cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
ericonline
Community Champion
Community Champion

MISSION CRITICAL: Is PowerApps ready?

Hello,

Resuming the conversation that was originally posted 5 months ago which received great input from the community. Checking the pulse 5 months later. Has the sentiment changed?

  • Do you believe PowerApps is sufficiently hardened at this point in its development to handle mission-critical applications for your organization?
  • Why or why not?
  • What are your specific concerns? (availability, bugs, IDE, security, features, other?)

Feel free to define "mission-critical" in your organizations own terms. Thanks for the input PowerApps community. You. All. Rock!

 

25 REPLIES 25
vangrieg
Advocate I
Advocate I

I've been using PowerApps and Flow for a few months now for fairly "mission critical", i.e. main business process-related tasks, and found them fairly robust, with a few caveats: 

 

Sometimes connectors (especially SharePoint) just log me out, triggering MFA. This isn't that bad of an issue with PowerApps as it is with Flow, since in the latter case Flows just start to fail, and I wake up to see an email full of notifications about failed Flows. And then I have to go and reauthenticate each and every "broken" connection. If you have a policy of periodic mandatory password changes, you have to do it with every connector every once in a while. And until you do that, things will silently fail. 

 

Now, that's Flow, you might say, not PowerApps. Well, yes, but there's a "but". The way PowerApps work with SharePoint is that only users that have explicit permissions for a certain list or library can use the PowerApps connected to it. Makes sense, right? Except if you want to user PowerApps to validate, filter and otherwise restrict what people can do with the data. And if they have direct access to the data source they can just go and change things directly. Which can break everything. The problem here is that PowerApps, as far as I understand, cannot "run as" another user. So you can in some cases use Flow to do asynchronous background tasks for you, although to do that, Flows should be triggered by something else, not the app itself (i.e. when a new item is added to a SharePoint list). But Flows sometimes silently break... Granted, not many users can find a data source that's not in the main site navigation. But still. 

 

The whole sharing process is clunky and somewhat unpredictable. When you share an app, how will connectors behave? It depends. Some force users to authenticate (which is fine unless you have 5 connectors in an app, which makes things really annoying). Some just work. Some work as if I were using the app... Totally weird. And until you share an app you don't even know what will happen. There must be a system to the madness, but I don't know what it is. 

 

Then there's the issue of "Premium" connectors and such stuff. Some time ago I added a Salesforce connector and a CDS data source to a Flow. Mainly to see how they work, what CDS is and what useful data I can get from Salesforce. That triggered a 90-day Flow Plan 2 trial. I accepted it and forgot about it. Then, two months later, I used the Salesforce connector in an app (the connector already existed, obviously). Cool, except last week I realized that if I share the app, users will need paid plans as well, and that's just not realistic. Worse, what would happen is this - most would just click "Yes" to a Trial offer, and then be refused to be upgraded when the trial ends. My understanding is that our IT sees this whole PowerApps/Flow thing as a can of worms, sort of. When I started using them, they were cautiously okay with it - "let the silly child play if he wants to, he won't do anything anyway" kind of attitude. Now that I started using them for real things, they seem to be a bit worried - what with this triggering of paid Plans, and what if I succeed and share the knowledge and they'll get a flood of requests? 

 

Finally, there are issues with the development environment. It's terribly difficult to reuse code. It's terribly tedious and boring to change things - you can't search for all places where you used this or that formula/function. A few times I found that it's easier to rewrite everything from scratch rather than change a few things. And there are occasional bugs in Studio. And because you can't name versions, it's hard to track when you changed what. 

 

But, as you may have noticed, these issues aren't about how PowerApps actually work. Because in this department things have been surprisingly good for me. I can't recall a case when a Flow or a PowerApp would not work as expected after successful testing for the first time. 

Oh, and I completely forgot this: 

What will happen if I'm hit by a bus tomorrow morning? 

 

There must be a way to run mission critical apps as some sort of a system account, without an active O365 user. 

@vangrieg, great feedback!  

