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DenisMolodtsov
Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

Do we need to periodically rebuild and publish PowerApp to keep it working?

Can someone, please, confirm the best practice for handling PowerApps lifecycle?

 

I have read somewhere that it is recommended to open, rebuild and publish PowerApps every 3-4 months so that the app gets some updates with performance improvements and features.

 

But we would really like to know what will happen if we don't want to rebuild and publish the app? Will our PowerApp eventually stop working in 1,2 or 3 years down the road if we don't republish it?

 

 

Any insight will be greatly appreciated!

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DenisMolodtsov
Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

Since there were no answers, I will attempt to answer my question. Feel free to debunk my possible misconceptions. 

 

Short answer

Rebuild your PowerApp in produciton only if it stopped working. Do not rebuild an app every several months even if it is recommended by Microsoft.

 

Important points

1. Why I don't recommend rebuilding apps in production? Because rebuilding is dangerous. We had 3 cases within a single month when perfecly working PowerApp stopped working after a rebuild/republish action.

2. Will PowerApps continue working forever without a rebuild? No one will admit it openly, but we doubt anyone can guarantee that. Given enough time, we think, that PowerApp can break one day and require a rebuild-republish (feel free to disagree in a reply)

3. Can I do anything to protect my PowerApp from breaking? Probably not. I suppose, there can easiliby be a case when server-side part upgrade becomes incompatible with an old PowerApp version. How ofthen will that happen? Probably not very often, but I have no insight whatsover.

 

Summary

It's better not to re-publish a business critical PowerApp if it's working fine, because there is a big chance that this will break it. If you absolutely need to re-publish - test this in a different environment and re-publish in in Production the same day. 

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8 REPLIES 8
v-xida-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @DenisMolodtsov,

 

If you don't open, rebuild and publish your PowerApps app periodically, the connection within your app would be invalid (The life token is expired).

 

In addition, when some new features released within PowerApps, if you don't re-build or re-publish your app periodically, these new featurs would not be applied to your app.

 

For example, your app use the CDS entity as data source within your app, if the CDS upgraded within PowerApps, and you don't re-build or re-publish your app periodically, your app may not run successfully.

 

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.

Hi @v-xida-msft,

 

Thank you very much for these details.

 

1) Considering we are using Office 365 and Azure AD with the default settings, with no MFA, how ofthen do we need to open, rebuild and publish PowerApps? We are not using CDS. Mostly SharePoint and Office365Users connectors. Are we talking about a rebuild every 3-4 months? How much time do we have before the token(s) expire?

    I have read the documentation on the Azure tokens, but I am now probably more confused than before reading it.

 

2) If our PowerApps app used regularly by many users, will the token get extended/re-released automatically? 

 

3) We have also read through this discussion about the period MS Flow authentication issues where users are forced to update connections every 1-2 weeks even if MFA is not used. Do PowerApps connections behave similar to the MS Flow ones? 

 

I really appreciate the responses. We are building a large PowerApp application and we would like to plan the maintenance ahead, but there is no clear rebuild/republish recommendation timelines we could find.

Hi @DenisMolodtsov,

 

Please check and see if the following blog would help in your scenario:

https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/republish-your-apps-to-get-performance-improvements-and-a...

 

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.
DenisMolodtsov
Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

Hi @v-xida-msft,

 

Thank you for the link. We can summarize this article with these two statements:

  1. When we re-publish the app - we get new features, perfromance improvements and bug fixes
  2. If we don't re-publish the app's version is locked and does not change.

 

While, this is useful information, it does not really clarify anything that we are trying to find out:

 

How ofthen do we need to open, rebuild and publish PowerApps? Forget about the new features for a minute. We want to know if the PowerApp just stops working in 3 months if we don't republish it. And if it stops working,  then why it might happen? Because some tokes expire? If tokens expire - how ofthen do they expire? Or, maybe the app stops working because the service API changes and the old version of the app can no longer talk to the server? 

 

We would really like anyone to add their comments. There is really almost no useful information on this topic.

Anonymous
Not applicable

hi @DenisMolodtsov,

 

this link recommends rebuilding every few months - https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/maker/canvas-apps/common-issues-and-resolutions 

 

I will investigate and try to find more information for you on this topic.

 

@Anonymous

Hi @TopShelf-MSF,

 

Thank you. Can you correct the URL, please? It seems to have a space at the end which gives 404 error.

 

Abstract from the article:

 

2. Republishing apps (Aug. 2, 2018)

If you haven't updated your app in several months, republish it to sync with the most 
recent version of PowerApps, which includes performance improvements and other fixes.

 

 

Questions:

- What happens if we don't republish an app within one/two/three years? Performance improvements aside, does our app stop working? And if yes - then why it might happen?

- If Republishing is the only way to keep the PowerApp alive - how often do we need to republish the app? That's imortant to know for scheduling maintenance activites. What do we tell the business? There is a time and budget allocation question here. Also, if the PowerApp is business critical. Do we tell them that we cannot guarantee that the PowerApp continue working? 

- Just after developing a PowerApp for the last 3 months, I can see that re-publishing app is very dangerous. We had  at least 3 different occasiouns when re-publishing caused a perfectly working PowerApp to stop working. Knowing that would you still recommend a periodic republish for a business critical PowerApp?

 

Sorry if these questions seem a bit tough, but these are essential and legitimate questions for any mature product. We are not wondering about these out of mere curiousity. We have a lot at stake that depends on a partucular PowerApp(+ Flows) we are building.

DenisMolodtsov
Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

Since there were no answers, I will attempt to answer my question. Feel free to debunk my possible misconceptions. 

 

Short answer

Rebuild your PowerApp in produciton only if it stopped working. Do not rebuild an app every several months even if it is recommended by Microsoft.

 

Important points

1. Why I don't recommend rebuilding apps in production? Because rebuilding is dangerous. We had 3 cases within a single month when perfecly working PowerApp stopped working after a rebuild/republish action.

2. Will PowerApps continue working forever without a rebuild? No one will admit it openly, but we doubt anyone can guarantee that. Given enough time, we think, that PowerApp can break one day and require a rebuild-republish (feel free to disagree in a reply)

3. Can I do anything to protect my PowerApp from breaking? Probably not. I suppose, there can easiliby be a case when server-side part upgrade becomes incompatible with an old PowerApp version. How ofthen will that happen? Probably not very often, but I have no insight whatsover.

 

Summary

It's better not to re-publish a business critical PowerApp if it's working fine, because there is a big chance that this will break it. If you absolutely need to re-publish - test this in a different environment and re-publish in in Production the same day. 

Sorry to bring up such an old thread, but I'm interested in the experience of others and what the official advice is on this is currently (found this link but it is a couple of years old: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/republish-your-apps-to-get-performance-improvements-and-a...).

My concerns:

I have experienced two occasions where production apps have broken (will start, but critical functionality is broken so app is effectively unusable) - this is despite no republishing, i.e. apps were in daily use and working fine for weeks or months prior to suddenly not working on a Monday morning. One of these appeared to be due to changes with Explicit Column Selection (columns previously returned were no longer being returned) and one may be more of a CDS issues (it appears a standard entity was changed - I think defunct columns were removed but the connector thought they should still be there so any attempt to access the entity through the CDS connector resulted in an error).

A strength of PowerApps is how quickly a modification can be made and published - but if we have to do a full set of testing every time we modify something as simple as a typo in a label (because there is a new platform version) to confirm nothing has been broken, that is simply not practical for an app of any significant scale - particularly when the bugs introduced can be extremely subtle and hard to pick up.

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