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Prospecting PowerApps and Sharepoint to use in my company. Many questions.

1 - The first question is not directly about PowerApps. It's more generic about the whole MS Package will be accessed by the users in my company. I have no idea what would be the correct forum for that. If someone indicates me, I can repost this part of the question there.


So, as I understood... Sharepoint is kind of a intranet for my company. Is Sharepoint also the user portal? When a user wants to see documents, access a flow or a powerapp, WHERE do the user connects? At the Sharepoint intranet?


2 - We would add a couple of PowerBI licenses to create KPIs based on PowerApps. Can these KPIs, tables, etc, from PowerBI be accessed from inside PowerApps (from Office 365 Essentials)? Or do I need PowerApps Plan 1 or Plan 2 to be able to create apps with dashboards?


Where else can a user access PowerBI views created by the users with access to PowerBI? From inside Sharepoint intranet? Like tabs with dashboards?


3 - Suppose I have an app to record Non Conformities in my company, so I need to assign a user to analyze that non-conformity, another to treat it, etc. Is that possible or would I need Flow Plan 2 (with Business Processes) to create such app?

When (if possible) another user is assigned a task, does he gets some reminder of unfullfilled task?


4 - I need an app for my engineers on the field to take photos of several services done. That needs to be done with a PowerApp and some metadata (date, contract, type of service) is created and it's all stored on Sharepoint, so the photos can be assessed later.

Suppose that then my engineer needs to create a report for the client and he needs photos of Contract 1650, June 2019, Service: Earthworks Grading.


It will show some 100 photos. He wants to select 5 of those to use on the report.


What would be the options here? Download the photos, create a Word Document and upload to Sharepoint the Word Document?

Or maybe a PowerApp to create reports, where the user can see the gallery located at Sharepoint, select the photos based on metadata and a Word document is created with those photos inside (and the data about the photo below?)


5 - Can I export Powerapps Data to some type of file that can be acessed by an ODBC or JDBC connection by a third party program?

Thanks... more questions can come up later. For now, that is it.


Continued Contributor
Continued Contributor

1) SharePoint's role in the UX is degrading.  Not due to them removing features, but because other products are surpassing it from a workflow perspective.  SharePoint will be where most of the data winds up, but HOW users interact/create that data will be done via Teams & Microsoft's "Power Platform" which is Flow, PowerBI, and PowerApps.  While SharePoint portals will remain a thing, their need to be built/maintained from a UX perspective will be notably reduced.

2) Yes.  PowerBI can be embedded into PowerApps (and vice-versa), be a standalone application, embedded into SharePoint or (honestly more importantly) put on a Tab inside a Team/Channel in Teams.  Microsoft Teams is where you should be putting your energy into understanding Microsoft's goal around the UX.  Especially if you're talking about people who will be in the field and using Mobile devices.

3) Such things don't require Flow, but might be aided by it.  Microsoft Teams in fact serves as an easy gateway drug to see if you really need Flow or not.  You can do some basic integration w/o Flow through PowerApps say using the Office365.SendEmail function.  Flow is primarily where you start to pull away "User" functions to more standardized ones.  For example, the SendEmail function above sends an email as the person using the application at that time (by default).  However, for Flow, you could set it up to send the emails as yourself, a service account or (in the case of Teams) post as the Flow Bot.

4) That's definitely possible, but depending upon how you choose to put the photos into SharePoint might make it easier to do one method vs. another.  You could have this even automated to a point where the photos are selected via a UX and are then attached to an email or moved to a OneDrive or SharePoint folder for the Engineer to access as a part of your workflow.  Including having this moved to a website for example to share w/ the client.

5) PowerApps can pretty much connect to anything via the Common Data Service.  However, writing things to SharePoint often times is the simplest and then to pull/push to/from there.  It all really depends upon your legacy processes.  For example, when you create Collections in PowerApps and submit them over to Flow, the objects reside in a JSON format.  You could write them just out to a file share for other services to consume, use the HTTP(S) connector to post them directly to a webservice from Flow, call SQL Server from Flow (or directly from PowerApps), the variations are insane.  Really just gets down to how your users do their jobs (and where - like do they have network access?), how real-time data needs to be, where your legacy data resides, etc.  


The main thing I would tell you is that PowerApps is a RAD platform.  You're supposed to move fast and just jump in.  The faster you push things out and get used to doing iterations, the more you'll learn and the better you'll apply the platform.  SharePoint is NOT designed to do this and requires much more planning (which is why PowerApps exists).  Embrace PowerApps/Teams/Flow and it will completely transform (in a very good way) how your staff does their tasks on a day-to-day level.


If you get to a point where PowerApps/Flow needs to be supplanted or is costing you too much to run, then you've built out a framework and a prototype that you can now build on open source tools much more easily since you now know exactly what you need.

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