Phew. Still no real Offline abilities as of 9/15/2017. PowerApps is not going to make it if Offline and Online are not ready Out of the Box. There needs to be no need to code differently for online or offline. No hacking Offline please. PowerApps needs to work off of locally cached data OR back end data transparently.
THAT would be the Killer App!
Anyone suggest other app tools that are as drag and drop as PowerApps AND transparently Offline and Online?
Though there already is an idea posted, but it's for before offline mode.
Please consider to post a new idea about your requirement of offline mode, so others and vote on it:
Stop with the voting. Development is not a social media activity. What's needed is obvious: a RAD tool with inherent offline/online. Full Stop.
Right now, Alpha Software is best mobile RAD tool available. They know it and charge a big price: $5000. A non started.
What MS needs to do is bring the RAD PowerApps interface to Xamarin. Xamarin doesn't even have a good visual testing tool much less a visual design environment. PowerApps of course has almost no coding options.
That said, I am making progress with an offline/online app that works off Excel but its not yet complete. I am taking the traditional device approach: download to device, edit offline, then upload back to device. Same as devices have been from the start. The reason is you cant use your Connections as local tables, you must use Collections. Build your whole interface around collections, save and load them to device files at app start and stop. And then upload back to cloud manually.
I'm not tracking edits, inserts, deletes separately. In the end I may need to just replace the cloud data with the device data on upload. This may only in the end work for file based cloud data sources, not SQL. But... if you make your cloud data source a staging ground for later formal import into existing systems, then this will work fine. In fact it has benefits for archiving already imported data: after another in office user has imported, then the cloud files get backed up and you start fresh for the next data collection effort.
In the end my approach is to use PowerApps like devices have been used since they were invented:
Nope, not at all a synchronized system. Until PowerApps has made Connections, not Collections, truly offline-able, this is what we are stuck with. Alpha Software has done it. Come on MS! But the RAD aspect is great! And we'll need reall .Net coding as well, but that can wait till after Offlining Connection DataSources.
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