cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
nirvana_moksh
Helper II
Helper II

PowerApps Writing back to SQL?

I have an app which is up and running and writes back to Excel Online hosted on OneDrive. We do not find this a secure way as we have to give users of the Power App edit access to the Excel Online as well to successfully make the comment/write back.

 

We want to replace this with a On-Prem SQL Server Table. I am unsure of what rights are needed for the SQL Table besides reader and writer and how to go about replacing this Excel Online connection and how to go about making this happen. 

 

Any documentation/advice would be really helpful.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
johnmarlowe
Advocate III
Advocate III

My suggestion was a bit of a raw principle, but as I sat and thought there are a few ways you could do this i guess. So you could create a table that stores execution of SP'S. In your SP open with creating a record and flagging a Procedure started column. (Set the record ID as max(ID) +1 and store that value within the SP so it can be called at the end. Make sure you put this first part in a transaction and commit before executing the main part of the SP so that you definitely have a record of the proc starting even if it falls over later . At the end update the original record in a Procedure complete flag column. You theft have a full record of procedures failing to fully execute. Useful for debugging. You could even store all parameters passed to the proc in this execution table as this might also.help debugging.

As to how you get this info back to the PA user, it's never going to be as ideal as a Proc failed message immediately after execution of the flow, but it's a start.

View solution in original post

21 REPLIES 21
johnmarlowe
Advocate III
Advocate III

For what it's worth I recommend this approach based on my own experience. Not only is it more secure but infinitely more flexible. The app I've build pulls in Information from other DB servers which in turn pulls data from 3rd party software api's which means we can use Powerapps to bridge the gaps in off the shelf software and provide the bespoke elements without the need for costly supplier development.

If you intend to do this you will need to.set up a gateway on your network, but ideally as closet to, if not on the DB server (which no allows clustering of multiple gateways, to ensure good availability to your DB) to minimise latency. Our DBA set up the gateway, and although it took a little fiddling to get it working it was fairly straightforward.

One recommendation i would make is that rather than use the standard data links to your data source from within powerapps, that you play around with passing the edits through sql server stored procedures using Flow. This actually gives you a lot more flexibility, and security.
The gateway itself uses the specific SQL server user account details, however if you use stored procedures and pass the user name over as a parameter your stored procedure offers you no end of options for storing information related to the auditing of data.
You might find this takes a bit of time and someone who's comfortable at writing and adapting stored procedures, but I promise it's worth it as you engage the power of the DB rather than complicating your webapp front end.

Anyway, good luck to you in your endeavours.

thanks a lot for your reply John, I will surely try this out and discuss with my team.

+1 on John's suggestion to use Stored Procedures.

 

You can limit the SQL account to just executing the necessary procedures, no need to grant Insert/Update on the underlying tables.

 

The SP enforces data types and can have additional logic to validate the data.

 

Is easy to update if business rules change or underlying tables are restructured.  The SP may look the same to the PowerApp/Flow thats using it but it can be completly rewritten - meaning you don't have to rejigger those applications when things change in the database.

johnmarlowe
Advocate III
Advocate III

This is a great point. Once you've established your SP execution point you can effectively use it as a static API endpoint for posting data. At first I passed every piece of data as a separate parameter to the SP but each time I wanted to pass a new field I had to fiddle with the flow. Instead what I do now (generally) is pass all data fields across in a single string with my own syntax to delimit the data. I then have logic in the SP to split out the data into separate fields and update accordingly.
I still generally pass the username over as a separate parameter because generally any time someone edits the data I want to make an audit record so i'm always needing a username.

Like I say, this has taken some time to get to and you want to be comfortable with SQL, but having worked with lots of professional software suppliers who seem to give the front end too much of the data logic responsibilities, I'm a big fan of leveraging the massive capabilities of a DB like MSSQL in doing the heavy lifting, leaving your App to be nimble and user-friendly.
It gives you the advantage to develop the front and back ends on different release schedules.

So this is how my Power Apps looks like as of now which is connected to Excel Online and each of the sections in this screen like 'Type' , 'Date', 'Description' write back to the Excel Online. Additionally, I have considered the route of developing the stored procedure that has parameters capturing these details.

 

So my question is how do i define any kind of stored procedure within these 'data cards'/sections to write to the sp, is it just like changing the connection to SQL? I know I can connect to SQL but then it lists out Tables where I want these data cards to write back to, so I am kinda lost. 

 

Power Apps.PNG

Shanescows
Most Valuable Professional
Most Valuable Professional

I will offer here is my step-by-step guide for deploying the gateway and building your first app from SQL. Might help you get started and avoid some of the gotchas with licensing and such. 

Shane - Microsoft MVP, YouTube, and PowerApps Consulting for when you are in a bind to get this fixed quickly. And finally we now have PowerApps Training
johnmarlowe
Advocate III
Advocate III

So my own personal approach has been that instead of calling the main table to display (say firstly in a gallery and then the selected record in data cards) I use a database view (which poweapps now supports). Even if the view is just all unfiltered records and all columns from your table (i.e. identical to your core data table) to begin with. There main advantage here is the ability to control what information powerapps sees, but to do it from the database side. So for example...
If you ever want to soft delete a record you can add a simple bit column (isDeleted) into the table, but change the view so it filters out any of the deleted records (i.e. where isDeleted <> 1) and this way you never need to put that logic into your powerapps gallery filter.

Or if you want to join info from another table on, you can do this in the view without having to add and store additional field data in your core record.

So assuming you have your view set up and this is what's coming into.your gallery and being displayed in your sections, you just need to decide exactly how you go about the editing process for the users. But however you want to do this you need to make sure you create a SP in the database that accepts the parameters you want. So let's keep it conceptually simple, we create a SP that accepts parameters for each field you might potentially want to edit in an update. Let's say this is proc_tableUpdate. All parameters are set to NULL maybe which gives you the option of passing only changed values of the record. However if you want to pass over all values to the procedure that's not a problem it's just a case of whether you want to limit the data going across.

Your SP should just effectively be a UPDATE statement. It takes the values you pass it and updates the core record table (and does whatever else you want it to e.g. create an audit record of the change)

To access this SP from Powerapps you need to set up a flow from your powerapps home page, look for the Execute SQL Server stored procedure connector, and then if your gateway is up.and running correctly you should see your SP. the final set up for the flow will ask you to define the parameters but you click on "ask in powerapps" for each parameter space. You can assign a flow to an ON SELECT action in Powerapps, and you then give it the values from your powerapps items, such as drop downs, input boxes etc. The point is here that there are a million and one ways of designing this kind of interface then, and it just depends on your preferred way if setting it up. But ultimately the desired values go.into the flow as parameters and are therefore passed through the gateway to the SP as such.

So things I didn't touch on there are adding new records:
You can either do this using the same SP but use a MERGE function to distinguish between an update or an insert (or you can manually simulate this but SQL server's merge function is pretty valuable)
OR you can set up a separate SP (with an insert function) and flow to handle the insert of a new record of your PA process is different for updates and new records.

The other thing is that eventually you may just want to pass through a single string to your SP and come up with your own logical delimiting syntax to allow you to pull it apart the other side.

Hopefully this is a little help but suspect you'll still be searching around the forums for more info on things, because I've probably left a tonne of gaps in the process. The more I've delved into PA the more I've decoupled the Data handling from PA's own mechanisms and used flow to hand the data to the DB to process. As good as they are, I prefer the flexibility of SQL server in the long term, but this makes PA so much more straightforward and useful from a user front end builder.

johnmarlowe
Advocate III
Advocate III

Reading back my post I suspect I may have "over-contributed" a bit!
nirvana_moksh
Helper II
Helper II

I really appreciate you taking the time out to post this and putting the effort needed to list it all out. This will be my weekend experiment for sure! Thanks again John for being really helpful and awesome with your detail driven posts.

