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Helper I
Helper I

PowerApps Project Management

There has been one question in these forums about Power Apps app project management that I found; there may be more. The question was about whether using Visual Studio Code or Notepad++. I use both but it is interesting to learn from the many app makers what they are doing/using to keep track of their organization of their app: screens, controls, control properties and their formulas namely.


For example in the course of building my own app, I have noticed that with one (edit type) screen, I have

  • a List Box control
    • whose Items property are obtained by a collection and
    • whose OnSelect is used to create a SelectedRecord context variable
  • a Text Input control 
    • has its Text property constructed using parts of the SelectedRecord variable and that checks the value of a Radio control to prepend additional text
    • whose OnChange property is used to update the SelectedRecord variable property that controls the text

The formula that make up the key properties of all these controls can get very confusing, especially if the dependencies of the formulas get circular in a legal or possibly illegal way, with the illegal way showing up as an error or warning.

A good tool/dev environment that helps "app makers" quickly see their design flaws or learn about how to construct formulas following known principles and making proper use of variables (both global and context), of collections, and of screens and their controls and control properties?

So what are you using to keep organized and track of what you are doing? It doesn't have to be a specialized tool. Some may just be printing out lots of paper, although formulas are being changed constantly.

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Super User
Super User

The Power Apps Review tool (GitHub - microsoft/powerapps-tools: Unsupported PowerApps Tools & Apps) is worth taking a look at. You can save a copy of an App to you PC and then open it with this tool to get a complete view of every property/formula.

Handy if you want to do a search, e.g. for use of collections or specific formula text given that, incredibly, there is still no such search facility in PowerApps Studio itself.

I suspect you could use some other tool (even Word's Compare Versions feature) to look for differences between versions.

Unfortunately the tool is very flakey - takes a very long time to analyse a file and then you have to output to HTML to actually do any search as the tool itself is so slow and unstable.

I often use NotePad++ to edit formulas and keep copies of earlier versions of formulas (especially as Ctrl+Z is unreliable) as working in the Formula Bar is still pretty terrible despite the improvements of the experimental 'Enhanced Formula Bar' though the nightmare UI for expanding and collapsing the formula bar (just let me drag the **bleep** thing up and down, don't make me hit inconveniently placed icons) drives me insane.

Performance Monitor is well worth taking a look at to see what is actually going on under the hood and seeing how functions like 'Refresh' destroy App performance and figuring out work-arounds that are more efficient.

View solution in original post

1 REPLY 1
Super User
Super User

The Power Apps Review tool (GitHub - microsoft/powerapps-tools: Unsupported PowerApps Tools & Apps) is worth taking a look at. You can save a copy of an App to you PC and then open it with this tool to get a complete view of every property/formula.

Handy if you want to do a search, e.g. for use of collections or specific formula text given that, incredibly, there is still no such search facility in PowerApps Studio itself.

I suspect you could use some other tool (even Word's Compare Versions feature) to look for differences between versions.

Unfortunately the tool is very flakey - takes a very long time to analyse a file and then you have to output to HTML to actually do any search as the tool itself is so slow and unstable.

I often use NotePad++ to edit formulas and keep copies of earlier versions of formulas (especially as Ctrl+Z is unreliable) as working in the Formula Bar is still pretty terrible despite the improvements of the experimental 'Enhanced Formula Bar' though the nightmare UI for expanding and collapsing the formula bar (just let me drag the **bleep** thing up and down, don't make me hit inconveniently placed icons) drives me insane.

Performance Monitor is well worth taking a look at to see what is actually going on under the hood and seeing how functions like 'Refresh' destroy App performance and figuring out work-arounds that are more efficient.

View solution in original post

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