cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
JamesA
Frequent Visitor

Injecting updated JSON into msapp without error

I am attempting to:

  • unpackage an exported .msaap file,
  • edit the "2.json" file (the content of the app itself) in the "Controls" folder (I find and replace of a lot of variables),
  • and then repackage the .msaap and upload it.

 

This doesn't work.  The app will open, but the canvas is blank.

 

Re-exporting the broken app and examining the .msaap file shows that the "2.json" file is now missing but the other files are just fine, as if the "2.json" files was stripped out during the upload/opening process in the PowerApps web interface.

 

In an attempt to solve the problem, I modifed file attribute flags in the .msaap file (which is just a .zip file), such as the "A" archive bit, and the Created and Accessed attributes.  The same error resulted.

 

Does anyone know how to edit the "2.json" file and successfully repackage to a working app?

 

It would save me literally dozens of hours...

 

-James

16 REPLIES 16
Anonymous
Not applicable

@JamesA ,

See my post from Friday that is related (and perhaps the same thing).  

 

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/General-Discussion/BUG-Export-amp-Import-Canvas-App-Issues-Entit...

 

Unfortunately, haven't gotten any response on this one...

AH-ha, thank you, I had not seen your post.

 

This does indeed sound very similar:

 

"

  • Importing an MSAPP (or Zip) that has had ANY file modified (to resolve a separate issue I'll post about) fails with an error with no details - whether opening from Studio or from the Import screen.  Below is a screenshot:

    PowerApps Studio Open (Import) Error.PNG

"

And, you made the same observation that the .msaap package contents format has changed.

 

Something that occured to me while I was eating dinner -- are you using the new groups feature, the "enhanced Group control" experimental feature?

 

I was wondering if using that might produce a new file format.  I will have to create a new version of my app without the experimental feature turned on, and see if it exports in a different file format.

 

Hopefully someone will answer and puzzle this out.

v-yutliu-msft
Community Support
Community Support

Hi @JamesA ,

I've made a similar test and met the same problem like your description.

Only edit the .json file is not enough.

There are many settings in other files.

I'm afraid there's no directly to modify an app by editing .msapp file.

I suggest you express your views on PowerApps Ideas Forum. Your precious advice will be very helpful for our work.

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/PowerApps-Ideas/idb-p/PowerAppsIdeas

What's more, here's a similar issue for your reference:

https://powerusers.microsoft.com/t5/General-Discussion/msapp-file-format/td-p/133244

The powerapps tool mentioned in this issue may help you.

 

 

Best regards,

Community Support Team _ Phoebe Liu

 

  

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


Thanks for your response, however it is not as simple as you summarize.

 

There is currently an inherent issue with the .msaap file format.

 

Try these two tests --

 

1) unpack an .msaap file (unzip the archive) and make NO modifications to the files.  Repack everything as a new .zip file, rename to .msaap and try to open it.  With absolutely no changes to the files and the "many settings in other files" you claim, you will be unable to even load the .msaap in the PowerApps Studio.

 

2) extract JUST the "2.json" file within the "Controls" folder located in the .msaap archive. Open it, change one character, and then change it back so that the file is exactly as it was. Save that "modified" file. Replace the original "2.json" within the .msaap archive (note, we did NOT extract the entire archive)!  Attempt to open the .msaap file in PowerApps Studio, and you will be greeted with a version of the app that is "blank".  Again, no modification to the "many settings in other files" and yet the file format does not work.  If you again try to export/save this new version of the .msaap, you will note that the "2.json" file is simply missing from the archive.

 

This is an issue with the .msaap file format and how it is read by PowerApps Studio. 

 

The previous version of the .msaap file format (with the "Entities.json" file that contained the contents of the app) did not have this problem, and could be edited and uploaded.

 

Hopefully someone else will have some insight to the secrets of the .msaap file format,

 

Or, perhaps the issue will be addressed by Microsoft, however I think we are more likely to solve it as a community.

Anonymous
Not applicable

@JamesA  - yes I totally agree.  I did see those as well with additional testing after posting my issue.  

 

Totally agree that reZipping the MS App does not work - whether I use "Send to Compressed (zipped) folder", 7zip (in .ZIP format), etc.  

 

I was only trying to change three minor values in the 1.json file under Controls (start page) due to another issue where PowerApps Studio messed up these settings, resulting in the app crashing on startup outside the Studio environment (reported these other issues separately, but they were all tied to my same testing).  

 

 

Anonymous
Not applicable

FYI - This functionality (editing json files and rezipping) did work until recently, and was even referenced by several tutorials, and suggested (I believe) by several MS resources for things like themes in the past.

 

In addition, the PowerApps Tools on GitHub (https://github.com/microsoft/powerapps-tools) also does just this.  Yes, these are mentioned as unsupported, but many at MS have recommended using these tools, including in response to support requests.  

 

 

Thanks, @Anonymous , sorry, my response above about "not as simple as you summarize" was for @v-yutliu-msft, if that wasn't clear!

 

Glad you see the same results.

 

It does appear to be a .msaap file format issue, and one that has recently occurred, since it appears many others were able to edit .json files and repackage without issue.

 

Wish I knew some other things to try.  Seems like an archive and packaged file attribute problem, possibly.  Maybe the CRC check for each packaged file is referenced somewhere, and when it doesn't match, it clears it from the archive.

Anonymous
Not applicable

FYI - I *FINALLY* got this working (though this is NOT a fix, just a workaround).

 

See the link here:  https://poszytek.eu/en/microsoft-en/office-365-en/powerapps-en/powerapps-export-fails-due-to-missing...

 

While this is addressing a different problem, the method he uses to update the MSAPP works.

 

Key here (as he keeps saying) DO NOT UNZIP the file!

 

What you'll do instead is:

 

  1. Download the MSAPP from within Powerapps Studio with File->Save As->This Computer
  2. Rename the file to change the .msapp extension to .zip
  3. Open the now .zip file using 7zip - OPEN - do NOT Extract
  4. Drag the files you want OUT of the ZIP file onto you harddrive in a folder
  5. Edit as needed.  If you happen to format the files (ALT-SHIFT-F in MS Code) to read them, make sure you undo this - ie: join the lines (in MS Code, select all (Control-A) lines in the file you changed, hit F1, type "join lines", and then save the file(s).
  6. Drag the modified file (with the same filename) over to 7zip, and close the ZIP file.
  7. In PowerApps Studio, do File->Open on the modified MSAPP file.  IT SHOULD WORK!

Note that I have NOT been able to rezip an MSAPP that has been unzipped and be able to import it (though this DID work in the past!!).  This is the only way I've gotten this to work (kudos to Tomasz Poszytek for the thought on this).  

 

BTW - in my case, I did not actually do lines 4-6 above, instead I just DELETED two JSON files (in Controls that were causing my app problems.

 

PowerApps for some STUPID reason made two Data Table controls I had done a cut and paste on (in the same app to a different location) TOP LEVEL controls - ie: at the same level as a screen (right under App).  Thus, while the app would load in Studio, I could not run it outside, nor could I get rid of those two control (or move, rename, etc).  Was a mess.

 

But this resolved it for me (until the next time Studio screws up an MSAPP file - last time I had to rebuild from scratch (a few days ago), and manually recreate every screen, copy controls from the old one (that didn't start) to the new one, and then doctor up MOST of the X, Y, Width, and Height for MOST of the controls (as many had formulas that were wiped out, or in some cases a static value (like 115) changed (to 1 in these cases).  

 

Wasted 3 hours this morning on this, and about 4 days last week on the other MSAPP issue.

 

But at least now I can FINALLY go in and manually fix myself now that PowerApps finally lets me import things this way.

 

 

I wish that this solution worked for me!

 

I actually had found Mr. Poszytek's post last week, and tried that -- removing the file without unzipping, editing, and inserting it.  No joy -- I am able to load the modified .msaap, however it's the same situation as I described above, an empty app.

 

I think because you are removing files, it works fine for you, but I am finding and replacing variables in copied blocks of code that I return into the .msaap.  No matter how carefully I format and return the code, it never makes it on load.

 

I'm still in the same position I described in the third or so post in this thread.

 

Very sad, super-frustrating -- I will be spending an epic amount of time this week with Notepad++ open in one window, and alt-tab-ing back and forth with code to find and replace variables in a real editing interface.  If it was supported, it would be a 1-hour job, but instead it's a 6-hour job.

 

Plz microsoft..plz.  Let us see the code.  Or, fix the .msaap file format (not expecting a response, just venting!)

 

Thanks for the ideas, though, I appreciate it!

 

 

Helpful resources

Announcements

Celebrating the May Super User of the Month: Laurens Martens

  @LaurensM  is an exceptional contributor to the Power Platform Community. Super Users like Laurens inspire others through their example, encouragement, and active participation. We are excited to celebrated Laurens as our Super User of the Month for May 2024.   Consistent Engagement:  He consistently engages with the community by answering forum questions, sharing insights, and providing solutions. Laurens dedication helps other users find answers and overcome challenges.   Community Expertise: As a Super User, Laurens plays a crucial role in maintaining a knowledge sharing environment. Always ensuring a positive experience for everyone.   Leadership: He shares valuable insights on community growth, engagement, and future trends. Their contributions help shape the Power Platform Community.   Congratulations, Laurens Martens, for your outstanding work! Keep inspiring others and making a difference in the community!   Keep up the fantastic work!        

Check out the Copilot Studio Cookbook today!

