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Anonymous
Not applicable

Is PowerApps the right solution for managing orders and deliveries?

Hello everyone,

 

Currently, my company uses an Excel workbook for managing its orders, deliveries and invoices. It allows people to add new orders, select products, select customers etc. This information is then added to appropriate worksheet which serves as a database (there is a orders database and a deliveries database). 

Most importantly though, there are blank invoices, order confirmations and delivery notes - users for example type in an order number and the order confirmation populates with appropriate data. People can then very simply print this order confirmation and send it to the customer.

As you can imagine, having this based on Excel which is not really suited for databases can be a pain and is quite clunky.

I am looking for a solution that does not require hiring a firm to develop a whole custom database application. I was thinking Access but then I came across PowerApps.

Would it be the right choice for me? Maybe having data on SQL Server and using PowerApps to edit/add new data? Would it be able to handle generating documents such as invoices?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Jan

8 REPLIES 8
Super User
Super User

Re: Is PowerApps the right solution for managing orders and deliveries?

Having the data stored in an SQL-server it so much better than an Excel sheet! How comfortable are you with using SQL, can you design a good structure and create the tables yourself?

 

PowerApps is probably quite a good tool for the job, except for printing the invoices; there's no printing for PA yet. What you could do is have an Excel or Word document and connect to the SQL-db and handle the printing that way.

 

One great upshot of using PA is the ability to run on mobile devices right away. Be aware of your target device when you design the app though, and possibly make several apps for different views/functions. For the order system I've made I have three apps:

  • one for "normal" users ordering from our department, shopping cart style if you like, targeted for use on PC, works OK on tablet
  • one administration app where my department handles the different orders, targeted for use on PC only
  • one lookup app for managers who want to see what their department has ordered, targeted for use on phone or tablet

 

Hope these few suggestions gave you something positive to ponder about. Please get back to me if I was unclear or if you have more questions!

Meneghino
Level 10

Re: Is PowerApps the right solution for managing orders and deliveries?

Hi @Anonymous

 

I agree with @BitLord69

 

In addition, you have the following options for invoices:

1) Create HTML/text email invoices and sending in PowerApps

2) Create invoices via PowerApps in a SharePoint document library and leveraging the metadata to populate the invoice template in Word automatically

3) Use some of the pdf creation possibilities with Flow using Muhimbi or something similar

 

Please let me know if you need more details on any of the above.

 

In regards to SQL Server (or rather Azure SQL Database, which is the same thing as a cloud service), please be aware that there are currently some limitations, although they are being resolved.  The limitations are summarised here:

https://baizini-it.com/blog/index.php/2017/09/28/powerapps-and-azure-sql-database-current-issues/

 

Re: Is PowerApps the right solution for managing orders and deliveries?

@MeneghinoHave you been able to create a word document using metadata? Were you able to get it to generate automatically?

Meneghino
Level 10

Re: Is PowerApps the right solution for managing orders and deliveries?

Hi @BrendonBrooksP1

Yes, it does seem to work, although it seems that the metadata is included on document creation and is not updated when the metadata is changed.

JRaasumaa
Level 10

Re: Is PowerApps the right solution for managing orders and deliveries?


@Anonymous wrote:

Hello everyone,

 

Currently, my company uses an Excel workbook for managing its orders, deliveries and invoices. It allows people to add new orders, select products, select customers etc. This information is then added to appropriate worksheet which serves as a database (there is a orders database and a deliveries database). 

Most importantly though, there are blank invoices, order confirmations and delivery notes - users for example type in an order number and the order confirmation populates with appropriate data. People can then very simply print this order confirmation and send it to the customer.

As you can imagine, having this based on Excel which is not really suited for databases can be a pain and is quite clunky.

I am looking for a solution that does not require hiring a firm to develop a whole custom database application. I was thinking Access but then I came across PowerApps.

Would it be the right choice for me? Maybe having data on SQL Server and using PowerApps to edit/add new data? Would it be able to handle generating documents such as invoices?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Jan


 

I think what you will find is a healthy mix of both PowerApps and Access will meet your needs. We are currently using PowerApps for all of our data entry (as much as possible) with only 2 remaining linked excel sheets. Everything we do is captured into SQL which thanks to Microsoft Flow it's possible to run procedures to update information or run procedures to deal with SQL capturing or moving around data for us. 

 

PowerApps is fantastic at getting data in, and horrible at getting it out so similar to @Meneghino we use HTML forms that are emailed using Flow for some processes but due to how difficult forms are to create and update we also use Access for a few departments to run much more detailed custom filtered reports from.

 

To answer your questions:

 

Would it be the right choice for me? - Yes, it can do what you are looking for

 

Maybe having data on SQL Server and using PowerApps to edit/add new data? -SQL is a fantastic choice and using the On-Premise Gateway connections makes it extremely easy to work with on-site data.

 

Would it be able to handle generating documents such as invoices? - Access would be a great solution for any forms beyond simple HTML exporting or Word/Excel merges. I think Access gives you much finer control over the Report layout and makes the user interaction simple.

 

Hope that helps!

 

mmangiante
Level 8

Re: Is PowerApps the right solution for managing orders and deliveries?

Hello @Meneghino

 

I'm interested in this: how do you done to create a template and fill it with metadata? I'd like to fill my doc with data that I have in a SharePoint Online list: do you have a link to documentation or other material that explain this?

 

Marco

Meneghino
Level 10

Re: Is PowerApps the right solution for managing orders and deliveries?

dmedeiros
Level: Powered On

Re: Is PowerApps the right solution for managing orders and deliveries?

Only downfall i see to this is that if you are trying to add a Approve Reject button for your invoices in a HTML email in Powerapps, this is not possible to my knowledge. Also if i want a specific invoice lets say for a delivery company to remove times that are already occupied, you are unable to do this unless using different collections. 

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