I'd like to get the community's input on this. I've been evangelizing and developing PowerApps within my org for the past 3-4 months and now am pretty proficient at turning around simple form apps with minor Flows. That being said, the requests are starting to get more "serious" with apps that have a larger business impact.
I'd like to know (and I'm sure Microsoft would like to hear it as well):
Do you believe PowerApps is ready to handle mission-critical applications or is it better suited for "form replacement" and automation-type tasks at this point of its development?
Why or why not?
My definition of mission-critical app: An always-connected, dependable application that significantly affects productivity and business reporting. If its slow, down or bugs emerge (out of nowhere), the bottom line and potentially human safety are affected.
Thanks for your thoughts
I've only built a couple business apps at this point, more internal tooling, but IMO, until data fetching and LookUps/Search/Filters get faster or can chew through more than 500 records (NOT IN EXPERIMENTAL), I don't know that I would go the PowerApps route for something that could have a potential impact on revenue or especially human safety.
I think it has it's use cases, but not quite to that level of sophistication yet.
I think it depends on the scope of the mission. For a small to medium, fixed location (non-mobile) business, I would say that it could be mission critical. For larger operations or anything requiring a mobile workforce, I would say no.
I work for a small, extremely mobile business and for our office operations, it works great. Speed of development is pretty awesome and apps work reasonably well with a decent user experience. In fact, we will probably use PowerApps as our primary way of dealing with company information in the near future. We aren't a "millions of rows of data" level business yet, but we are at tens of thousands and, with some creativity, have been able to keep performance fast enough for our purposes. There have been some bugs/issues that took us down for a couple days, but I trust that those issues will be fewer and farther between as the platform matures.
On our field side, not so much. We have been trying to use PowerApps as a maintenance tracking solution and, consequently, as a part of our safety culture on the leading indicator side. Our employees are in a high-hazard industry working with heavy equipment, so this is an important aspect of our business. As discussed here, even though our apps have fully functioning offline capabilies, we are unable to open apps without an internet connection. When our supervisors have to leave the location to record maintenance, sometimes driving 20-30 miles offsite, we are removing one safety aspect to produce another. So to say that I don't trust it currently for human safety is quite accurate. At this point, using an Excel-based form that I could import into our database would work better, so PowerApps isn't even a good form replacement in this scenario.
PowerApps is a fairly young platform and in some ways I think they are still trying to find their identity. If they could develop a fully-functional mobile experience (online or offline use) and make it a little easier to bridge the learning gap on how to handle larger data sets, I think it would be quite a bit closer to being fully ready for mission-critical uses. And for businesses with a more localized scope, I think it has the potential to be ready now.
I've had some success with PowerApps but I wouldn't trust it for anything dealing with revenue or safety. Given the amount of time I've put in learning the PowerApps language, I think I might have been better off just learning C# and then ASP.NET.
Programming isn't supposed to be easy, but if you're just starting from scratch and need things like "printing", "exporting to a PDF" or implementing images without going through 3 different workarounds, then just learning a programming language and then a framework might be better for you.
The program has a long way to go, but it's realtively simple to create basic CRUD apps. Anything outside of that that's a little more work.