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wyotim
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

Opening apps while offline

Has the behavior for opening apps while offline changed?

 

We have some offline-capable apps for employees in fairly remote areas. They have been unable to open these apps without a data connection of some kind.

 

I did some testing on a PC this morning and it seems that the only way to open these apps without a data connection is to have previously opened PowerApps with a data connection and never fully close out of it. That is to say, use the right-click to make the Exit button appear in the upper left hand corner and use that to exit an app but never close PowerApps itself. Using this method, the list of apps shows all the apps we have made. If PowerApps is closed and reopened while no data connection is present, the list of apps is blank. 

 

Testing on an iOS device in airplane mode, as long as I had the most recently updated version of the app on the device, it would give an error the first try but opened the app as expected the second time. If I did not have the most recently updated version of the app it would not work at all.

 

Is there a way to open an app on PC while completely offline other than leaving a previously connected PowerApps session up?

26 REPLIES 26
wyotim
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

@seadudeI completely agree. Our use case is for field workers who often have no cell service at all. Frankly, living in the state of Wyoming (US) it isn't difficult to find areas that don't have cell service or have spotty coverage. 

 

While the apps we developed have all the offline capabilities we need built in, because the apps require a data connection to launch all that investment was meaningless. It is pretty disappointing and has actually added to our user's workload as they now have to do their work in the app after they return from the field. One solution some of our employees have tried is to just leave an app open all tbe time on their computers, which does okay until PowerApps has an update or they need to use a different PowerApp.

 

Hopefully they are able to prioritize this issue! At any rate, I appreciate you and @Anonymous helping to keep this topic alive.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi @v-micsh-msft, @, @ 

 

If possible could I please get an update on this topic,

 

If previosly opened apps are not going to be available when you open Powerapps Studio offline would it be possible to please update the article that you referenced @v-micsh-msft, (Implementing Offline Capability in your App) to say so.

 

I have checked today and for me:

 

    Android 3.18061.12 does show apps when opened offline

    Windows 10 Powerapps Studio 3.18054.18 does not show apps when opened offline

 

Any help/clarification would be much appreciated, thanks

wyotim
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

I can also confirm that iOS 3.18061.12 also shows apps when opened offline. One thing to note is that the shortcuts to the home screen will not work when offline; only launching from the app itself works. And I would appreciate an update on this as well @v-micsh-msft, @v-monli-msft, and @v-xida-msf.
wyotim
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

At a wedding this weekend that happened to be out of range for cellular service, I decided to test the offline experience of some PowerApps on my phone (not during the ceremony; I have some couth! Smiley Very Happy). One app hasn't been changed in a couple months and one was just released the week before. I get on all our apps about once a week just to see if I notice anything that needs fixing or if I have any ideas for improvement, so they should always be current on my device.

 

I was a bit chagrined to find that none of my PowerApps would open from the shortcuts or the app itself, finding instead that they did not load correctly and needed to be redownloaded. One of those I had just used the day before, showing some of my work to family, so I know it was downloaded to my device.

 

 

Is anyone having success with an offline scenario in PowerApps? If so, I would really like to learn how to get a stable offline experience for our users.

seadude
Memorable Member
Memorable Member

Hi @wyotim. I've never been able to open PowerApps offline on my iPhone, so not sure.

 

  • If going OFFLINE, I had to open them first while ONLINE, then interact.
  • Introduces a decent amount of complexity.

View solution in original post

wyotim
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

@seadudeI am marking your reply as the solution due to the fact that I am pretty sure it is the best solution I am going to find. It seems to me that for all it offers, PowerApps doesn't have an offline mode but instead an "if you happen to go offline while using an app" mode. It is a bummer but I guess it isn't realistic to expect from the platform. As you said, it does introduce a large measure of complexity.

@wyotim...I don't find that to be a solution at all.  I am in the same boat where I have users collecting data all day while offline so it is simply not feasible or reasonable to ask our users to load the app. while online then keep the app running constantly on a mobile device which will most likely sleep after 30 seconds.  If there is no interest in fixing this then I cannot use PowerApps.

 

The problem does not seem to arise for a period (don't know how long) after being online.  There are no error messages when PowerApps suddenly stops loading any of my saved offline applications.  This will become a support nightmare when I get calls from my users that their PowerApps applications will not load while they are out in the field trying to collect data.  It doesn't seem to matter if I reboot my device, once PowerApps decides to stop loading the applications I am stuck until I can get online again.

mwashburn
New Member

The offline can not load itself when offline?? omg

wyotim
Resident Rockstar
Resident Rockstar

@willick I completely agree; this is not a solution. Forgive me if this seems petty but after months of getting zero traction on this topic I decided on marking what seemed to be the only answer I was going to get: that it simply doesn’t work.

On the hopeful side, I did notice that there was a small blurb about improving the reliability of offline canvas apps in the October 2018 release notes (page 165). Here it is:

“Canvas apps on devices using SaveData/LoadData are more reliable in offline scenarios. App makers can store up to 20 MB of data or 20 images offline in a single call, which allows makers to create more robust field service apps.”

Hopefully, “more reliable” means “able to be used.”

Again, apologies for any trouble my non-solution solution may have caused! I am just trying to get some visibility on this issue in the hopes that it might be acknowledged (or better yet, addressed).
Anonymous
Not applicable

@wyotim Your right - it just doesnt work.

 

Advertising ofline capability is misleading though, as it stands you can invest a large amount of time building something that is pretty much useless (as we have done).

 

Probably the most anoying thing is that when we started creating our apps it worked fine.

 

If any of the PowerApps Admins read this - please, please fix it.

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