 

Couple questions:

  • What is the largest number of users you have deployed a PowerApp and/or Flow to?
  • Are you actively logging reported issues? How many have you had since deployment?

Couple things that might be of use:

  • RE: "...if they have direct access to the data source they can just go and change things directly.":
  • RE: "...PowerApps, as far as I understand, cannot "run as" another user.:
    • We've instituted a form of "Service Accounts" like "PowerApps@mycompany.com". We are now trying to build all PowerApps and Flows with this generic account.
    • Should also help the "..hit by bus" scenario.
  • RE: "The whole sharing process is clunky and somewhat unpredictable. "
    • We recently institutes AD Dynamic Roles by Job Title. This has been AWESOME.
    • Share the PowerApp with one (or more) Group (grouped by Job Titles)
    • When a User assumes a new Job and AD is updated (24hrs for our org) User automatically has perms on the app.
    • When User exits Job and AD is updated, perms are revoked
  • RE: "Some force users to authenticate (which is fine unless you have 5 connectors in an app, which makes things really annoying)"
    • Agree. This is annoying. 
    • There is a set of PowerApps PowerShell cmdlets that allow you to turn off some of these popups
    • Mileage may vary. Especially for those Data Sources you WANT users to auth to... don't turn those off 🙂
    • Also, you can't use the cmdlets to turn off SENSOR (Location, Camera) popups.
  • RE: "Now that I started using them for real things, they seem to be a bit worried - what with this triggering of paid Plans, and what if I succeed and share the knowledge and they'll get a flood of requests?"
    • EXACT. SAME. BOAT.!! This is a challenging one to handle. No solution yet other than "hide the keys!"
  • RE: "It's terribly difficult to reuse code. It's terribly tedious and boring to change things - you can't search for all places where you used this or that formula/function. A few times I found that it's easier to rewrite everything from scratch rather than change a few things. And there are occasional bugs in Studio. And because you can't name versions, it's hard to track when you changed what."
    • I've heard rumor that this will be easier in the near term. Some new tools coming out that allow you to export all your code, diff it, etc.
    • Can't wait for this!

Awesome, awesome feedback. Thank you for taking the time to write it out and share with everyone!

Just a quick reminder that the audiences trick will hide the lists from users, but is itself not a form of security. The users can still get to the lists if they want to.

 

I'm very interested in the rumor you've heard re improvements to the designer experience, as that's also been a source of frustration for me. As noted, trying to follow the logic of a complex form is tricky, as there isn't a single spot to see which variables are being set where. Also, it's clear that Power Apps is designed for small, mobile forms with only a few fields, but users want to port over their 50 field InfoPath forms, and this results in a really poor experience for the person building/maintaining the form unless there's a complete redesign  (not to mention Flow's lack of support for state machine workflows, "wait for change in current item", and performance issues with larger flows, all of which usually comes up in conversations regarding porting InfoPath solutions).


@vangrieg wrote:

Oh, and I completely forgot this: 

What will happen if I'm hit by a bus tomorrow morning? 

 

There must be a way to run mission critical apps as some sort of a system account, without an active O365 user. 


I just built my first PowerApp and this is my worry. It is tied to my Office 365 account and not tied to the tennat in some way. Can we change ownership or something so others can access in need. Also what happens if I leave employer, does app live on somehow?

Thanks @ericonline, glad you found my post useful. 

 

To answer your questions - only a handful of people use the app, it's not a mass solution. And no, I'm not logging anything. To give you an idea - I'm a "people developer", don't work in IT, doing this isn't my job at all, have no training in software development or IT, so even though I have a few ideas about more universal apps, I won't go there exactly because there's no chance I'll have the time and energy to support the users, track bugs etc. Not to mention that I have a regular user account and can't really track usage, use AD features you mention to share the app, etc. Flow is serving a larger audience in my case, although, I think, nobody really knows that. 🙂 In any case, we're a global professional services firm with a few thousand employees, but I myself work in a country market leadership team with only a few dozen people. So not a large userbase at all. 

