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prasad-sunkara
Regular Visitor

Canvas app / OneDrive for Business - Excel as data source / External users

We created a simple data collection Canvas Power App that uses Excel as a data source housed under OneDrive for business. 

 

The app has two different types of users.

 

First kind of users are external to the organization and they would be entering data in the app.  These users are licensed to use PowerApps in their own organization.  

 

Second kind of users are internal to organization and they review and act on the data submitted by the above group.

 

After sharing the App and the underlying Excel file (stored in OneDriver for Business), external users are unable to access the data.  The app itself is coming up after the login process.

 

No issues with the internal users. They can access the app and data just fine.

 

Any ideas on why the external users are having this issue?  Here is the error they are getting:

prasadsunkara_0-1626726627682.png

 

 

Are there any known limitations with this approach and how Canvas apps and External users access works when using Excel as the data source?  If so, what are some potential work arounds?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

I prefer Azure myself cause you can control security through the application, however you won't be able to use it with standard powerapps licenses. It requires premium licenses so that really hinders that use case, and not sure how or if external user capability can come over with premium like that. 

 

The easier test case would be connecting to a SharePoint list and just testing it with a basic app first. Then going from there. But SharePoint List is going to most likely be the way to go. Couple nice things with SharePoint list you can turn on item level security in advanced list settings and make it so that only the user can see and edit only their own items and not see other items if that is a requirement. Or they can only edit their own and see the others etc. So that helps. Anyone that needs to see all items with that on has to have full control, so maybe your 3 internal people have full control while the rest have normal edit rights and item level turned on to restrict those records. 

 

Anyway, just a few idea's here. Teams app with dataverse might be an option but I don't know what the external user story is there since you can now share out those apps outside the Team, but not sure those include external users and that gives you Dataverse backend, but to be honest, SharePoint is the easiest by far and usually meets most needs. 

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5 REPLIES 5
leyburn19
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

1. When you share the app do the users appear in teh AD to select.  If not then you look at the file in one drive is shared with them properly.  This usually needs to happen fisrt so they accept that share,  then you will see them in the AD list when sharing teh App

2.If one is OK,  then the issue may relate to them having created an app of opened an app in their own environment.  I have found they need to have doen this before they actually get to use teh external app.

 

My experience is based on doing this with SharePoint (I recommend you concider change your excel to SP as this can manageit better)

Thank you @leyburn19 for your response.

 

1) Yes. Added them to AD first as that is the only I could even share the App and Excel file with them.

2) This is not the case.  In their home tenant, they do not have any PowerApps. This is the first PowerApp they are trying to access and use.

 

I have read in the forums Excel could be problematic with External users and for other reasons. I am trying to get a confirmation from others who are experienced with PowerApps as I am fairly new to this world.

 

If that is indeed the case, what are my best options? Create a Azure SQL database or SharePoint List? I am more familiar with Azure and SQL than SharePoint.  However, if SharePoint is better for manageability and a more economical option, I would definitely consider that.  The usage of this application is going to be fairly light.  About ~20 or so external users and 2-3 internal users using the app a few times per week.

 

Drrickryp
Super User
Super User

@prasad-sunkara 

Excel is a poor choice for a datasource when you have multiple users because it locks the table as soon as one user is connected to it.  (among other reasons). See Shane Young's video, "Excel is a terrible datasource", for the other reasons  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtmZM3tm2Zs 

I prefer Azure myself cause you can control security through the application, however you won't be able to use it with standard powerapps licenses. It requires premium licenses so that really hinders that use case, and not sure how or if external user capability can come over with premium like that. 

 

The easier test case would be connecting to a SharePoint list and just testing it with a basic app first. Then going from there. But SharePoint List is going to most likely be the way to go. Couple nice things with SharePoint list you can turn on item level security in advanced list settings and make it so that only the user can see and edit only their own items and not see other items if that is a requirement. Or they can only edit their own and see the others etc. So that helps. Anyone that needs to see all items with that on has to have full control, so maybe your 3 internal people have full control while the rest have normal edit rights and item level turned on to restrict those records. 

 

Anyway, just a few idea's here. Teams app with dataverse might be an option but I don't know what the external user story is there since you can now share out those apps outside the Team, but not sure those include external users and that gives you Dataverse backend, but to be honest, SharePoint is the easiest by far and usually meets most needs. 

View solution in original post

Thank you @cwebb365! That is exactly the kind of the confirmation I am looking for. I will switch to SharePoint List and do a quick test first as you suggested.

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