Not straightforward answer for your question, but you may learn a lot from PowerApps tools
This tool modify msapp file directly and save customized app.
You can crack it open in VS Code and have a peek. I've played with this a bit.
There is a blog post or youtube video somewhere of a guy making tweaks, rezipping, and reopening in PowerApps so I bet its possible to make some cool changes. Let me know how you fare!
As @ericonline mentioned, it's just a .zip file that contains the definitions for the app. You can certainly create your own "generator", but unless the file that you generate follows the same restrictions as one generated by the platform (for example, I believe you may be able to define a gallery nested inside of a second gallery that is nested inside of a third one, which you cannot do in the PowerApps Studio), then it may even work, but it may break in the future as this is not a supported scenario.
Yeah, that was my question. Is the file format documented anywhere. Is there an API for it . What i would like to see is a generator that I could point at a sql azure DB or Sharepoint site. The generator would show me a list of the tables/Lists in the DB/Sharepoint site, I could select the tables/lists I wanted and it would scoffold them out for me. Three screens for each selected table/list and a menu to navigate tables. We used to have these things in older microsoft tool chains.
Would be fun to build if the API was documented.
Separately, the current app builder must use some kind of templates for generating the apps. It would be nice if we could tweak the templates so that we could,for instamce, change the standard colors, fonts, etc.
Got it. No, currently it's not documented, nor there are any tools to manipulate those files. This is a great idea, though, could you please create a new feature request in the PowerApps Ideas board for that?
Would MS really want folks parsing and generating stuff off the back of the PowerApps code and engine?
One person paying their monthly subscription uses a fancy-dancy generator that translates the PA code into MEAN stack JS, and then a wide community of customers enjoy the app with nothing being paid to MS?
Shoorely shome mishtake?
Hi @kaushalkapoor . I don't have the link handy, but here are the steps:
1. Go to create.powerapps.com and open your app
2. Click File then Save As
3. Choose This Computer (ensure you have Popup Blocking turned OFF for this site if using Chrome)
4. Open the folder containing yourApp.msapp
5. Change its extension from .msapp to .zip
6. Right click on the .zip choose Extract All
7. Select the destination to extract to
8. Open the files using VS Code
Once you've made your changes (aka done your damage 🙂 ), try re-zipping all files and changing the extension back to .msapp.
Then, from create.powerapps.com, go to Open, then select the .msapp file you altered.
Thanks for your response. I did all of the steps you mentioned and have been able to mod the file (dat damage tho) and change it back to an msapp and import it into powerapp.
However once imported, my changes get reverted back to original code again! For some reason my changes get overritten. More specifically, Iam using a 'add picture button' and in the entities.json file, I edited the accept="image/*" to accept="*/*" and saved it. Once imported, I see that its back to accept="image/*". Any ideas/suggestions?
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Features releasing from October 2020 through March 2021