Ho, how do we source control PowerApps code? Is there way to export the code into something that can be checked in to a source control system?
Solved! Go to Solution.
That said, we're currently focused on helping people build apps without code, so classic source control methods like git are not part of those near-term plans. There's some richer background on that in this discussion if you're interested in going deeper.
Empowering our users is a REALLY good idea, but the problem is I've had management tell me a few times that I need to learn how to write "code" with these platforms; and honestly, the experience has been highly frustrating. I've had situations where people have told me to write solutions in SharePoint, Power BI or Power Apps when it would be easier and cleaner to use C#/(Classic MVC) and/or SQL Server Reporting Services. That doesn't even begin to address the high potential cost of these user written apps.
Anyway, I applaud Microsoft for trying to make software development easier. I think most "professionals" and business people (even developers) want that, but I still find Power Apps a royal pain to use with a lack of perceived flexibility.
One simple thing Microsoft could do to make this better would be to improve the "code editor" that you use inside PowerApps events. For example, when I try to edit the OnSelect Action of a Button in PowerApps, I'm given this tiny little window to work with. For the kinds of solutions my institution needs, we are going to have to write more than a few lines of code for each action. Over time, this large volume of business rules is going to create a bunch of O365 Spaghetti Code that is very difficult to debug. To make matters worse, we will be stuck without a "debugger" and we will have to edit our code through tiny little "windows"...
Another thing Microsoft could do is maybe offer a client side tool for "development". The online editor is a bit sluggish in my personal opinion even when I'm onsite at the office.
BTW: Forgive me if I'm wrong on any of this. I'm just stating my frustration with getting quality non-trivial user focused "apps" out to the user given the tools built into the O365 subscription that my institution provides me.
 - SQL Server Reporting Services is another pretty easy option for visualization that is reasonably clean.
There was a session at Microsoft Build 2020 about this.
As I understand it (I was only just able to keep up!) it involves the use of a few different "Environments", then having the PowerApp packaged up in to a "Solution". You can use Visual Studio "Pipelines" to move the Solution between Dev/Test/Prod Environments.
The Power Automate Flow from @seadude may also be useful.
We have released some tooling to support this. See: https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/source-code-files-for-canvas-apps/ .
This can convert from an .msapp to source files and back.
The tooling is open source on github at : https://github.com/microsoft/PowerApps-Language-Tooling , and will be eventually shipping in our other powerplatform ALM tools, like as part of Solution Packager.
We have released some tooling to support this. ... This can convert from an .msapp to source files and back.
The tooling ... will be eventually shipping in our other powerplatform ALM tools, like as part of Solution Packager.
Thanks @MikeStall, looks good and definitely on the right path. But I think for a "citizen developer" this process seems a bit too cumbersome. I'm looking forward to seeing how this improves over time!
yeah, its not like the business world doesnt have requirements requiring the tracking of bug fixes and other modifications to critical applications.... not sure how you create powerapps, etc without starting at source control.
Liability and the mitigation of risk is why we must have source control. we need that warm fuzzy feeling it gives us. boxes to be ticked on project mgmt forms and reports showing how productive we are... SOURCE CONTROL!!!!!!
Dammit M$ you always do this, create a technology that does many great things, but then fails at the basic functionality that should exist or even be a GIVEN.
The solution paradigm is flawed. FIX IT!!
A few years after your original post the Power Apps Source Code tool has now been released! You are now able to unpack an msapp file and view the Power Apps code within it. Check out this article on how to install it and why its useful
Link to article - Power Apps Source Code Tool:
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ok part b of my rant LOL
The powerapps community should be split into Canvas and Model-driven communities...
Thanks for your reply Khalidhikmat.
I am looking for a source control technology for a model-driven app.
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