Introduction to PowerApps

Welcome! In PowerApps, you can manage organizational data by running an app that you created or that someone else created and shared with you. Apps run on mobile devices such as phones, or you can run them in a browser by opening Dynamics 365. You can create an infinite variety of apps – all without learning a programming language such as C#.

If you're new to app development, you can see how a simple app is built by generating one automatically based on a single data source and then customizing the app to better suit your needs.

After you automatically generate an app from, for example, a custom SharePoint list, you can change how the app shows all items, details about each item, and options for creating or editing an item. You can also open a sample app or a template to discover what's possible with PowerApps and to better understand how to build a more complex app.

With some experience and creativity, you can develop your own apps from scratch. You can connect to data sources, add UI elements (called controls), and specify app behavior by building formulas. Starting small and growing your skills at your own pace, you can build and share apps that reinvent how your organization manages data. Ready to take the first step?

Generate an app automatically

To generate an app automatically, you specify a data source such as any of these:

  • the Common Data Service
  • a SQL Server database
  • Salesforce
  • Dynamics 365
  • Excel workbook (in a cloud-storage account)

For step-by-step instructions, see Create an app to manage data in SharePoint. The topic is designed for SharePoint, but the same principles apply to other types of data sources.

Customize an app

If the generated app doesn't meet your needs by default, you can customize it. You might, for example, want to show different data or the same data in a different control.

For ideas about how to improve your app further, you can open a sample app to get a sense of what you can invent with some creativity and a bit of experience.

Sample apps

You can also build an app from a template. Each template is based on fictitious data in a cloud account, such as Dropbox. Explore specific screens and controls to understand how they're configured, and experiment with customization to discover techniques that you can apply to your own apps.

Create an app from scratch

After you've generated an app or two automatically and gained some experience with customization, you can create an app from scratch. By working from the ground up, you gain flexibility in app design, flow, and controls, and you can incorporate a larger variety of data sources.

For detailed explanations of some concepts you'll need, see these topics:

Share and run an app

When you finish your app, you can share it with others in your organization, and run either your own apps or shared apps in a browser or on a phone.

More information

This topic is a high-level overview of the kinds of things you can do with PowerApps, but the possibilities are endless. You can find step-by-step procedures and reference information in the topics listed along the left edge of this page. If you have a detailed question that the topics don't address: