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From Sienna to Powerapps- review, ups and downs (after 2 years)

Just have tried and made one app in powerapps after 2 years when Microsoft decided to ditch Sienna and replaced it with O365 extension cloud “powered” powerapps. Here are my thoughts, suggestions and reviews

PERFORMANCE

First of all right after I started to insert few visuals with barely any code in them I have noticed significant slowing down of powerapps editor. It remained me Sienna in early stages of development. First I thought that it might be because the app is saved in cloud so I saved it on my computer but the powerapps kept with slowing down with more added visuals and codes. I get to the stage when the powerapps became so irresponsive and slow that I had to restart it otherwise the powerapps crashed. At the end I wasn’t able to work in powerapps for more then 5-10 mins and even then I had to wait for response after every click or change I made

CRASHING AND ERRORS

Just like in Sienna (what was promised to be fixed) I get a corrupted file with a sea of errors on every visual which handles or passing values to collection after opening perfectly working saved app. And the best thing about it…. it is not possible to fix it. The only way is to start from beginning or remove all variables in every visuals that means all collection basically start from beginning anyway. Thankfully I had a backup and after this crash I started to make backups every time I passed a value from new screen to the screen which handles collection.

I haven’t tried to work with any of your connections yet, I only worked with collections and saving data on local machine and I only worked with static data sources imported from excel from local machine so maybe there is the problem. May be you want all of us using the connection, working with cloud, make us pay for premium… I don’t know but working with the collection and performance is worse than in last release of Sienna... definitely…

NEW FEATURES AND CREATIONS

  • Rules: looks like very promising feature however the rules tab is completely misplaced. I don’t understand why anyone would place it between “item properties” and “advanced item properties”. My first thoughts was that the rules are only for selected item and valid only on screen where the rule is made which makes sense by positioning of that tab. It would be nice if it also could change variable, collect, update and so on but that is not important. Main thing which I’d like to point out is the size of the code editor where we write coding at. I mean ok... it is just fine for simple rules but come on… you need to let us write a longer codes in full screen editor, be able to write comments into the code, separate the code as we want and so on. However the rules are apparently still in the experimental development so I rather didn’t even use it for now
  • Variable list: Finally the variable list is here but… In my opinion the variable list should be visible at all time under a tab just like the rules are. Be able to change the name of it, be able to add note under each variable, be able to crate variable, be able to set its property (string, integer…), be able to make the variable for one screen and also for all screen (I guess it is called public and private) rather then pass it from screen to screen (which I think would even fix the error mentioned above)
  • Tiny long code editor: Oh god I hate it. I hate it so much that I nearly gave up on the app. Just like in the rules… GIVE US AN OPTION TO WRITE CODE IN FULL SCREEN EDITOR MODE!!! It was suggested in sienna and by searching powerapps forum it was also suggested in powerapps but you still do whatever you want to do. It would be much more easier to write for example OnSelect: Collect(…)in full screen editor mode, rather than scrolling through that idiotic dropdown to find OnSelect and then write code. Sometimes I was writing code to a completely different property. Once again it is OK for simple codes but for god sake you need to let us write a longer codes, add notes to the codes, separate the codes and so on. The expand function to a 3 lines is a total joke. It would make huge difference if we could switch between visual and programming mode. Programming mode for rules (not for each one but for all rules) and programming mode for items (not for one property of selected item but for all properties of the selected item) and programming mode for all variables. That means once I switched to variables programming mode then the editor will pops up with all “private” variables from selected screen and all “public” variables .. and so on
  • Icons: Nice touch but what if we want to make button with icon in it? Basically icon with text next to it or text above the icon or on of bottom of icon. I was suggesting this in sienna before but nothing has changed in powerapps. Inserting picture or icon into the button or write a text to the icon needs adding into powerapps yet
  • Format in TextInput and max length: finally this is implemented. Just one downside is that the text keyboard pops up if the format is set to numbers in published app. I tried that so far only on iPhone but I don’t think it will be any better on other devices or OSes. That is a huge problem in the app with multiple text inputs to fill and change the keyboard to numbers on each one
  • Radiuses in items: another useful feature but it needs to be added in more items. Specially rectangle item

NEW CODE SUGGESTION

There is quite more to suggest but one I think is very important. SWITCH {CASE..}. That would help to short few codes where I got 5 “sub” ifs

ANOTHER SUGGESTIONS

  • Locking items position and size: Already suggested many times in Sienna but still not here….
  • Items container: Also suggested many times in Sienna… Just a simple container for visuals with ability to predefine which way the items will be stacked and ability to create templates from it so the container with all items can be easily used in other screens. The grouping won’t do it. I accidently found canvas feature when I clicked on add scrollable screen rather than blank screen but the canvas isn’t listed in items menu and have no idea how to make it in blank screen appart from copying it from that scrollable screen. However the canvas doesn’t have option to predefine how items will be stack inside and definitelly not to create templates anyway.

SUMMARY

There has been few changes in 2 years but nothing significant (apart from already created price list). The published apps seems to work well. I haven’t found any glitch or any performance issues in published app.  However the performance in editor and mostly lack of the features mentioned above makes the powerapps really painful to work with. Vision of changing something or adjusting something in already created app with coding in that tiny code editor with no notes in the program, no notes to variables and so on makes me NOT to introduce the powerapps to the company and rather wait for changes. But with this speed of progress I don’t think it will be in my life time or any time soon (if so)

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Power Apps
Power Apps

Firstly, thank you for the detailed review. Many of the requests you pointed out are currently on our backlog or are actively being worked on as we speak.