 

These things are "mission critical" though in that they are used in core functions of the business, so it's not some hobby joke thing. 

 

From my point of view, this is exactly the use case where PowerApps/Flow shine and can serve to fill a huge gap - we're too big to not have automation and, on the other hand, too small and with too diverse local market requirements, with a very specific set of business processes to have a single "big" solution to cover all our needs. 


@BrianHFASPS wrote:

Can we change ownership or something so others can access in need. Also what happens if I leave employer, does app live on somehow?


The way I understand it, f you leave the employer, your account will be terminated and therefore all your apps and flows will stop functioning, unless you share them with proper permissions in advance. 

 

I don't think you can change the owner of an app, but, IIRC, Microsoft said this may be introduced later. 

No.  It is not.

 

In brief:

 

  1. Far too many down-time issues.
  2. Far too many things change that require me to change my code to "work-around" new issues from PA updates.
  3. I have no way to hand this off to anyone to support.
  4. Large companies wont touch it due to security issues.

@martinav 

I've been using PA for a short period now.  Many features I'm impressed with, but the down-times are concerning.  

There seems to be a massive failure today (May 2nd), how frequent would you say these down-time events occur?  

 

I'm getting rather nervous about deployment..

Helpful resources

Announcements

Take a short Community User Survey | Help us make your experience better!

To ensure that we are providing the best possible experience for Community members, we want to hear from you!    We value your feedback! As part of our commitment to enhancing your experience, we invite you to participate in a brief 15-question survey. Your insights will help us improve our services and better serve the community.   👉 Community User Survey    Thank you for being an essential part of our community!    Power Platform Engagement Team  

Tuesday Tip | How to Get Community Support

It's time for another Tuesday Tip, your weekly connection with the most insightful tips and tricks that empower both newcomers and veterans in the Power Platform Community! Every Tuesday, we bring you a curated selection of the finest advice, distilled from the resources and tools in the Community. Whether you’re a seasoned member or just getting started, Tuesday Tips are the perfect compass guiding you across the dynamic landscape of the Power Platform Community.       This Week: All About Community Support Whether you're a seasoned community veteran or just getting started, you may need a bit of help from time to time! If you need to share feedback with the Community Engagement team about the community or are looking for ways we can assist you with user groups, events, or something else, Community Support is the place to start.   Community Support is part of every one of our communities, accessible to all our community members.   Within each community's Community Support page, you'll find three distinct areas, each with a different focus to help you when you need support from us most. Power Apps: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Community-Support/ct-p/pa_community_support Power Automate: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Community-Support/ct-p/mpa_community_support Power Pages: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Community-Support/ct-p/mpp_community_support Copilot Studio: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Community-Support/ct-p/pva_community-support   Community Support Form If you need more assistance, you can reach out to the Community Team via the Community support form. Choose the type of support you require and fill in the form accordingly. We will respond to you promptly.    Thank you for being an active part of our community. Your contributions make a difference!   Best Regards, The Community Management Team

