Sunday, 15 July 2018

Power Platform Notes - Power Apps, CDS, Power BI & Power Automate

Power Apps

Microsoft Docs "PowerApps and Excel both automatically recalculate formulas as the input data changes".
  • Contextual variables - scoped at a screen level
  • Global variables - scoped app level
  • Fx> Set(MyUniqueClientNo, 12)
Fx> UpdateContext({MyTimesheetId: 34})
Tip from Shane Young:  Note the setting variable may be the reference, so for a control use:
Fx> UpdateContext({MyTimesheetId: txtTimesheetId.Text}) not
Fx> UpdateContext({MyTimesheetId: txtTimesheetId.Text}) unless you want the context to float

Pass a variable to another screen use the Navigate overload, OnSelect property of a button
Fx> Navigate(Screen2, ScreenTransition.None, {TSvar: MyTimesheetId}
MyTimeSheet Id is a contextual variable

If Statement:
Fx> If(MyUniqueClientNo = 12, lblAns.text = 'yes', lblAns.text = 'No')

Power Apps has it's own source control and you can manually export and import entire projects. Power Apps Build Tools allows for DevOps integration.

Updated: Power Apps Licencing Summary as of 30 December 2019
"To run standalone apps, guest users need the same license as users in your tenant."  Microsoft Docs.  
  • PowerApps using AAD B2B user (both members and guest) using standalone Power Apps shall require the Power Apps licence (not necessarily Portal Apps).  Steps to Share Power Apps with Guests
  • SharePoint user interacting with a Power Apps form on a SharePoint list do not require a Power Apps licence.
Coding Standards for Power Apps:
Microsoft provide a whitepaper as a suggestion for using naming/coding standards.

Power Apps Portals:
Build responsive website using CDS.  Allow anonymous access or implement multiple Identiy Providers (IdP) such as AAD B2C, AAD, Google+, LinkedIn.

Updated: 28 July 2018:
Common Data Service (CDS): Comes from Dynamics CRM Sales, pretty much used like CT's in SharePoint.
  • Based on Azure SQL & uses CosmosDB with a nice API that support REST/ODatav4;  
  • Has Row, field RBAC and uses AAD for authentication;
  • Allows Power BI, Power Apps (previously labeled as PowerApps) & Flow (Power Automate - new name since Ignite 2019) to work with CDS;
  • Use Power Query to Import data easily or data flows
  • Multiple data source such as SQL Server, Cosmos, files, Excel, Search, 3rd parties such as SAP.
  • CDS is not part of the O365 licencing (including E5), you need to get a PowerApps P1 or P2 (Now Power Apps for Users as licencing changed circa Oct 2019).  Note Power Apps licencing included with O365 is extremely limited and for instance does not cover CDS;
  • One Environment ties to one CDS database
  • Any type of data; any type of app.  
  • Easy to use; secure.

Insert or Update using Patch to CDS:
        Defaults('Employee Sentiment'),
            userid: UserID,
            vote: ThisItem.Vote,
            votedate: Now()
Select from CDS:
UpdateContext( { locVotes: LookUp('Vote', votedate = <date>) });

Power Automate

Updated 11 December 2019:
Microsoft Power Automate (previously called Microsoft Flow, is an user friendly workflow tool/service): Simple workflow engine sitting on Azure Logic App.
Basic business process flows are:
  1. Automated Flows - Basic starting point
  2. Button Flow - Events such as a click triggers the flow;
  3. Scheduled Flow - in effect timer jobs;
  4. Business Process Flow - ensures users enter  data consistently (think Windows Presentation Framework) & follows the same steps every time; and
  5. UI Flow (preview) - Provides RPA capabilities;

Building Blocks for Power Automation are:
  • Trigger - what starts the workflow, can be manual trigger or an automated trigger
  • Actions - ,
  • Conditions,
  • Data operations, 
  • Expressions - basic operations like adding two numbers together, making a string upper case, and
  • Flow Type - see the 5 flow types above.
Display directions using Map on a Image control in PowerApps:,-0.0822229&waypoint.2=SE9%4PN&mapSize=600,300&key=<key>" & EncodeUrl(txtDriverLocation.Text) & "&waypoint.2=" & EncodeUrl(txtDriverLocation.Text) & "&mapSize=600,300&key=AsR555key


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