Friday, 28 February 2020

I love Power Apps

No self respecting technologies/programmer/ex-programmer likes simple solutions.  I still chose C# as my go to problem solver (I learnt to use a hammer 18 years ago and now all my problem look like a nail).  Don't tell anyone under 30 I still love C#, they think you are weird if you don't use Javascript for everything.  And 15 years ago I was arguing the same with the C++ golden oldies.  So the circle of life goes on.  Enter Simba, the Lion King...  Well not really but Power Apps is just making programmers look ridiculous.

Power Apps can do a lot...

MS have announce that components and PCF’s are part of Power Apps.  I've been using this for awhile and it's awesome.

This diagram outlines extending Power Apps using Components:  Developers often say you can’t extend Power Apps so it is not a real language, my answer is really… 
The other argument for PowerApps is if you need to do any complex programming.....  Use an Azure Function (this allows C#, PowerShell, JS, …).  Simple to build in your own language, expose using an http endpoint and you can call the end point using a custom connector.  
So if you need: 
  • Complex UI = go PCF, 
  • Reusable UI e.g. menu's = use Components, 
  • Complex processing or secure code logic = Azure Functions.
Here are some PCF examples that we can use that are already built:

So what is stopping Power Apps:
  1. Licencing - the licencing is expensive so you need to choose selectively when it is appropriate.  If MS change it's going to just go crazy the usage. IMHO. 
  2. Functionality:  MS have introduced automated testing to the Power Apps platform but there are improvements scheduled.  For me the biggest issue is code reuse.  I wish there was a function library that you could write functions to and call in a single line of code, my individual field logic can be insane and tough to amend on complex large Power App UI's.   

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