Managing apps

Share apps with colleagues and others, and control which version of an app is used and shared. Work with containers for apps, connections, and other resources.

You will learn how to...

Share your apps

It's great to build apps that address your own business needs, but the real magic of PowerApps comes from sharing those apps with others. Now that you know how to build an app, in this topic you will learn how to share it. You can share an app with specific users or groups, or you can share it with your entire organization. When you share an app with someone, they can run it from Dynamics 365 in a browser or in PowerApps Mobile for Windows, iOS, or Android. If you give someone contributor permissions, they can also update the app.

Prepare to share an app

You must save an app to the cloud before you can share it with anyone. Give the app a meaningful name and description, so people know what your app is about and can easily pick it out from a list. In PowerApps Studio, click or tap File, then enter a description.

App description

Be aware that any changes you make to a shared app will flow through to the people you shared it with as soon as you save the changes. This can be great if you improve the app, but can also impact others if you remove or significantly change features.

Share an app

In web.powerapps.com, on an app tile, click the ellipsis (. . .), and then click Share.

Share app from web.powerapps.com

From here, you can share an app and also control app versioning, which we'll cover in the next topic. Specify the users and groups to share the app with and what role they should each have - User or Contributor. Click or tap Save.

Select users and groups

If you choose to notify users via email, everyone you shared the app with receives an email with a link to Dynamics 365. App contributors also receive a link to web.powerapps.com. If someone doesn't follow the link to Dynamics 365, the app will not show up for them there. It will be in AppSource, but they'll have to add it to Dynamics 365 themselves.

App in Dynamics 365

Permissions and licensing

We're not going to get into detail about permissions and licensing, but we want to cover a couple of basics related to sharing:

  • Users and contributors need permissions to any data connections and gateways that a shared app uses. Some permissions come along implicitly with the app, but others must be explicitly granted.
  • If the app uses Common Data Service entities, users and contributors need access to the Common Data Service database. Contributors also need a PowerApps "P2" license if they work directly with entities.

Sharing apps is easy, and it's a great way to take an app that you find useful and make it available to people across your organization. In the next topic we'll explain how to control which version of an app is active when you use and share the app.

Version your apps

If something goes wrong or you save a change to an app you shouldn't have, it's good to know that PowerApps can help you out. For apps that are saved in the cloud, PowerApps keeps a history of the changes that you make. You can view the versions that are saved and restore your app to a previous version if necessary. Be aware that if the app is shared, the people you shared with also receive the restored version.

How to version an app

In web.powerapps.com, on an app tile, click the ellipsis (. . .), and then click Details.

Click details to access app version

From here, you can control app versioning and also share an app, which we covered in the previous topic. To move back to a previous version of an app, click Restore for the appropriate version (version 3 in the example), and click Restore again to confirm. As you see in the example, after you restore to version 3, PowerApps treats this as a new version (version 5 in the example), rather than just overwriting version 4.

Revert to a previous app version

Versioning can be very helpful if you need to restore a previous version of an app, so keep it in mind if you run into any issues with your apps. Now that know how to share your apps and restore them if necessary, we'll move on to the last aspect of app management in this course - managing environments.

Environments

If you have followed along with the course so far, you've spent some time working in web.powerapps.com. Whether you knew it or not, you have been working in a specific environment the whole time. An environment is simply a grouping of apps and other resources (more on this in a minute). Look at the upper right of the screen in web.powerapps.com, and you see a drop-down menu that shows your current environment.

Environment picker

If you are new to PowerApps, you might have only the default environment at this point. Click or tap the menu to see if there are other environments available.

Why use environments?

An environment is a container for apps and other resources, like data connections and flows from Microsoft Flow. It's a way to group things based on business requirements. There are several reasons to create additional environments beyond the default one:

  • Separate app development by department: in a large organization, each department could work in a different environment.
  • Support application lifecycle management (ALM): you could have separate environments for apps in development and apps that you have already finished and shared.
  • Manage data access: each environment can have its own Common Data Service database, and other data connections are specific to the environment (i.e. they're not shared across environments).

One thing to keep in mind is that environments are relevant only to app creators and PowerApps admins. When you share an app to a user, that user just runs the app as long as they have the right permissions. They don't have to worry about what environment it came from.

Create an environment

So far in this course, we have focused on app creators, but environments are created and maintained by admins. If you're not an admin, this information can still be helpful when you talk to your admin about setting up environments. In the PowerApps admin center, click or tap Environments then New environment. On the New environment screen, enter a name for the environment, select a region, select whether to create a Common Data Services database for the environment, and click or tap Create an environment.

Create an environment

That's it, you now have a new environment to work in. If you go back to web.powerapps.com, you will see it in the environments drop-down menu.

Manage access to an environment

You have access to an environment if you are:

  • An Environment Admin: you have full permissions in the environment.
  • An Environment Maker: you can see all apps, create apps, and work with the Common Data Service (other permissions apply).

As an admin, you grant access to an environment from the Environments tab. First, click or tap an environment. To add someone (an Environment Maker in this example), click or tap Environment roles then Environment Maker. From there, add users or groups to the role and click Save.

Manage environment access

You now understand the benefits of environments, and how to create them and grant access to them. Even if you're not in an admin role, it's helpful to know how this works. This brings us to the end of the Managing apps section, and you're well prepared to move on to the next section, "Managing data", which focuses on the Common Data Service.

Congratulations!

You've completed the Managing apps section of Microsoft PowerApps Guided Learning.

You learned how to...

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Managing data

Contributors

  • Michael Blythe