1 update):

  • With the 2020 Wave 1 update, by default ‘Quick Find’ fetches the matching records only from the currently selected view.
  • As an example, If I search for a ‘Female’ record while a ‘Male Students’ view selected, no records would be fetched. This is because of the search confined to the selected ‘Male Students’ view.

How to enable Traditional Quick Find post 2020 Wave 1 Update:

  • Post 2020 Wave 1 Update, ‘Traditional’ Quick Find will be turned off, by default.
  • To enable ‘Traditional’ Quick Find, from the Admin Center, select the Environment, go to Settings -> Features and turn on the “Use quick find view of an entity for searching on grids and sub-grids” setting.

🙂

Categories: PowerApps Tags: ,

Power BI | Dataverse | Fixing the connection reference of a report

December 31, 2021 Leave a comment

For the unversed, Using ‘Power BI embedded’ we can embed a Power BI report as Dashboard in Model Driven App.

This Dashboard can be added to a Solution and can be transported to other Environments. However there will be a challenge with report’s Connection reference.

When the Dashboard moved to another Environment, the connection will not be refreshed with Target Environment and will be still pointing to Source Environment.

As an example, if the Power BI report was built connecting to ‘DEV’ Environment, when the report exported from ‘DEV’ using Solution and imported to another Environment, reports connection will be still pointing to the Source Environment (i.e., DEV).

Workaround to refresh the Connection:

  • At the time of writing this article, there is no straight forward option to refresh the Power BI report’s Dataverse Connection.
  • One option is Save the Power BI report (i.e., .pbx file) locally and create a copy and rename.
    • In my case, I’ve renamed ‘Account_DEV’ to ‘Account_TEST’ file.
  • Open the ‘Account_TEST’ file and open the ‘Power Query Editor’ by selecting ‘Transform data’ option.
  • From the ‘APPLIED STEPS’, select ‘Source’ and update the Dataverse URL.
  • Save the report and publish to Power BI ‘Workspace’
  • Assuming you have moved the Report from ‘DEV’ to ‘TEST’ environment using the Solution, as a last step, connect to ‘TEST’ environment and select the report.
  • Click ‘Edit’ and select the ‘Account_TEST’ report from ‘TEST’ workspace.
  • This manually correcting the report’s connection works. I believe in near future we will have much easier and straightforward approach to refresh conenction.

🙂

Categories: Power BI Tags: , ,

Power Apps | On-premises data gateway | High-availability Clusters

December 27, 2021 Leave a comment

In one of my previous articles, I detailed the steps to connect to an on-premise SQL server from a Canvas App.

High availability: Refers to a set of technologies that minimize IT disruptions by providing business continuity of IT services through redundant, fault-tolerant, or failover-protected components inside the same data center.

By default On-premise Gateway is single instance and not a High availability option. If the gateway is unavailable, data requests will be failed and causes App downtime.

In this article, lets see how to build an high available On-premises Gateway using Clusters.

Gateway Clusters:

  • A cluster lets gateway admins avoid having a single point of failure for on-premises data access.
  • If the primary gateway is unavailable, data requests are routed to the second gateway that you add, and so on.
  • Following is the option to add a new Gateway to add to an exiting Gateway Cluster.
  • Because we can install only one standard gateway on a computer, we must install each additional gateway in the cluster on a different computer.

Refer this Docs article for more details.

🙂

Categories: PowerApps Tags: , ,

Model Driven App | Power BI | Visualize data

December 22, 2021 Leave a comment

There’s a new way to visualize your model-driven Power Apps and Dynamics 365 data stored within Dataverse. With a single click, Power BI will automatically generate a set of visuals for you to explore and find insights within your data.

Prerequisites:

Enable Model Driven App Level Setting:
  • This feature is App specific, so select the Model Driven App and choose ‘Edit in preview’ option.
  • Go to Settings -> Features and enable “Enable Power BI quick report visualization on a table (preview)” option.
Enable Environment Level Setting:
  • Go to Settings -> Product -> Features
  • Enable ‘TDS endpoint’ feature.
Power BI License:
  • Make sure you have Power BI license.
  • If you dont have a license, ‘Visualize this view’ shows following screen.
  • Acquire license and retry.

Using ‘Visualize this view’ option:

  • Open the Model Driven App.
  • Select any view and click on ‘Visualize this view’ button from Ribbon.
  • It will open up, Power BI report screen.

Key Notes:

  • The data being visualized within the report is always based on the data currently in the view’s grid.
  • This means if you’ve applied any filters to the grid, that filtered data will be used in the Power BI visuals. For example, if the view is filtered down to just 15 rows of data, only 15 rows will be visualized through Power BI.
  • At the time of writing this article, the visuals generated from this flow can only be used for personal exploration. You can’t share or save them.
  • Column display names aren’t used within the report. You’ll see the system names in the resulting visuals.
  • You may notice more columns within the report than you see in the original view. These fields could include foreign keys for the columns or hierarchy, or URL fields that are being used within the original view for purposes other than columns.
  • The report created through this feature is temporary, so the experience times out after a set amount of time. At that point you need to close and reopen the report to continue exploring your data. For now, the timeout occurs at one hour.

Refer this docs link for more details.

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Power Apps portals | Query data using portals Web API (Public preview)

November 12, 2021 Leave a comment

Portals Web API:

  • The Portals Web API enables building a richer user experience inside Power Apps portals pages.
  • We can use the Web API to perform create, update, and delete operations across all Dataverse tables from the portal pages.
  • For example, you can create a new account, update a contact, or change the table permissions for a product by using the portals Web API instead of the Portal Management app.

Query data using portals Web API:

Web API operations in portals so far were limited to creating, updating, deleting, associating and disassociating tables. With this public preview, Portals will have the capability to retrieve data using GET requests through portals Web API.

Preview capabilities:

The feature provides the following capabilities during this public preview:

  • Query records
  • Apply system query options
  • Request specific properties
  • Filter results
  • Order results
  • Aggregate and grouping results
  • Retrieve a count of rows
  • Column comparison
  • Retrieve related table records with a query

Refer the Docs link for documentation.

🙂

Categories: Portals Tags: ,

Power Apps | Canvas App | StartScreen property

November 8, 2021 Leave a comment

In the latest Canvas App updates, following key announcement has been made on App’s ‘OnStart’ property.

  • Using the Navigate function in the OnStart property has been retired. (Refer below screen as App throws warning if you have Navigate function on OnStart)
  • Existing apps will continue to work. For a limited time, you can still enable it in the app settings (available under Retired).
  • However, using Navigate in this manner can lead to app load delays.
  • Use the new StartScreen property instead, to calculate the first screen displayed.

StartScreen:

  • Following is an example, to Navigate to ‘Screen2’ based on a Condition.
    • If(User().Email=”RajeevPentyala@expnov21.onmicrosoft.com”,Screen2,Screen1)
    • If you notice, no ‘Navigate’ function is used in above example.
  • If StartScreen returns an error, the first screen in the Studio Tree view will be shown as if StartScreen hadn’t been set.
  • Global variables and collections, including those created in OnStart, are not available in StartScreen.

Refer Docs for more info.

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