 

Performance and reliability, for example, is, and will be, one of our top priorities for the foreseeable future. We have already made incremental improvements in load times on the web client and have also provided tools for app makers to monitor the performance of apps. We are by no means done though, and we are dedicated to improving the speed and reliability of PowerApps throughout 2018 so that more users can feel comfortable depending on the PowerApps’ platform.

 

Other features you requested are currently being designed and tested by our design team. Rules, for example, is just now in its infancy. In the future, we aim to make writing more advanced conditions (as you described) easier, while also making it simpler to create common rules within forms. Features, like more easily finding the variable list or having a larger code editor, will come as we improve our information architecture. We have exciting new ideas of how to structure PowerApps that our design team is actively testing that should address both of these concerns.

 

If you would like to be involved in helping shape future designs of PowerApps, I'd highly recommend you join our research panel where we will be fielding tests of these new designs over the next several weeks and months. Many of the other features you requested will be previewed their first before landing in the final product. I don’t have our ingestion link on hand, but I’ll reply with it as soon as I get it from our research team.

 

Thank you again for the very detailed review. As we finalize planning for 2018, having input like yours helps us see what we might be missing while also validating many of the improvements we want to tackle next, like performance, rules, improved IA, additional formatting, and more advanced controls.

 

Have a great New Year and keep checking back as we release new features.

View solution in original post

9 REPLIES 9
Power Apps
Power Apps

Thanks for the detailed feedback, @Sienna! I'm adding our PM team for this area @mabolan @emmac

Thanks,
Clay.

Thanks..  I will reather hope for best and expecting worst. I'll keep in tune with new realeases for some time. Hopefully the changes will come sooner then the company will decide to usubscribe from O365

Memorable Member
Memorable Member

Just find out that swith is already in the powerapps... sorry for that

Power Apps
Power Apps

Firstly, thank you for the detailed review. Many of the requests you pointed out are currently on our backlog or are actively being worked on as we speak.

 

Performance and reliability, for example, is, and will be, one of our top priorities for the foreseeable future. We have already made incremental improvements in load times on the web client and have also provided tools for app makers to monitor the performance of apps. We are by no means done though, and we are dedicated to improving the speed and reliability of PowerApps throughout 2018 so that more users can feel comfortable depending on the PowerApps’ platform.

 

Other features you requested are currently being designed and tested by our design team. Rules, for example, is just now in its infancy. In the future, we aim to make writing more advanced conditions (as you described) easier, while also making it simpler to create common rules within forms. Features, like more easily finding the variable list or having a larger code editor, will come as we improve our information architecture. We have exciting new ideas of how to structure PowerApps that our design team is actively testing that should address both of these concerns.

 

If you would like to be involved in helping shape future designs of PowerApps, I'd highly recommend you join our research panel where we will be fielding tests of these new designs over the next several weeks and months. Many of the other features you requested will be previewed their first before landing in the final product. I don’t have our ingestion link on hand, but I’ll reply with it as soon as I get it from our research team.

 

Thank you again for the very detailed review. As we finalize planning for 2018, having input like yours helps us see what we might be missing while also validating many of the improvements we want to tackle next, like performance, rules, improved IA, additional formatting, and more advanced controls.

 

Have a great New Year and keep checking back as we release new features.

View solution in original post

Thanks for the reply. I'd like to see things changing finally. I have just tried to join your research panel and I get the message on the picture...

Mic.png

Here's a link to the latest ingestion survey: https://research.uriux.com/jfe/form/SV_37tOBi4tUILpjBH?Channel=MBol

 

I'll work on updating the old broken link.

I did not pass... It seems like you don't take anyone outside of USerr.png

Memorable Member
Memorable Member


wrote:

 

PERFORMANCE

First of all right after I started to insert few visuals with barely any code in them I have noticed significant slowing down of powerapps editor. It remained me Sienna in early stages of development. First I thought that it might be because the app is saved in cloud so I saved it on my computer but the powerapps kept with slowing down with more added visuals and codes. I get to the stage when the powerapps became so irresponsive and slow that I had to restart it otherwise the powerapps crashed. At the end I wasn’t able to work in powerapps for more then 5-10 mins and even then I had to wait for response after every click or change I made


 

This right here sums up why we are moving away from PowerApps.

 

I've never seen a staff member acknowledge the absolutely abysmal performance of the editor. There's always the "we're working to improve the loading performance" spiel which has nothing to do with editing, just the actual viewing of the app. It's pretty embarrassing to see that after a year of updates there hasn't been a single performance improvement to help with developing apps.

 

Until they focus on fixing the editing performance PowerApps will not be considered a replacement for any existing app creation software. If you can't sell developers on it, you won't be able to sell the end users!

 

Good luck, nice write-up!

 

 

Thank you @JRaasumaa for the comment and for calling out that we have not done an adequate job communicating the performance improvements we are making in the studio. We've already made some slight improvements to improve performance in the studio, but many of the larger changes, like refactoring the canvas and ribbon, are still actively in the works. Once we start shipping out the larger pieces, we plan on writing blog posts highlighting the performance improvements we have invested in.

 

In the meantime, as we work on the studio infrastructure, we recommend that people use the web version of the studio. Anecdotely and from our telemetry, the web version of the application runs faster than the app version. We've also heard from users that the Chrome 64 bit beta improves performance as well: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/General-Discussion/From-Sienna-to-Powerapps-review-ups-and-downs...

 

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