Helpful resources

Announcements

Tuesday Tip: Getting Started with Private Messages & Macros

Welcome to TUESDAY TIPS, your weekly connection with the most insightful tips and tricks that empower both newcomers and veterans in the Power Platform Community! Every Tuesday, we bring you a curated selection of the finest advice, distilled from the resources and tools in the Community. Whether you’re a seasoned member or just getting started, Tuesday Tips are the perfect compass guiding you across the dynamic landscape of the Power Platform Community.   As our community family expands each week, we revisit our essential tools, tips, and tricks to ensure you’re well-versed in the community’s pulse. Keep an eye on the News & Announcements for your weekly Tuesday Tips—you never know what you may learn!   This Week's Tip: Private Messaging & Macros in Power Apps Community   Do you want to enhance your communication in the Community and streamline your interactions? One of the best ways to do this is to ensure you are using Private Messaging--and the ever-handy macros that are available to you as a Community member!   Our Knowledge Base article about private messaging and macros is the best place to find out more. Check it out today and discover some key tips and tricks when it comes to messages and macros:   Private Messaging: Learn how to enable private messages in your community profile and ensure you’re connected with other community membersMacros Explained: Discover the convenience of macros—prewritten text snippets that save time when posting in forums or sending private messagesCreating Macros: Follow simple steps to create your own macros for efficient communication within the Power Apps CommunityUsage Guide: Understand how to apply macros in posts and private messages, enhancing your interaction with the Community For detailed instructions and more information, visit the full page in your community today:Power Apps: Enabling Private Messaging & How to Use Macros (Power Apps)Power Automate: Enabling Private Messaging & How to Use Macros (Power Automate)  Copilot Studio: Enabling Private Messaging &How to Use Macros (Copilot Studio) Power Pages: Enabling Private Messaging & How to Use Macros (Power Pages)

April 4th Copilot Studio Coffee Chat | Recording Now Available

Did you miss the Copilot Studio Coffee Chat on April 4th? This exciting and informative session with Dewain Robinson and Gary Pretty is now available to watch in our Community Galleries!   This AMA discussed how Copilot Studio is using the conversational AI-powered technology to aid and assist in the building of chatbots. Dewain is a Principal Program Manager with Copilot Studio. Gary is a Principal Program Manager with Copilot Studio and Conversational AI. Both of them had great insights to share with the community and answered some very interesting questions!     As part of our ongoing Coffee Chat AMA series, this engaging session gives the Community the unique opportunity to learn more about the latest Power Platform Copilot plans, where we’ll focus, and gain insight into upcoming features. We’re looking forward to hearing from the community at the next AMA, so hang on to your questions!   Watch the recording in the Gallery today: April 4th Copilot Studio Coffee Chat AMA

Tuesday Tip: Subscriptions & Notifications

TUESDAY TIPS are our way of communicating helpful things we've learned or shared that have helped members of the Community. Whether you're just getting started or you're a seasoned pro, Tuesday Tips will help you know where to go, what to look for, and navigate your way through the ever-growing--and ever-changing--world of the Power Platform Community! We cover basics about the Community, provide a few "insider tips" to make your experience even better, and share best practices gleaned from our most active community members and Super Users.   With so many new Community members joining us each week, we'll also review a few of our "best practices" so you know just "how" the Community works, so make sure to watch the News & Announcements each week for the latest and greatest Tuesday Tips!   This Week: All About Subscriptions & Notifications We don't want you to a miss a thing in the Community! The best way to make sure you know what's going on in the News & Announcements, to blogs you follow, or forums and galleries you're interested in is to subscribe! These subscriptions ensure you receive automated messages about the most recent posts and replies. Even better, there are multiple ways you can subscribe to content and boards in the community! (Please note: if you have created an AAD (Azure Active Directory) account you won't be able to receive e-mail notifications.)   Subscribing to a Category  When you're looking at the entire category, select from the Options drop down and choose Subscribe.     You can then choose to Subscribe to all of the boards or select only the boards you want to receive notifications. When you're satisfied with your choices, click Save.   Subscribing to a Topic You can also subscribe to a single topic by clicking Subscribe from the Options drop down menu, while you are viewing the topic or in the General board overview, respectively.     Subscribing to a Label Find the labels at the bottom left of a post.From a particular post with a label, click on the label to filter by that label. This opens a window containing a list of posts with the label you have selected. Click Subscribe.           Note: You can only subscribe to a label at the board level. If you subscribe to a label named 'Copilot' at board #1, it will not automatically subscribe you to an identically named label at board #2. You will have to subscribe twice, once at each board.   Bookmarks Just like you can subscribe to topics and categories, you can also bookmark topics and boards from the same menus! Simply go to the Topic Options drop down menu to bookmark a topic or the Options drop down to bookmark a board. The difference between subscribing and bookmarking is that subscriptions provide you with notifications, whereas bookmarks provide you a static way of easily accessing your favorite boards from the My subscriptions area.   Managing & Viewing Your Subscriptions & Bookmarks To manage your subscriptions, click on your avatar and select My subscriptions from the drop-down menu.     From the Subscriptions & Notifications tab, you can manage your subscriptions, including your e-mail subscription options, your bookmarks, your notification settings, and your email notification format.     You can see a list of all your subscriptions and bookmarks and choose which ones to delete, either individually or in bulk, by checking multiple boxes.     A Note on Following Friends on Mobile Adding someone as a friend or selecting Follow in the mobile view does not allow you to subscribe to their activity feed. You will merely be able to see your friends’ biography, other personal information, or online status, and send messages more quickly by choosing who to send the message to from a list, as opposed to having to search by username.