Community Roundup: A Look Back at Our Last 10 Tuesday Tips

As we continue to grow and learn together, it's important to reflect on the valuable insights we've shared. For today's #TuesdayTip, we're excited to take a moment to look back at the last 10 tips we've shared in case you missed any or want to revisit them. Thanks for your incredible support for this series--we're so glad it was able to help so many of you navigate your community experience!   Getting Started in the Community An overview of everything you need to know about navigating the community on one page!  Community Links: ○ Power Apps ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Community Ranks and YOU Have you ever wondered how your fellow community members ascend the ranks within our community? We explain everything about ranks and how to achieve points so you can climb up in the rankings! Community Links: ○ Power Apps ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Powering Up Your Community Profile Your Community User Profile is how the Community knows you--so it's essential that it works the way you need it to! From changing your username to updating contact information, this Knowledge Base Article is your best resource for powering up your profile. Community Links: ○ Power Apps ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Community Blogs--A Great Place to Start There's so much you'll discover in the Community Blogs, and we hope you'll check them out today!  Community Links: ○ Power Apps ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Unlocking Community Achievements and Earning Badges Across the Communities, you'll see badges on users profile that recognize and reward their engagement and contributions. Check out some details on Community badges--and find out more in the detailed link at the end of the article! Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Blogging in the Community Interested in blogging? Everything you need to know on writing blogs in our four communities! Get started blogging across the Power Platform communities today! Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Subscriptions & Notifications We don't want you to miss a thing in the community! Read all about how to subscribe to sections of our forums and how to setup your notifications! Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Getting Started with Private Messages & Macros Do you want to enhance your communication in the Community and streamline your interactions? One of the best ways to do this is to ensure you are using Private Messaging--and the ever-handy macros that are available to you as a Community member! Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Community User Groups Learn everything about being part of, starting, or leading a User Group in the Power Platform Community. Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Update Your Community Profile Today! Keep your community profile up to date which is essential for staying connected and engaged with the community. Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Thank you for being an integral part of our journey.   Here's to many more Tuesday Tips as we pave the way for a brighter, more connected future! As always, watch the News & Announcements for the next set of tips, coming soon!

Calling all User Group Leaders and Super Users! Mark Your Calendars for the next Community Ambassador Call on May 9th!

This month's Community Ambassador call is on May 9th at 9a & 3p PDT. Please keep an eye out in your private messages and Teams channels for your invitation. There are lots of exciting updates coming to the Community, and we have some exclusive opportunities to share with you! As always, we'll also review regular updates for User Groups, Super Users, and share general information about what's going on in the Community.     Be sure to register & we hope to see all of you there!

