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Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

.msapp file format

Hi,

Is the .msapp file format used by powerapps documented anywhere? Is it technically possiblel to write ones own powerapp 'generator'?

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Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

Re: .msapp file format

Not straightforward answer for your question, but you may learn a lot from PowerApps tools

https://github.com/Microsoft/powerapps-tools

 

This tool modify msapp file directly and save customized app.

 

Thanks

 

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Super User
Super User

Re: .msapp file format

You can crack it open in VS Code and have a peek. I've played with this a bit. 

 

  • Convert .msapp to .zip
  • Extract it
  • Open the .json (I think) files in VS Code (or your fav editor)
  • There are many enticing items in there that look like they could be "themed"
    • IIRC: Mostly control color, size, defaults, etc. 
  • I believe connectors are visible as well. 

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!

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Power Apps
Power Apps

Re: .msapp file format

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.

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Kudo Kingpin
Kudo Kingpin

Re: .msapp file format

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.

 

 

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Power Apps
Power Apps

Re: .msapp file format

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?

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Advocate II
Advocate II

Re: .msapp file format

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?

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Frequent Visitor

Re: .msapp file format

Hi @ericonline! I was trying to find that blog/video you mentioned but couldn´t find it. Any chance you share it with me?

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Super User
Super User

Re: .msapp file format

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. 

Good luck!

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Frequent Visitor

Re: .msapp file format

Hi @ericonline!
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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Super User
Super User

Re: .msapp file format

I do not have experience in this area. I did however read yesterday a nice blog post by @h-nagao where he points out some other parameters in the Entitites.json file that might be of interest/helpful. Beyond that, i'm not sure.

Good luck!

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