We are thinking about creating a solution on the Power Platform. We've created a simple solution which allows our vendors to submit a simple Microsoft Form. The form is then processed by Flow to create a simple workflow. This is working great and we just released it nationally.
Now we would like to move to phase 2 of the project. We need the capability of adding attachments to the form. Here's the scenario: Vendor has to submit a change order which includes photo's of a property. Our first solution can do the form data collection but not the attachments.
I'm looking into PowerApps and Portals to solve this problem. Will Portals and PowerApps give us the tools to create this solution? In other words - a simple form that allows external users to enter data and attach photos.
Another unrelated but maybe related question is do we need to use Dynamics 365? Or can we build a complete solution with PowerApps / Portals / CDS? We are an Office 365 customer but use Salesforce for CRM exclusively.
thanks for your feedback!
yes, you can use PowerApps Portal and CDS to implement the solution, and you don't need D365. you can let the external users attach documents to the records. you can also store the documents in SharePoint.
You need to purchase Per App or Per User PowerApps license. the PowerApps that comes with Office 365 doesn't include CDS and Portals.
Hi @JohnWhitaker1 ,
Could you please share a bit more about your scenario?
Do you want to attach attachments to your simple MS Form?
If you want to attach attachments to your simple MS Form, I afraid that there is no way to achieve your needs in PowerApps currently.
Based on the needs that you mentioned, I think the SharePoint List and CDS Entity data source both could achieve your needs. On your side, you could consider set up a SP List to store your data instead of using MS Form.
Then generate an app based on above SP List data source, it would generate three Screens automatically -- BrowseScreen, DetailScreen and EditScreen. Please go to your Edit screen, and select the Edit form, then click "Edit fields" option, then click "Add fields" option, then check the Attachments field, then click "OK", then the Attachments field data card would be added into this Edit form.
After that, you could upload files through the Attachments field. When you submit your form data along with proper attachment files, the attached files would be saved as attachments of the submitted List Item record.
More details about using Attachments functionality in SP List and CDS Entity, please check the following blog:
Please consider take a try with above solution, then check if it could help in your scenario.
Thank you for the excellent information. Just a little more background on the solution we are trying to achieve.
Creating the MS Form and using MS Flow we've been able to automate a national change order issue we were having. We created that solution in about 2 weeks which included the learning curve for flow. There has been talk of a vendor portal that allows our vendors to submit change orders AND do some other self service activities such as request payment, lookup open change orders, payment status. So, if we can get this "simple" form solution ported over to a PowerApp with the added "attachment" feature it's going to create an avalanche of similar apps. It seems that PowerApps and Portals is the way to go.
Do you create the PowerApp first then add them to a Portal? Or, do you create the portal then create the PowerApp? I ask this because if we create the standalone App will we be able to start a Portal further down the line?
Also - just to verify. You can directly expose a PowerApp as a simple web page and not a "mobile app" correct?
Thank you for providing the links! Much appreciated.
Hi @JohnWhitaker1 ,
For your first question, we should create a canvas app firstly, and then add it to your PowerApps Portal. I think the IFrame Component could achieve your needs in PowerApps Portal:
For your second question, yes, you could embed the canvas app into a web page using <iframe> html tag or PowerApps webpart. Please check the following article:
This is a great discussion. I hadn't heard about / read about / YouTubed about Powerapps & Portals but I'm now all caught up, lol. Seems like a powerful option.
Another solution that may suit is one a colleague of mine has built. He used Cognito Forms as his data capture solution. These forms can also have attachments added. His system is :
1. Internal user clicks button to open FORM;
2. User enters data, adds attachments, etc then SUBMITS form
3. MS Flow (Flow has Cognito Forms connections) creates an item in a SharePoint List
4. Flow sends off relevant Approvals / notifications and handles TimeOuts; NOTE: Approvals are setup using 'Send email with Options' rather than Flow's built in Approval process so that External clients can get Approval emails
5. Internal users can view / manage the SUBMITTED data inside the PowerApp
For External users:
1. Use a weblink to open FORM
2,3,4 all the same
5. N/A - No access
As I said, this is another possible option and one I've seen work well. Cognito has a subscription fee (not sure how much?) so there's that to consider. PowerApps + Portal may do it better, I couldn't say?
Hope you find a solution that works for you!
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