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Helper I
Helper I

Newbie Attempting to Create Case Management System with Model-Driven App

Hi there,

 

I am currently working for a small charitable organisation and we have decided to start using PowerApps - specifically 1 model-driven app - to use as a 'case management system'. We decided this was our best option after looking at many different possibilities (we currently use paper to file everything).

 

I am responsible for implementing this. I have no developer background but have some basic knowledge about IT but I'm basically a bit of noob when it comes to this stuff! With a bit of outside help, we've managed to put together a model-driven app we're pretty pleased with and does most of the basic stuff we want it to but - and this is why I am posting - I'm beginning to hit limitations with my knowledge and experience and could do with some pointers in the right the direction for some things!

 

Firstly, we are wanting to get our data out of our model-driven app to monitor and report on our data. I have been told to look at Power BI which is looking inviting - is this worth doing? Can anyone let me know whether Power BI connects up to data which would be inputted into a model-driven app (I assume it can through CDS connections but I've struggled to clarify how to do this in my head) and then specifically, be able to link data across multiple entities (not just one which does not seem possible on the dashboard system on PowerApps unless I am mistaken?). I have also been advised to look into SSRS but I have not looked into this yet.

 

Secondly, I have struggled to find a way with model-driven apps to 'trigger' certain automated processes based on field changes across different entities. I.e. change to FIELD 1 on ENTITY 1 triggers a change on FIELD 1 on ENTITY 2. I have struggled to get Power Automate to work and the Business Rules only work upon an entity itself and not with others (again, unless I'm mistaken!). Any pointers of where I can find some really useful info about how to use Power Automate or if there's something I am missing within PowerApps (for example I haven't really explored using Canvas Apps yet but I'm aware this could be very useful!). 

 

With all of this, I should note I have read most of the PowerApps Learning (at least for Model-Driven Apps) and it was incredibly useful but just wondering if there were any more resources out there which beginners like myself have found useful!

 

Thank you for getting this far - please do ask if I have not explained any of this clearly.

 

Joe

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Super User
Super User

Re: Newbie Attempting to Create Case Management System with Model-Driven App

I don't do Model-Driven Apps...just canvas. The part I am going to comment on here is the reporting. 

 

We use both PowerBI and SSRS and both are great. We use PowerBI for more upper management (it is a little expensive to do for everyone and it is better for seeing data trends and stuff like that...GREAT for this type of use) and we use SSRS more for people who want the ability to dump the data into Excel and just the everyday user....less pretty, more detail basically.

 

Just to vaguely answer some of your other questions you can do multiple tools tied to the same data easily...more than one app, more than one Flow....all that is possible...you just connect to the same data source. But on this topic I will let someone with more experience with Model-Driven and CDS elaborate on this topic for you. I do Canvas and mostly SharePoint..some SQL. 

 

Best of luck!

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Super User
Super User

Re: Newbie Attempting to Create Case Management System with Model-Driven App

I don't do Model-Driven Apps...just canvas. The part I am going to comment on here is the reporting. 

 

We use both PowerBI and SSRS and both are great. We use PowerBI for more upper management (it is a little expensive to do for everyone and it is better for seeing data trends and stuff like that...GREAT for this type of use) and we use SSRS more for people who want the ability to dump the data into Excel and just the everyday user....less pretty, more detail basically.

 

Just to vaguely answer some of your other questions you can do multiple tools tied to the same data easily...more than one app, more than one Flow....all that is possible...you just connect to the same data source. But on this topic I will let someone with more experience with Model-Driven and CDS elaborate on this topic for you. I do Canvas and mostly SharePoint..some SQL. 

 

Best of luck!

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Helper I
Helper I

Re: Newbie Attempting to Create Case Management System with Model-Driven App

Thank you! I appreciate the info on using Power BI and SSRS. I presume if you're using Canvas Apps, data is also stored in the CDS? So, it's much the same as model-driven apps in terms of where your data is stored...or am I wrong with this?

 

I began to have a play with Power BI yesterday and came across a login error but I'll post that in the Power BI community!

 

If anyone has any more info relating to the model-driven apps side of things, Power Automate, and CDS that would be great but thank you nonetheless!

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Super User
Super User

Re: Newbie Attempting to Create Case Management System with Model-Driven App

I don't use CDS. Almost all of my apps are tied to SharePoint List instead.

 

The main complaint people have with using SPList are the limitations but I handle that by archiving (to another list) data as items are processed so it hasn't been an issue for me so far. 

 

I used Access previously so I still layout my data in a very similar manner. I never build an app that I don't create at least one or two Flows (PowerAutomate) that coordinate with the app. Mostly notifications (trying to get out people off of the email notifications for EVERYTHING but it is a process). I have a few that creates folders, create PDF docs, one that post status updates in Teams....there is a ton you can do with Flow. My most common triggers are either 'When an item is created' or 'When an item is created or modified' and I have a decent amount that are actually triggered by PowerApps also. 

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Post Patron
Post Patron

Re: Newbie Attempting to Create Case Management System with Model-Driven App

@joew72 A lot of people here operate more in the direct questions and less in the open-ended theoretical. It would be a lot easier to provide helpful insight if you gave us an idea of what you're trying to accomplish(as specific as possible).

 

An example of a post that would be easier to assist with is "I have two entities. One named X, one named Y. I have fields A,B,C,T,R,E on entity X. I have fields P and U on entity Y. U is a lookup to field T on entity X.

 

I'm trying to build a flow that will trigger when field T on entity X is modified and go to entity Y where U equals T, and update field P."

 

To answer your question, yes, you can modify one entity when triggered from another. Some more specifics and someone here will probably build you an example with code and screenshots.

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