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blanghorst
Advocate III
Advocate III

Coming from InfoPath forms - is this the right approach?

I've read a few posts here and elsewhere about InfoPath developers asking about using PowerApps as a replacement.  I'm going to ask a very basic question, which I hope someone can answer without the usual "submit this as a feature request" line. 🙂   Anyway, I've developed hundreds of InfoPath forms over my career and the way I typically did it was to publish the InfoPath form as a Content Type, create a form library on the site, and add the InfoPath content type to that library.    That way, the default when clicking NEW would be the InfoPath form for the user to fill out, and whenever clicking on an existing list item, the InfoPath form would open and any form load rules (such as switching views based on column values, etc) would work to move the user to the correct view for additional input.

 

I am guessing that the only way I can accomplsh this in PowerApps would be to edit the default list forms.  Is that a correct statement?    If so, are there any limitations I should know about?  Am I able to change to tablet view with unlocked aspect ratio, etc on those forms?  These forms will be primarily used on PCs, so I need to make that experience usable and friendly from a user perspective.    

 

Is there any other way to do what I'm asking OUTSIDE of modifying the default list forms?  I did see an article where another guy was able to click on a link and pass the list column values to a PowerApp, but for that, I'd have to create a calculated column to generate the link for each list item and I think that may be too many moving parts.   But, if that's the best way to do it without sacrificing capability, I can do it.

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v-xida-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @blanghorst,

Could you please share a bit more about your scenario?

Do you want to replace the InfoPath form within your SP list using PowerApps?

Based on the needs that you mentioned, I think the PowerApps custom form for SP list could achieve your needs. The PowerApps custom form for SP list would not edit/modify the default SP list form, it just create a custom form for your SP list via PowerApps.

More details about customizing form for SP list using PowerApps, please check the following article:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/canvas-apps/customize-list-form

In addition, please also check the following video for more details:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Badj3_T8zAw

 

Best regards,

Kris 

Community Support Team _ Kris Dai
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

View solution in original post

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Mike2500
Super User
Super User

Switching from InfoPath can be challenging, as the tools were designed for different purposes. IP was specifically designed to create online versions of paper forms. PowerApps is designed to create mobile apps that allow users to interact with data from a variety of data sources. Similar, but different. IP can handle forms with dozens of fields with ease, while this is not what powerapps was designed to do.

 

That said, when customizing a SharePoint list via powerapps, you can change the size of the form, though it will still show up as a "panel", and you don't have the option of a full screen form.  Otherwise, see this doc for details on how PowerApps works for SharePoint integration. However, this doc does not show how to switch views based on the values of fields.  (it states that the OnEdit event of the the SharePoint integration control should be used for this purpose,  in my experience, this event does not function as documented).

 

One additional note: PowerApps can easily gain access to querystring parameters (via the param function), so while not ideal, your idea of having a link that goes to a PowerApp is not difficult to configure.

 

 

v-xida-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @blanghorst,

Could you please share a bit more about your scenario?

Do you want to replace the InfoPath form within your SP list using PowerApps?

Based on the needs that you mentioned, I think the PowerApps custom form for SP list could achieve your needs. The PowerApps custom form for SP list would not edit/modify the default SP list form, it just create a custom form for your SP list via PowerApps.

More details about customizing form for SP list using PowerApps, please check the following article:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/canvas-apps/customize-list-form

In addition, please also check the following video for more details:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Badj3_T8zAw

 

Best regards,

Kris 

Community Support Team _ Kris Dai
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

The lack of a good full screen option really bothers me.    I'm used to making very complex forms with dozens of fields, several screens, several web service calls, and lots of rules (and, rarely, custom code).  PowerApps seems to be much more difficult to use for these kinds of forms and it seems that Microsoft didn't truly replace InfoPath as they initially said way back in 2014.   I understand what MS is trying to do, but it seems like they're missing some low-hanging fruit and obvious features people want/need.  I can't tell you the number of times I've Googled on how to do something in PowerApps, just to lead back here and see that it isn't possible but the requestor should submit an "idea" or "feature request."

 

Maybe PowerApps will get there eventually, and perhaps Microsoft's view is that InfoPath is technically still a supported option for a few more years and by then, PowerApps will exceed it.   However, at this stage, it is a pretty rough transition.

Hi Kris,

 

Thanks for the links.  I've been watching Shane's videos to try and ramp up quickly and they're a great resource.

 

I was just speaking in general about how I've used InfoPath in the past, and I agree that using the option to use PowerApps to customize list forms is what will get me closest to the InfoPath experience. 

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

>I'm used to making very complex forms with dozens of fields

 

Good luck with that.

 

There really are numerous challenges, bugs, irritations, etc., for working with larger forms. For example, if you use both conditional visibility and custom cards (for example, to change the caption of a field), changing the field order can randomly change the order of other fields. And, setting conditional visibilty (or any other property) on multiple fields requires each field to be configured separately, as there are no such thing as containers, sections, etc., and you can't select multiple fields at a time.  The list goes on. And on.

 

MS should really provide guidance on how to take a large InfoPath form and redesign it to take advantage of PowerApps' strengths, such as having a smaller number of fields, spread across multiple, smaller screens.

Anonymous
Not applicable

A year and a half later, I'm in the same boat and the situation hasn't changed. I've spent the last couple days reading and trying out and it seems like I have to create so many workarounds to achieve something with a lot of limitations and a ton of time spent on little things.

 

Power Apps feel extremely frustrating to use for large complex InfoPath orms and I'll say it now, it seems impossible to achieve in its current form. 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Another year later and we are still unable to move our existing InfoPath forms to PowerApps.

PowerApps is still heavily focused on mobile layouts and fails miserably at replacing complex/dense InfoPath forms.

 

Why is Microsoft ignoring the fact that the desktop is still king for most businesses and keeps shoving the mobile/tablet layout at us?

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