Do you need to create software applications to solve business problems, but don’t want to write code? Microsoft PowerApps offers a potential solution – read on for advice on how to get started.
PowerApps is part of the Microsoft Power Platform, which also includes Power Automate (formerly known as Flow) and Power BI. Despite the appeal of the “low-code/no-code” advertising for PowerApps, you do still need to learn new skills to be able to use it to solve business problems effectively. So, having a guide such as the book “Learn Microsoft Power Apps” by Matthew Weston is a good place to start your journey.
The book helps you work through practical examples and exercises, and in less than an hour, you could create and test your first PowerApp. To follow along with some of the later exercises, you’ll need either a OneDrive or a OneDrive for Business account to use as a medium for storing data. If you use Office 365, then you may already have a OneDrive for Business account; otherwise you can sign up for a free a OneDrive account at https://onedrive.live.com/.
If you want to use the study guide to learn and explore PowerApps before you purchase a license, Microsoft offers a Community Plan that you can sign up for here: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/communityplan/. The community plan allows you to explore both the standard and the premium features of PowerApps for free. Signing up for the community plan creates a new development environment for your use. However, only a single user can use the plan so you cannot share the apps you create with anyone else.
One shortcoming of the book is the balance of space given to the different types of PowerApps – Canvas apps are covered in depth in several chapters; however, Model-Driven apps get a much shorter coverage at the end of the book. The Canvas apps are simpler to create and understand, making this book a great introduction to PowerApps. Once you’ve finished this book, you’ll need to study further to master model-driven apps fully.