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Advocate II
Advocate II

Visual Studio

Provide Visual Studio templates to create PowerApps and Flow Custom Connectors.

9 REPLIES 9
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Community Support
Community Support

Re: Visual Studio

Hi Pturner,

 

About creating Apps from templates with Visual Studio Team Services connection, it seems that currently there is no related template can be used. For this issue, you could submit an idea at PowerApps Ideas.

 

The link of PowerApps Ideas is:
https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/PowerApps-Ideas/idb-p/PowerAppsIdeas

 

About creating Flow from template with Visual Studio Team Services connection, I have seen several templates can be used. The link of the templates is:
https://flow.microsoft.com/en-us/services/shared_visualstudioteamservices/visual-studio-team-service...

 

If you need more Visual Studio Team Services templates to create flow, you could also submit your ideas at Flow Ideas.The link of Flow Ideas is:
https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/Flow-Ideas/idb-p/FlowIdeas

 

Best regards,
Mabel Mao

Community Support Team _ Mabel Mao
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.
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Advocate II
Advocate II

Re: Visual Studio

You miss understand the question, it relates to creating custom connectors from within Visual Studio. 

 

I want to be able to go File --> New Project then select PowerApps or Flow from within Visual Studio to create a new connector.  The VS Template would create all the basic plumbing for the connector i.e. include Swagger and create a Web API project, then provide some base classes.

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Frequent Visitor

Re: Visual Studio

Yes, an extension for VS would be amazing. I would however also be OK with the ability to read/manipulate the generated *.msapp files that export out of PowerApps. Has anyone had any luck reading this binary?

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Frequent Visitor

Re: Visual Studio

The *.msapp file is a zip file so you can extract it and then view the files.

Most of which are json files. There is no project.json or csproj file, so I don't think Microsoft will be rushing in to create VS tooling.

 

I would love to be proved wrong and totally agree that VS tooling would be great. I don't see this being a very good product for enterprise until they also embrace the technical users that will be supporting the "Citizen Developer". (Microsoft, please read: more developer tooling and more technical documentation instead of blog posts)

 

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Power Apps
Power Apps

Re: Visual Studio

Project Siena did have a tool that converted a .siena file (the old name for .msapp) into a project file. This feature is highly unlikely to reappear. The JavaScript that PA generates is not designed to be user-editable (or user-readable for that matter).

 

However the OP was also asking about a VS template for a Connector, which seems more feasible to me. (Caveat: I have nothing to do with the Connectors area).

 

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Frequent Visitor

Re: Visual Studio

Wow, so simple, that is exactly what I needed to know... I half expected a full-on proprietory encription scheme to crack. Instead I can now focus on the automatic provisioning of PowerApps to augment my systems -nice.

 

Thank you!!!

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Power Apps
Power Apps

Re: Visual Studio

Don't get your expectations raised too high: there isnt a lot you can do with the json other than eyeball it. Its not like there is any JavaScript in there for you to read.

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Frequent Visitor

Re: Visual Studio

Adding / Removing entities and modifying attributes in an exported "PowerApp template" is all I really need to do. As cool as custom javascript would be I would expect that it would become a maintenance nightmare as the PowerApp team evolves their design.

 

Assuming the exported *.msapp data is all that is needed to "define" an app within the PowerApps "model", then that is all I could ever hope for. PowerApps is-what-it-is, I don't plan on pushing it beyond the scope of the defined model -apart from changing how I interface with the data model.

 

Given my prior assumption, then as long as I can modify the unzipped *.msapp package (ex. change a buttons text), re-zip it, and then import it back into PowerApps I will be able to achieve what I require.

 

Thanks for the input.

Cheers

~Aaron

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Frequent Visitor

Re: Visual Studio

I did some preliminary tests and the *.msapp file can easily be unzipped, modified, zipped and re-imported/opened by powerapps. The JSON files are easily modified via JSON editors and/or programically using numerous .NET JSON libraries. From a senior professional programmers standpoint these are VERY readable and usable files.
 
This may not be as slick as real-time cloud connectors, but, given the time and desire, it does give us the ability to do a lot of things including:
- Custom VS tooling
- Version control based on actual source files
- Model-driven app provisioning (from EIS meta data).
 
There are a couple items that come to mind that would really help anyone working on connectors and/or tooling:

 

1.) A schema definition of the JSON files which includes detailed meta data about the attributes (ex. value sets for drop downs, default values, validation rules, etc).
 
2.) A .NET API that lets us upload/download the *.msapp file to/from the cloud (maybe it already exists?).

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