As this is designed for ENTERPRISE, printing from the within the APPS will make PowerApps superior to Excel and even ERP / SAP system. If ONENOTE can be accomplished (for printing) after our request, why not PowerApps.
First of all, a sincere thank you to all the folks who filled out the survey. (https://aka.ms/pa-printing ) We, the product team, have leveraged a lot of this information in our work on these features. We are still accepting responses for those who have not had the opportunity to fill it out.
We realize this Idea has been open for a long time as we’ve prioritized other items, but this is very top of mind for us. Reflected in this printing Idea, there are several different asks here for different types of “printing”. I want to be entirely transparent and break these different requests out to give those a feel for the direction of the platform for each of these needs.
Report generation capabilities– This request is document-style reports with visualizations that provide additional control, like which tables expand horizontally and vertically to display all their data and continue from page to page as needed. Think of this as generating fixed-layout documents optimized for printing and archiving, such as PDF and Word files. Currently there are existing methods of doing this today on the platform. People creating canvas apps with SQL leverage SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). People using CDS are leveraging the CDS reporting capabilities available to them (backed by SSRS).PowerBI Paginated Reportsare now generally available for use as well. Long term, the strategy here for PowerApps is to become more integrated with PowerBI to allow a common report generation story for the platform. At the PowerApps Vision and Roadmap session at the Microsoft Business Application Summit when this question was asked, the answer is that we want to avoid having both PowerBI Reporting Services AND a hypothetical “PowerApps Reporting Services”. We don’t currently have a further timeline to share, but our teams continue to work together on this integration.
Export to PDF from a canvas app –This request comes from a lot of InfoPath, Access, and LotusNotes users, in addition to many many other people who want to print PDFs as part of invoices, summaries, status updates, work orders etc. We hear you that there will always be a need for having a readable output and archiving whether it is all digital or still requiring paper. This request also came from people who were leveraging SharePoint and other data sources without reporting capabilities. Today, users are leveraging Flow with the Word connector to create word documents to become PDFs, and another strategy is writing HTML to use with Flow to create a document using OneDrive, or other connectors with convert to PDF capabilities. These options are available today but require some knowledge of HTML and some effort to accomplish. The plan is to provide a simple way to export the contents of a printable screen to a PDF from a canvas app, primarily focusing on the export form scenario. This allows users who use all different data sources to create PDFs using skills they know. However, this solution is not intended to be the answer for really long table heavy documents, banded or cross tab reports, as well as a few other advanced scenarios. These features can be found in the Report generation solutions provided in Number 1. Now, the work on this particular item has already started, and we have been working on the infrastructure to enable this capability. This is a complex problem, with a lot of different requirements and this is expected to be delivered in 2020.
Export to Excel– We don’t currently have any plans to support this as a further capability. PowerBI Paginated Reports have this as a capability. In canvas apps, you can connect and write to excel today through a connector to write to the templates needed. Additionally, most data sources themselves (CDS, SharePoint and others) have the capability to export data to excel.
Generate Barcodes & print bar codes– This ask is covered by number 1.
Printing direct to a printer– This is something that users will still have to configure for themselves utilizing existing device and browser capabilities and defaults. However, the first parts of this ask involving getting a prinatable output should be covered in 1&2.
To sum up: PowerBI Reporting Services and Paginated Reports is to become more integrated with PowerApps. Canvas Apps export to PDF is a separate capability to arrive in 2020.
As always, your feedback is appreciated. This is a top ask in our community and it is being taken seriously.