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NaCarns
Helper I
Helper I

Online Portal for Data Entry

Hello. I'm very new to Microsoft Power Apps in general, and I would like some direction regarding a task. 

 

I have a project that is asking of my team to develop an online portal for data entry. Basically, data (Excel files, potentially other sources later as well) is fed through the portal, entities are created from the Excel datasheets in Dynamics 365, and then Power BI reads from D365 as a data source and dashboards can be created. Also need to define user groups and roles for data input through the portal. The project is already using CRM dynamics 365 so we need to build over it the required entities to feed to the Power BI dashboard. And the portal should be accessible through the current D365 CRM system. How would I best approach this? We can use any Power App available. Or if you have other suggestions, please share.  

 

From my research, I saw that Power Automate might help; maybe create automated flows? Also came across web Portals in Power Apps but provisioning one to test took forever then failed. I'm stuck and documentation can be very confusing so anything will help. A workflow or reference would also be appreciated.  

 

Apologies if my post isn't in the right area or the labels are misleading, but I wasn't sure what the solution would fall under. If you need more details regarding something, I'll try providing them. 

 

Many thanks.

5 REPLIES 5
BCLS776
Super User
Super User

Welcome, and keep coming back here to search for answers to specific questions that come up during your project. To help you get familiar with the capabilities available under the Power Platform, have a browse through available connectors here. That will give you ideas as to what kinds of data you can easily access and what you can do with it.

Power Automate, like the name implies, is good for automating tasks, usually with little user interaction. Power Apps give you much more room for user interface, and sometimes call Power Automate functions to help accomplish their tasks. You can accomplish a lot with those before you need to look at a portal.

After reading some of the things you want to accomplish, do break it down into smaller pieces to tackle those. Getting data in from a specific file format can be one such chunk.

Best wishes,
Bryan

 

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Thank you for the reply. I did try to partition the problem into smaller chunks, but always was left having to research multiple services, and not knowing whether they can link with each other. For the getting data in, I first thought about using OneDrive to upload files from. Then having the data sent to D365, all done through a Power Automate process. But how would the datasheets in the Excel file get converted into entities in D365? Can that be automated? They already have a working D365 platform, so new entities would be created in that platform. I believe they want a central portal system that can manage all of that; ingest data, define user groups/roles for data input, and send to D365 where sheets inside the Excel file are converted to relevant entities. 

 

I'm going to have to pester this community a bit so apologies again. I'm very new to this platform and frankly, very confused at the moment. Thanks.

 

EDIT: would creating a Power Apps canvas app be sufficient for this? It provides a user interface, but I'm not sure if it's integrated with D365, and how you would do it. Or do you need a Portal?

 

If you have a small number of Excel files, you can directly load data from those into the database tables for D365. If you're looking at having a data entry form for many users to populate the database through their work, that's a great use case for a Power App. And yes, you can set up Power Automate to populate D365 records.

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I came up with a workflow that makes sense but not sure if it's practical to create.

 

I create a canvas app in Power Apps, use the file upload feature to read in Excel files, and create a Power Automate process that uses a file upload as a trigger and sends the datasheets to D365 and (somehow) converts them into entities. Does that make any sense? 

 

This is still very convoluted to me unfortunately.

NaCarns, what you've described can be done, but the better question is whether that's the best way to achieve your overall goals. Would it be helpful to have a 30 min chat on Teams? PM me and we can set something up.

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