Monthly Community User Group Update | April 2024

The monthly Community User Group Update is your resource for discovering User Group meetings and events happening around the world (and virtually), welcoming new User Groups to our Community, and more! Our amazing Community User Groups are an important part of the Power Platform Community, with more than 700 Community User Groups worldwide, we know they're a great way to engage personally, while giving our members a place to learn and grow together.   This month, we welcome 3 new User Groups in India, Wales, and Germany, and feature 8 User Group Events across Power Platform and Dynamics 365. Find out more below. New Power Platform User Groups   Power Platform Innovators (India) About: Our aim is to foster a collaborative environment where we can share upcoming Power Platform events, best practices, and valuable content related to Power Platform. Whether you’re a seasoned expert or a newcomer looking to learn, this group is for you. Let’s empower each other to achieve more with Power Platform. Join us in shaping the future of digital transformation!   Power Platform User Group (Wales) About: A Power Platform User Group in Wales (predominantly based in Cardiff but will look to hold sessions around Wales) to establish a community to share learnings and experience in all parts of the platform.   Power Platform User Group (Hannover) About: This group is for anyone who works with the services of Microsoft Power Platform or wants to learn more about it and no-code/low-code. And, of course, Microsoft Copilot application in the Power Platform.   New Dynamics365 User Groups   Ellucian CRM Recruit UK (United Kingdom) About: A group for United Kingdom universities using Ellucian CRM Recruit to manage their admissions process, to share good practice and resolve issues.    Business Central Mexico (Mexico City) About:  A place to find documentation, learning resources, and events focused on user needs in Mexico. We meet to discuss and answer questions about the current features in the standard localization that Microsoft provides, and what you only find in third-party locations. In addition, we focus on what's planned for new standard versions, recent legislation requirements, and more. Let's work together to drive request votes for Microsoft for features that aren't currently found—but are indispensable.   Dynamics 365 F&O User Group (Dublin) About: The Dynamics 365 F&O User Group - Ireland Chapter meets up in person at least twice yearly in One Microsoft Place Dublin for users to have the opportunity to have conversations on mutual topics, find out what’s new and on the Dynamics 365 FinOps Product Roadmap, get insights from customer and partner experiences, and access to Microsoft subject matter expertise.  Upcoming Power Platform Events    PAK Time (Power Apps Kwentuhan) 2024 #6 (Phillipines, Online) This is a continuation session of Custom API. Sir Jun Miano will be sharing firsthand experience on setting up custom API and best practices. (April 6, 2024)       Power Apps: Creating business applications rapidly (Sydney) At this event, learn how to choose the right app on Power Platform, creating a business application in an hour, and tips for using Copilot AI. While we recommend attending all 6 events in the series, each session is independent of one another, and you can join the topics of your interest. Think of it as a “Hop On, Hop Off” bus! Participation is free, but you need a personal computer (laptop) and we provide the rest. We look forward to seeing you there! (April 11, 2024)     April 2024 Cleveland Power Platform User Group (Independence, Ohio) Kickoff the meeting with networking, and then our speaker will share how to create responsive and intuitive Canvas Apps using features like Variables, Search and Filtering. And how PowerFx rich functions and expressions makes configuring those functionalities easier. Bring ideas to discuss and engage with other community members! (April 16, 2024)     Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 2024 Wave 1 Release (NYC, Online) This session features Aric Levin, Microsoft Business Applications MVP and Technical Architect at Avanade and Mihir Shah, Global CoC Leader of Microsoft Managed Services at IBM. We will cover some of the new features and enhancements related to the Power Platform, Dataverse, Maker Portal, Unified Interface and the Microsoft First Party Apps (Microsoft Dynamics 365) that were announced in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 2024 Release Wave 1 Plan. (April 17, 2024)     Let’s Explore Copilot Studio Series: Bot Skills to Extend Your Copilots (Makati National Capital Reg... Join us for the second installment of our Let's Explore Copilot Studio Series, focusing on Bot Skills. Learn how to enhance your copilot's abilities to automate tasks within specific topics, from booking appointments to sending emails and managing tasks. Discover the power of Skills in expanding conversational capabilities. (April 30, 2024)   Upcoming Dynamics365 Events    Leveraging Customer Managed Keys (CMK) in Dynamics 365 (Noida, Uttar Pradesh, Online) This month's featured topic: Leveraging Customer Managed Keys (CMK) in Dynamics 365, with special guest Nitin Jain from Microsoft. We are excited and thankful to him for doing this session. Join us for this online session, which should be helpful to all Dynamics 365 developers, Technical Architects and Enterprise architects who are implementing Dynamics 365 and want to have more control on the security of their data over Microsoft Managed Keys. (April 11, 2024)     Stockholm D365 User Group April Meeting (Stockholm) This is a Swedish user group for D365 Finance and Operations, AX2012, CRM, CE, Project Operations, and Power BI.  (April 17, 2024)         Transportation Management in D365 F&SCM Q&A Session (Toronto, Online) Calling all Toronto UG members and beyond! Join us for an engaging and informative one-hour Q&A session, exclusively focused on Transportation Management System (TMS) within Dynamics 365 F&SCM. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just curious about TMS, this event is for you. Bring your questions! (April 26, 2024)   Leaders, Create Your Events!    Leaders of existing User Groups, don’t forget to create your events within the Community platform. By doing so, you’ll enable us to share them in future posts and newsletters. Let’s spread the word and make these gatherings even more impactful! Stay tuned for more updates, inspiring stories, and collaborative opportunities from and for our Community User Groups.   P.S. Have an event or success story to share? Reach out to us – we’d love to feature you. Just leave a comment or send a PM here in the Community!

