Overview of creating apps in Power Apps

Power Apps is a high-productivity development platform for business apps, and has four major components:

  • Canvas apps
  • Model-driven apps
  • Portals
  • Microsoft Dataverse

Let's learn more about each of these.

Canvas apps

Canvas apps start with your user experience, crafting a highly tailored interface with the power of a blank canvas and connecting it to your choice of more than 200 data sources. You can build canvas apps for web, mobile, and tablet applications.

Canvas apps give you the flexibility to arrange the user experience and interface the way you want it. Allow your creativity and business sense to guide how you want your apps to look and feel.

You can start to build your app from Microsoft tools where your data lives, such as:

Creating a canvas app is easy. With Power Apps, you can find or create your app in several ways:

Note

In addition to creating apps in Power Apps, you can now create apps directly within Microsoft Teams using Power Apps. More information: Create apps in Microsoft Teams by using Power Apps.

Model-driven apps

Model-driven apps start with your data model – building up from the shape of your core business data and processes in the Dataverse to model forms, views, and other components. Model-driven apps automatically generate great UI that's responsive across devices.

When you create a model-driven app, you can use all the power of the Dataverse to rapidly configure your forms, business rules, and process flows. You create a model-driven app from the Power Apps site.

As part of the custom page public preview, the new page type based on canvas can be added into a new or existing model-driven app. This allows the power and flexibility of a canvas experience within the model-driven app. Custom pages allow

  • Full control over page layout
  • Out of box controls and custom components
  • Power Apps connectors
  • Low-code authoring

Getting started with model-driven apps is simple. You can begin with these topics:

Portals

Portals help you create external-facing websites that allow users outside your organization to sign in with a wide variety of identities, create and view data in Dataverse, or even browse content anonymously.

Use these topics to quickly get started with portals:

Dataverse

Dataverse is the data platform that comes with Power Apps and allows you to store and model business data. It's the platform on which Dynamics 365 apps (such as Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Marketing, and Project Service Automation) are built. If you’re a Dynamics 365 customer, your data is already in Dataverse.

Dataverse allows you to securely store and manage data within a set of standard and custom tables, and you can add columns to those tables when you need them.

Start working with Dataverse by reading these topics:

Planning a Power Apps app or project

It's easy to begin building out your first app. Simply sign in to Power Apps. For more information, go to Sign in to Power Apps for the first time. If you're interested in exploring even more functionality, such as creating environments, we have a 30-day trial or Developer Plan.

If you're new to Power Apps and want to learn about how to convert your ideas into a fully working solution, start with Planning a Power Apps project.