We are excited to announce our new Copilot Cookbook Gallery in the Copilot Studio Community. We can't wait for you to share your expertise and your experience!    Join us for an amazing opportunity where you'll be one of the first to contribute to the Copilot Cookbook—your ultimate guide to mastering Microsoft Copilot. Whether you're seeking inspiration or grappling with a challenge while crafting apps, you probably already know that Copilot Cookbook is your reliable assistant, offering a wealth of tips and tricks at your fingertips--and we want you to add your expertise. What can you "cook" up?   Click this link to get started: https://aka.ms/CS_Copilot_Cookbook_Gallery   Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to be one of the first in the Community to share your app creation journey with Copilot. We'll be announcing a Cookbook Challenge very soon and want to make sure you one of the first "cooks" in the kitchen.   Don't miss your moment--start submitting in the Copilot Cookbook Gallery today!     Thank you,  Engagement Team

Announcing Power Apps Copilot Cookbook Gallery

We are excited to share that the all-new Copilot Cookbook Gallery for Power Apps is now available in the Power Apps Community, full of tips and tricks on how to best use Microsoft Copilot as you develop and create in Power Apps. The new Copilot Cookbook is your go-to resource when you need inspiration--or when you're stuck--and aren't sure how to best partner with Copilot while creating apps.   Whether you're looking for the best prompts or just want to know about responsible AI use, visit Copilot Cookbook for regular updates you can rely on--while also serving up some of your greatest tips and tricks for the Community. Check Out the new Copilot Cookbook for Power Apps today: Copilot Cookbook - Power Platform Community.  We can't wait to see what you "cook" up!      

Tuesday Tip | How to Report Spam in Our Community

It's time for another TUESDAY TIPS, your weekly connection with the most insightful tips and tricks that empower both newcomers and veterans in the Power Platform Community! Every Tuesday, we bring you a curated selection of the finest advice, distilled from the resources and tools in the Community. Whether you’re a seasoned member or just getting started, Tuesday Tips are the perfect compass guiding you across the dynamic landscape of the Power Platform Community.   As our community family expands each week, we revisit our essential tools, tips, and tricks to ensure you’re well-versed in the community’s pulse. Keep an eye on the News & Announcements for your weekly Tuesday Tips—you never know what you may learn!   Today's Tip: How to Report Spam in Our Community We strive to maintain a professional and helpful community, and part of that effort involves keeping our platform free of spam. If you encounter a post that you believe is spam, please follow these steps to report it: Locate the Post: Find the post in question within the community.Kebab Menu: Click on the "Kebab" menu | 3 Dots, on the top right of the post.Report Inappropriate Content: Select "Report Inappropriate Content" from the menu.Submit Report: Fill out any necessary details on the form and submit your report.   Our community team will review the report and take appropriate action to ensure our community remains a valuable resource for everyone.   Thank you for helping us keep the community clean and useful!

Community Roundup: A Look Back at Our Last 10 Tuesday Tips

As we continue to grow and learn together, it's important to reflect on the valuable insights we've shared. For today's #TuesdayTip, we're excited to take a moment to look back at the last 10 tips we've shared in case you missed any or want to revisit them. Thanks for your incredible support for this series--we're so glad it was able to help so many of you navigate your community experience!   Getting Started in the Community An overview of everything you need to know about navigating the community on one page!  Community Links: ○ Power Apps ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Community Ranks and YOU Have you ever wondered how your fellow community members ascend the ranks within our community? We explain everything about ranks and how to achieve points so you can climb up in the rankings! Community Links: ○ Power Apps ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Powering Up Your Community Profile Your Community User Profile is how the Community knows you--so it's essential that it works the way you need it to! From changing your username to updating contact information, this Knowledge Base Article is your best resource for powering up your profile. Community Links: ○ Power Apps ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Community Blogs--A Great Place to Start There's so much you'll discover in the Community Blogs, and we hope you'll check them out today!  Community Links: ○ Power Apps ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Unlocking Community Achievements and Earning Badges Across the Communities, you'll see badges on users profile that recognize and reward their engagement and contributions. Check out some details on Community badges--and find out more in the detailed link at the end of the article! Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio    Blogging in the Community Interested in blogging? Everything you need to know on writing blogs in our four communities! Get started blogging across the Power Platform communities today! Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Subscriptions & Notifications We don't want you to miss a thing in the community! Read all about how to subscribe to sections of our forums and how to setup your notifications! Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Getting Started with Private Messages & Macros Do you want to enhance your communication in the Community and streamline your interactions? One of the best ways to do this is to ensure you are using Private Messaging--and the ever-handy macros that are available to you as a Community member! Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Community User Groups Learn everything about being part of, starting, or leading a User Group in the Power Platform Community. Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Update Your Community Profile Today! Keep your community profile up to date which is essential for staying connected and engaged with the community. Community Links: ○ Power Apps  ○ Power Automate  ○ Power Pages  ○ Copilot Studio   Thank you for being an integral part of our journey.   Here's to many more Tuesday Tips as we pave the way for a brighter, more connected future! As always, watch the News & Announcements for the next set of tips, coming soon!

Hear what's next for the Power Up Program

Hear from Principal Program Manager, Dimpi Gandhi, to discover the latest enhancements to the Microsoft #PowerUpProgram, including a new accelerated video-based curriculum crafted with the expertise of Microsoft MVPs, Rory Neary and Charlie Phipps-Bennett. If you’d like to hear what’s coming next, click the link below to sign up today! https://aka.ms/PowerUp  

Users online (2,965)