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Helper II
Helper II

App design query (SQL v CDS)



We are looking at building a powerapp (survey - Q/A solution). Our client base is a mix of internal/external users and I have a couple of questions before proceeding.


1) We want to use a SQL backend over CDS due to licensing we have (O365 - A1). Is there any issues with this and utilising the PowerApps Portal? Or would it be recommended to use CDS for this approach?


2) Email generation of the survey to users - is this achievable? I understand they would need to log in prior to submission if they were using the standard canvas app (for internal). Would it be possible to create an email with URL to the generic/specific survey for desktop use and completion? Same question for external and PowerApps Portal


3) Would it be an easier option to utilise Forms Pro and a combination of the above? If so what would be the best way to complete the above.


If there are further clarification points required on the above please let me know and I can provide more information.


Community Support
Community Support

Hi @mattyn07 


1.With the capability to build a portal in PowerApps, you can create a website for external and internal users enabling them to interact with data stored in Common Data Service.

If you want to use the data in your SQL table, you need to import the data into CDS.

2.What do you mean to create an email with URL to the generic/specific survey for desktop use and completion? 

3.Building Your First PowerApps Portal Form Tutorial:

More information:




Best Regards.





Hi @v-yuxima-msft ,


Thanks so much I appreciate the response. I have some further queries I would like to understand further.


1) I would be using the SQL connector within the main powerapps application builder to connect to my source. I was wondering if this was still possible with the PowerApps Portal? The client we have prefers this method over CDS (due to licensing costs). 


2) This question I have initially asked is someone confusing however I have completed more research and it is not achievable. An odd on question is that for this solution our "Form" we want to create are multiple surveys that are published onto the same PowerApps Portal. My assumption is that each "Form" (survey) will have its own unique URL that can be distributed to users (via email - manually or via Flow). Can you confirm that this would be the case?


3) Thanks for that I will attempt to build this now. My last query is the PowerApps Portal and Preview mode. Do you have a date when this will not be in preview and be turned on for consumers?


Thanks again for taking the time to review and answer my questions I really appreciate it.


Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

I looked at CDS vs Azure SQL DB about 18 months ago.  I decided on Azure SQL DB.  I only worked with CDS for about 30 days so I may have missed features.  Reasons:


1. Simple licensing. No special licensing.

2. SQL Views.  I use a lot of views.  VERY useful

3. Works with Azure Function Apps.  I've implemented a complex business process.  It keeps track of process and sends emails notifying  of next task in process.

4.  Works with  SQL Management Studio.  It makes it easy to manage and maintain db.

5.  Stored procedures.

6. Azure SQL Db is cheap.  $15/month for my needs.


I make my PowerApp as simple as possible and put all complicated stuff in either Azure SQL DB or Azure functions.

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