Executing Power Apps

Power Apps is a suite of apps, services, connectors, and a data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. Using Power Apps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored either in the underlying data platform (Common Data Service for Apps) or in various online and on-premises data sources (SharePoint, Excel, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and so on).

Apps built using Power Apps provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities to transform your manual business processes to digital, automated processes. Further, apps built using Power Apps have a responsive design, and can run seamlessly in a browser or on mobile devices (phone or tablet). Power Apps "democratizes" the custom business app building experience by enabling users to build feature-rich, custom business apps without writing code.

Power Apps also provides an extensible platform that lets developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data.

How to find and run apps?

There's no need to manually work on a task to get your work done. With Power Apps, you can create and use a canvas app or model-driven app to get your work done quickly. Once you create an app, you can share the app with your organization.

Canvas apps give you a lot of control over the user experience of the app. An app maker can use templates to create a canvas app, or they can configure the app any way they like. A canvas app, like its name, is a blank canvas, so you can create an app to fit the needs of users in your organization.

Because canvas apps can essentially be anything, there isn't much help documentation on how to use an app once it's created. If you need help using a canvas app, contact your app maker or Power Apps admin.

Model-driven apps use the Unified Interface that provides a responsive and accessible design. You can run the app on a web browser or on popular mobile devices. The app has multiple components including dashboards, forms, views, charts, and business processes that together help make the app easy to use. Model-driven apps are built and modeled on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement framework, so the user experience is similar to Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement apps.

What's required to run apps?

Run a canvas app on a mobile device

When you create an app, or someone shares an app with you, you can run that app on Windows, iOS, Android, or in a web browser. In this section, you'll learn how to run a canvas app on a mobile device. Apps running on a mobile device can take advantage of the device's capabilities, such as location services and camera.

To follow this procedure, if you're not signed up for Power Apps, sign up for free before you begin, and then download Power Apps from the App Store or Google Play onto an iPhone, iPad, or Android device running a supported operating system. Also, make sure you have access to a canvas app that you created or that someone else created and shared with you.

Open Power Apps and sign in

Open Power Apps on your mobile device and sign in using your Azure Active Directory credentials.

Login user

If you have the Microsoft Authenticator app installed on your mobile device, simply enter your username when prompted, and then approve the notification sent to your device.

Find the app

To make it easier to find the app, open the Power Apps menu, and then select a filter.

App filters

The following filters are available:

  • All apps - Displays all apps to which you have access, including apps you created and apps that others shared with you.
  • My Apps - Displays apps that you've run at least once.
  • Sample apps - Displays sample apps from Microsoft that showcase real application scenarios with fictitious data to help you explore design possibilities.
  • Favorites - Displays apps that you've marked by tapping the ellipsis (...) on the app tile, and then tapping Favorite. To remove an app from this list, tap the ellipsis (...) on the app tile, and then tap Unfavorite.

Mark as Favorite

After you filter your apps, you can sort the filtered list by the date the apps were most recently opened or modified, or alphabetically by name. These preferences are retained when you close and reopen Power Apps.

Sort menu

If you know the name of the app you want to run, you can tap the search icon at the top of Power Apps, and then type part of its name in the search box.

Search

If you filtered your apps, it will search the filtered list.

Run an app

To run a canvas app on a mobile device, tap the app tile. If someone else created a canvas app and shared it with you in an email, you can run the app by tapping the link in the email.

If this is the first time you're using Power Apps, a screen shows the swipe gesture to close the app.

Launch app

If an app requires a connection to a data source or permission to use the device's capabilities (such as the camera or location services), you must give consent before you can use the app. Typically, you're prompted only the first time.

Connection

Pin an app to the home screen

You can pin an app to the home screen of your device for quick access. Tap the ellipsis (...) on the app tile, tap Pin to Home, and then follow the instructions that appear.

Pin app

Close an app

To close an app, use your finger to swipe from the left edge of the app to the right. On Android devices, you can also press the Back button and then confirm that you intended to close the app.

Run a model-driven app on a mobile device

After the app is created and then shared with you, you can run that app on a variety of popular mobile devices such as Windows, iOS, Android, or in a web browser. In this section, you'll learn how to run a model-driven app on a mobile device.

To follow this procedure, if you're not signed up for Power Apps, sign up for free before you begin. Also, make sure you have access to an app that you created or that someone else created and shared with you.

Run the model-driven app

Model-driven apps don't run in the Power Apps mobile app. Instead, you run a model-driven app on a mobile device using either the Dynamics 365 mobile app or in the phone's web browser.

Use the mobile app

Install the Dynamics 365 for phones or Dynamics 365 for tablets app from your device's app store. For more information, see Install Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets.

Mobile app for phones

Run in your phone's browser

Go to the Dynamics 365 home page or enter the app URL directly into your phone's web browser and follow the directions on your screen to load the app. For more information, see Run an app in a web browser.

Run app in phone browser