Exclusive LIVE Community Event: Power Apps Copilot Coffee Chat with Copilot Studio Product Team

We have closed kudos on this post at this time. Thank you to everyone who kudo'ed their RSVP--your invitations are coming soon!  Miss the window to RSVP? Don't worry--you can catch the recording of the meeting this week in the Community.  Details coming soon!   *****   It's time for the SECOND Power Apps Copilot Coffee Chat featuring the Copilot Studio product team, which will be held LIVE on April 3, 2024 at 9:30 AM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).     This is an incredible opportunity to connect with members of the Copilot Studio product team and ask them anything about Copilot Studio. We'll share our special guests with you shortly--but we want to encourage to mark your calendars now because you will not want to miss the conversation.   This live event will give you the unique opportunity to learn more about Copilot Studio plans, where we’ll focus, and get insight into upcoming features. We’re looking forward to hearing from the community, so bring your questions!   TO GET ACCESS TO THIS EXCLUSIVE AMA: Kudo this post to reserve your spot! Reserve your spot now by kudoing this post.  Reservations will be prioritized on when your kudo for the post comes through, so don't wait! Click that "kudo button" today.   Invitations will be sent on April 2nd.Users posting Kudos after April 2nd. at 9AM PDT may not receive an invitation but will be able to view the session online after conclusion of the event. Give your "kudo" today and mark your calendars for April 3rd, 2024 at 9:30 AM PDT and join us for an engaging and informative session!

Tuesday Tip: Blogging in the Community is a Great Way to Start

TUESDAY TIPS are our way of communicating helpful things we've learned or shared that have helped members of the Community. Whether you're just getting started or you're a seasoned pro, Tuesday Tips will help you know where to go, what to look for, and navigate your way through the ever-growing--and ever-changing--world of the Power Platform Community! We cover basics about the Community, provide a few "insider tips" to make your experience even better, and share best practices gleaned from our most active community members and Super Users.   With so many new Community members joining us each week, we'll also review a few of our "best practices" so you know just "how" the Community works, so make sure to watch the News & Announcements each week for the latest and greatest Tuesday Tips!   This Week's Topic: Blogging in the Community Are you new to our Communities and feel like you may know a few things to share, but you're not quite ready to start answering questions in the forums? A great place to start is the Community blog! Whether you've been using Power Platform for awhile, or you're new to the low-code revolution, the Community blog is a place for anyone who can write, has some great insight to share, and is willing to commit to posting regularly! In other words, we want YOU to join the Community blog.    Why should you consider becoming a blog author? Here are just a few great reasons. 🎉   Learn from Each Other: Our community is like a bustling marketplace of ideas. By sharing your experiences and insights, you contribute to a dynamic ecosystem where makers learn from one another. Your unique perspective matters! Collaborate and Innovate: Imagine a virtual brainstorming session where minds collide, ideas spark, and solutions emerge. That’s what our community blog offers—a platform for collaboration and innovation. Together, we can build something extraordinary. Showcase the Power of Low-Code: You know that feeling when you discover a hidden gem? By writing about your experience with your favorite Power Platform tool, you’re shining a spotlight on its capabilities and real-world applications. It’s like saying, “Hey world, check out this amazing tool!” Earn Trust and Credibility: When you share valuable information, you become a trusted resource. Your fellow community members rely on your tips, tricks, and know-how. It’s like being the go-to friend who always has the best recommendations. Empower Others: By contributing to our community blog, you empower others to level up their skills. Whether it’s a nifty workaround, a time-saving hack, or an aha moment, your words have impact. So grab your keyboard, brew your favorite beverage, and start writing! Your insights matter and your voice counts! With every blog shared in the Community, we all do a better job of tackling complex challenges with gusto. 🚀   Welcome aboard, future blog author! ✍️✏️🌠 Get started blogging across the Power Platform Communities today! Just follow one of the links below to begin your blogging adventure.   Power Apps: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Power-Apps-Community-Blog/bg-p/PowerAppsBlog Power Automate: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Power-Automate-Community-Blog/bg-p/MPABlog Copilot Studio: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Copilot-Studio-Community-Blog/bg-p/PVACommunityBlog Power Pages: https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Power-Pages-Community-Blog/bg-p/mpp_blog   When you follow the link, look for the Message Admins button like this on the page's right rail, and let us know you're interested. We can't wait to connect with you and help you get started. Thanks for being part of our incredible community--and thanks for becoming part of the community blog!

Top Solution Authors
Top Kudoed Authors
Users online (5,772)