April 2024 Community Newsletter

We're pleased to share the April Community Newsletter, where we highlight the latest news, product releases, upcoming events, and the amazing work of our outstanding Community members.   If you're new to the Community, please make sure to follow the latest News & Announcements and check out the Community on LinkedIn as well! It's the best way to stay up-to-date with all the news from across Microsoft Power Platform and beyond.    COMMUNITY HIGHLIGHTS   Check out the most active community members of the last month! These hardworking members are posting regularly, answering questions, kudos, and providing top solutions in their communities. We are so thankful for each of you--keep up the great work! If you hope to see your name here next month, follow these awesome community members to see what they do!   Power AppsPower AutomateCopilot StudioPower PagesWarrenBelzDeenujialexander2523ragavanrajanLaurensMManishSolankiMattJimisonLucas001AmikcapuanodanilostephenrobertOliverRodriguestimlAndrewJManikandanSFubarmmbr1606VishnuReddy1997theMacResolutionsVishalJhaveriVictorIvanidzejsrandhawahagrua33ikExpiscornovusFGuerrero1PowerAddictgulshankhuranaANBExpiscornovusprathyooSpongYeNived_Nambiardeeksha15795apangelesGochixgrantjenkinsvasu24Mfon   LATEST NEWS Business Applications Launch Event - On Demand In case you missed the Business Applications Launch Event, you can now catch up on all the announcements and watch the entire event on-demand inside Charles Lamanna's latest cloud blog.   This is your one stop shop for all the latest Copilot features across Power Platform and #Dynamics365, including first-hand looks at how companies such as Lenovo, Sonepar, Ford Motor Company, Omnicom and more are using these new capabilities in transformative ways. Click the image below to watch today!     Power Platform Community Conference 2024 is here! It's time to look forward to the next installment of the Power Platform Community Conference, which takes place this year on 18-20th September 2024 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas!   Come and be inspired by Microsoft senior thought leaders and the engineers behind the #PowerPlatform, with Charles Lamanna, Sangya Singh, Ryan Cunningham, Kim Manis, Nirav Shah, Omar Aftab and Leon Welicki already confirmed to speak. You'll also be able to learn from industry experts and Microsoft MVPs who are dedicated to bridging the gap between humanity and technology. These include the likes of Lisa Crosbie, Victor Dantas, Kristine Kolodziejski, David Yack, Daniel Christian, Miguel Félix, and Mats Necker, with many more to be announced over the coming weeks.   Click here to watch our brand-new sizzle reel for #PPCC24 or click the image below to find out more about registration. See you in Vegas!     Power Up Program Announces New Video-Based Learning Hear from Principal Program Manager, Dimpi Gandhi, to discover the latest enhancements to the Microsoft #PowerUpProgram. These include a new accelerated video-based curriculum crafted with the expertise of Microsoft MVPs, Rory Neary and Charlie Phipps-Bennett. If you’d like to hear what’s coming next, click the image below to find out more!     UPCOMING EVENTS Microsoft Build - Seattle and Online - 21-23rd May 2024 Taking place on 21-23rd May 2024 both online and in Seattle, this is the perfect event to learn more about low code development, creating copilots, cloud platforms, and so much more to help you unleash the power of AI.   There's a serious wealth of talent speaking across the three days, including the likes of Satya Nadella, Amanda K. Silver, Scott Guthrie, Sarah Bird, Charles Lamanna, Miti J., Kevin Scott, Asha Sharma, Rajesh Jha, Arun Ulag, Clay Wesener, and many more.   And don't worry if you can't make it to Seattle, the event will be online and totally free to join. Click the image below to register for #MSBuild today!     European Collab Summit - Germany - 14-16th May 2024 The clock is counting down to the amazing European Collaboration Summit, which takes place in Germany May 14-16, 2024. #CollabSummit2024 is designed to provide cutting-edge insights and best practices into Power Platform, Microsoft 365, Teams, Viva, and so much more. There's a whole host of experts speakers across the three-day event, including the likes of Vesa Juvonen, Laurie Pottmeyer, Dan Holme, Mark Kashman, Dona Sarkar, Gavin Barron, Emily Mancini, Martina Grom, Ahmad Najjar, Liz Sundet, Nikki Chapple, Sara Fennah, Seb Matthews, Tobias Martin, Zoe Wilson, Fabian Williams, and many more.   Click the image below to find out more about #ECS2024 and register today!   Microsoft 365 & Power Platform Conference - Seattle - 3-7th June If you're looking to turbo boost your Power Platform skills this year, why not take a look at everything TechCon365 has to offer at the Seattle Convention Center on June 3-7, 2024.   This amazing 3-day conference (with 2 optional days of workshops) offers over 130 sessions across multiple tracks, alongside 25 workshops presented by Power Platform, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Teams, Viva, Azure, Copilot and AI experts. There's a great array of speakers, including the likes of Nirav Shah, Naomi Moneypenny, Jason Himmelstein, Heather Cook, Karuana Gatimu, Mark Kashman, Michelle Gilbert, Taiki Y., Kristi K., Nate Chamberlain, Julie Koesmarno, Daniel Glenn, Sarah Haase, Marc Windle, Amit Vasu, Joanne C Klein, Agnes Molnar, and many more.   Click the image below for more #Techcon365 intel and register today!   For more events, click the image below to visit the Microsoft Community Days website.    

Tuesday Tip | Update Your Community Profile Today!

It's time for another TUESDAY TIPS, your weekly connection with the most insightful tips and tricks that empower both newcomers and veterans in the Power Platform Community! Every Tuesday, we bring you a curated selection of the finest advice, distilled from the resources and tools in the Community. Whether you’re a seasoned member or just getting started, Tuesday Tips are the perfect compass guiding you across the dynamic landscape of the Power Platform Community.   We're excited to announce that updating your community profile has never been easier! Keeping your profile up to date is essential for staying connected and engaged with the community.   Check out the following Support Articles with these topics: Accessing Your Community ProfileRetrieving Your Profile URLUpdating Your Community Profile Time ZoneChanging Your Community Profile Picture (Avatar)Setting Your Date Display Preferences Click on your community link for more information: Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Pages, Copilot Studio   Thank you for being an active part of our community. Your contributions make a difference! Best Regards, The Community Management Team

Top Solution Authors
Top Kudoed Authors
Users online (3,356)