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cwalliser
Level: Power Up

Need opinions if Power Apps can do this...

Below is a description of what we need. My question is if Power Apps is a good fit for this?

I can do basic scripting, but I'm not a coder. Is this going to be more of a headache to maintain than buying a turnkey application? 

 

Scenario:

  1. A rep wants to send an Eval Unit to a prospect.
    They enter the Product ID for the Eval unit and view what serial numbers for that product are available in the time frame desired.
  2. If a unit is available, the rep can enter the related information (client, location, dates, etc) and allocate that unit.
    The next rep viewing the data would see that serial number / date combination as unavailable.
  3. A rep can look at the product history and see where it has been in the past.

Considerations:

  1. Browser based application that can be accessed from any computer.
  2. Keep the front end for viewing by product ID, and new schedule entry clean and simple.
  3. Restrict viewing of different product types based on the user (user based security).
  4. Basic users cannot modify records.
  5. Admin users can modify current and historical records, changing dates, etc.
  6. Admin users can delete records.
  7. Want to store transaction history for viewing and reporting.

 

Data Fields:

Product ID, Product Serial#, Sales Engineer Name, Client Name, Location, Type of Use (Demo / Eval), Start Date, End Date, Note

6 REPLIES 6
Jimmy1
Level: Powered On

Re: Need opinions if Power Apps can do this...

Hi cwalliser,

 

To my knowledge, PowerApps is a platform to enable light, mobile, and simple applications.

 

Based on the experience my co-worker and I have, your scenario can be a good use case considering the ease of the UI/UX developement on PowerApps. You can setup multiple pages to allow users to interact with required data and business flows even though your scenario is more like within an office settting not in a mobile setting.

 

For your considerations:

 

1 & 2.

There are two design styles (optimized for phone or tablet). Both styles can be viewed from a computer. You may pick the tablet one to start with.

 

3, 4, 5, & 6

It's relatively easy to filter records by the login user. But the more logic/filters you put in may also slow down the app.

How are you going to setup different user permissions (regular and admin) - is it setup from your Office 365 accounts?

 

7.

May I start from asking where your data is stored? It seems to me that you are trying to have your app access/interact with data from some kind of inventory systems but not just an Excel file online. If your data is sitting in an on-prem environment, you may need to consider some network setup using a data gateway. In our attempts, connecting to an on-prem data source may take a bit longer when you are working through your PowerApps app. If we use a SharePoint Online list or some online service, like some Dynamics 365, it's faster - maybe it's because they are all running on Azure services.

 

Hope it helps.

Jimmy

 

 

Tudor
Level: Powered On

Re: Need opinions if Power Apps can do this...

@cwalliser

 

First question for you is what are the options for the database/datasource? Can you use a SharePoint list? I think everything you mentioned above is possible currently using PowerApps. 

 

The one thing I am not sure of is regarding the permissions, I know that the person object is not fully supported from SharePoint, so it may be difficult to access a user's permissions if you plan on getting the permissions from the person object. A workaround for this would be to set the email as a column in your datasource so that you can validate that email in your PowerApp. You can see more about this workaround here: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/PowerApps-Forum/Disable-or-Enable-create-item-button-in-power-ap...

 

Other than that, you should be able to build a PowerApp to accomplish what you need.

 

If you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask!

 

cwalliser
Level: Power Up

Re: Need opinions if Power Apps can do this...

Hi Jimmy, thanks for the input.

Based on your response, it looks like PowerApps might be able to do what I’m looking for.

 

Re: data source, it will be some sort of SharePoint source. Right now, I’m looking at an excel file on SharePoint/OneDrive.

Estimate a thousand product ID/Serial # combinations, at an average of 10 scheduling transaction /yr / productid = 10K transaction records per year.

I think excel can work as a back end data source for that volume, but haven’t tested it yet.

I’m not very familiar with SharePoint lists vs excel file, so I can’t comment on that.

 

Your comment about the speed is my immediate concern. I’ve downloaded the “Resource Scheduling” template app for a proof of concept.

It is not blindingly fast…

And if I add another linking layer between ProductID and ProductID-SerialNumber, it might be even slower.

 

Clark

cwalliser
Level: Power Up

Re: Need opinions if Power Apps can do this...

Hi @Tudor

Based on the PowerApps template for "Resource Scheduler", the data source is currently an excel file on SharePoing / OneDrive. 

 

In my previous response post I mentioned that I'm not conversant in SharePoint lists vs Excel files as data sources.

Are there any advantages to a SharePoint list over an excel file?

Tudor
Level: Powered On

Re: Need opinions if Power Apps can do this...

@cwalliser 

 

I think you should be fine using an Excel file, I just wasn't sure which direction you were going initially. In that case you could manage the permissions to add/edit/delete items in the Excel file from OneDrive so you should not have the permissions issues I mentioned above as those are related to the Person object in SharePoint lists. 

 

Good luck building the app!

Tudor

Highlighted
Jimmy1
Level: Powered On

Re: Need opinions if Power Apps can do this...

Hi @cwalliser,

 

I agree on @Tudor's reply that most of your functional requirements should be able to achieve in PowerApps.

 

It's more a concern of the performance or the speed of data transfer giving the number of trasactions which need to return and display on your app. 

 

Cheers,

Jimmy

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