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Bernard038
Regular Visitor

Migrating from Access web app to Powerapps

Hello All,

 

I am still somewhat annoyed after reading this morning that the Access web apps are being retired. A critical application for my company is an Access Web App... But we will have to make the switch to PowerApps, no use in being annoyed i guess. But as i am a total newbie in the field of powerapps, i have a few questions before i start reading the "introduction to power apps for access web app developers":

 

  • The app will be a "desktop first" (or browser first) app, using the app on mobile devices is not necessary at all. Is this possible? (hard requirement)
  • Can i create a (relational) database in Powerapps, consisting of several related tables and several different queries? (hard requirement)
  • Can i link a table (or a query) to an Excel workbook which resides on our local network so new records are automatically added tot the excel workbook? (new feature, would be very nice)
  • Can i add Word (2016 desktop) templates to Power apps so my users can search a client in our PowerApp and create a letter where the name and address of the client are already filled in? (new feature, would be very nice)

Looking forward to your thoughts and answers!

 

Cheers, b.

9 REPLIES 9
JRaasumaa
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

I just started using PowerApps myself but I think I have some insight to your questions.

 

  •  The app will be a "desktop first" (or browser first) app, using the app on mobile devices is not necessary at all. Is this possible? (hard requirement)

Powerapps can be run straight from the browser or used within the actual powerapps (windows 10 only?) so yes, you can definitely make it more for the desktop first. On my desktop the browser version is identical to the iPad app version.

 

  • Can i create a (relational) database in Powerapps, consisting of several related tables and several different queries? (hard requirement)

From what I've seen the short answer is kind of. PowerApps allows you to build collections/tables similar to Access, but honestly I've been using SQL as the backend and it's considerably easier to work with to build proper relational databases. PowerApps isn't a database program at it's core, but it works with many data sources and I think you'll find it's very limited.

 

My suggestion is get some test data setup and play around in it to get some idea of PowerApps limitations (there are many!)

 

  • Can i link a table (or a query) to an Excel workbook which resides on our local network so new records are automatically added tot the excel workbook? (new feature, would be very nice)

Yes, there are some options to link directly to Sharepoint stored excel sheets but not network shares. It would be worth trying it out yourself to again see what limitations it has but I've had success setting up an excel sheet as a data source but it has to reside in an acceptable location for PowerApps to link to (i.e. Sharepoint).

 

I would suggest looking at SQL since you can setup a "linked server" directly to a shared excel workbook and effortlessly pull data in from there.

 

  • Can i add Word (2016 desktop) templates to Power apps so my users can search a client in our PowerApp and create a letter where the name and address of the client are already filled in? (new feature, would be very nice)

I think you will find this won't work but you may find a solution to pulling data in but from what I've seen you cannot even print from PowerApps at this time.

 

Hope that helps a bit! 

Anonymous
Not applicable

I second JRaasumaa's advice about setting up a SQL server. Our experience using the Common Data Service was horrendous with several catastrophic data losses (and the CDM offers no logs, transactional data, or tools to diagnose the problem)

 

A word of warning: All of our production apps have been down for almost 24 hours, so I would be cautious of developing within PowerApps. We will likely switch back to web apps soon because of the ongoing issues and poor documentation/communication from Microsoft when these issues arise.

 

Best of luck!

rlmckean
Helper IV
Helper IV

Hi
I would certainly second the comment on reliability. If your well all is company critical I would keep using until the last minute.I imported my web app data into SharePoint lists using the web apps option.
Basically it was a real problem. No relationships or look ups are imported over and you have to rethink your app.
I used access to restructure my data by linking access back to the new SharePoint lists. As SharePoint creates a new id field I renamed the webapp Id fields and then used them to create linkage and psuedo lookups.
It works but takes some time and the help and documentation is not the best. If you look at my posts I had a continuing saga of issues as I tried to knock off various aspects of creating the new app.
The 500 record could well be an issue for you, but it can be overcome.
After a few weeks of intermittent programming, I can see a workable product immerging, but there are still too many posts with connection issues for me to think I' I would rely my business on it.
Cheers.
Richard
Meneghino
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi @Anonymous

When you say "back to web apps", what do you mean?

I have been experimenting a lot with PowerApps as a solution to the demise of Access Web Apps, but am so frustrated by the lack of communication from Microsoft that I am looking for an alternative.

Any ideas?

rlmckean
Helper IV
Helper IV

Can't think of an alternative at present!.
Meneghino
Community Champion
Community Champion

I guess we just have to hope that they get their act together at some point.  Access Web Apps is out, InfoPath is out... it seems a bit premature without a reasonably stable alternative.

PeterGMcDermott
Frequent Visitor

Bernard,

 

I'm in the same boat. My application had 7 related tables and the ability to quickly query and make changes. It was desktop-first (a must for our workgroup) and very easy to use. A lot of time was spent putting it together and sharing it with other work groups.

 

Now I'm literally back to the drawing board and trying to find a way to make PowerApps work. It seems that even following the "simple" creation steps from a SharePoint list, I'm not finding that all of the columns are populating.

 

Would be great if there were some 'office hours' once a week to allow people like us to get help getting started so we can sing praises of the platform and not just shouts of frustration.

 

Godspeed.

Peter McDermott
Juan_Chacón
New Member

Hi,

How is this migration going?
It would help to know how you solve this.

 

Regards,

 

Juan

I am happy to help anyone migrating from AWA to PowerApps.

Please just Skype me on baizini.

I also have a blog with some ideas.

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