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Building Offline PowerApps

Introduction
This blog focuses on the on offline capability of PowerApps. Here you'll see the key features you need to add to your PowerApp in order to take input when there is no internet connection available and automatically upload it to your data connection. This written blog explains the features and the formulas/expressions used. The video deep-dives in the entire process. A copy of this app is attached to this blog.
 
Description
Following are the three key features that makes the offline features of PowerApps success.
 1. Online or offline connection by using the Connection signal object.
 2. Using SaveData and LoadData for basic data storage while offline.
 3. Collections to store data temporarily
 
Scenario
This mobile app is used to store a contact information of the user in Azure SQL database. The user should be able to simply enter the data and close the app.
 
Key features

SQL table columns
Here is a screenshot of the columns used in the SQL table and the column types. If you plan copying and pasting the below formulas then match the column names and types. Attached a text file that has the SQL query you can run to create the table. Instead of SQL you use a SharePoint list as well, however, the column names and types will change.
 
Capture.JPG
 
Formulas
This section covers the important formulas you will need for the app to work.
 
HomeScreen OnStart
Screenshot
 
Capture2.JPG

Text
 
LoadData(TempCollect,"temporary",true);
If(!IsEmpty(TempCollect.ColFullName),
    "If the connection returns and there are records to be written, then perform these actions:";
    ForAll(TempCollect,
            "For each of the records in the temporary collection, save their data to a new row in the connected datasource.
        If writing was successful, copy it to 'success' to identify it.";
        Collect(Success,
            {id: Colid,
                Record:                    
Patch('[dbo].[OfflineOnlineTest]',Defaults('[dbo].[OfflineOnlineTest]'),
{
FullName:ColFullName,Street:ColStatus,City:ColCity,State:ColState,Status:"Online",Notes:ColNotes
}
                    )
            }
        )
    )
);
If(IsEmpty(Errors('[dbo].[OfflineOnlineTest]')),Clear(TempCollect));SaveData(TempCollect,"temporary")

AddScreen OnSelect for yes button
Screenshot
 
Capture3.JPG
 
Text
If(Connection.Connected,
Patch('[dbo].[OfflineOnlineTest]',Defaults('[dbo].[OfflineOnlineTest]'),{
FullName:FullNameTxt.Text,StreetSmiley FrustratedtreetTxt.Text,City:CityTxt.Text,StateSmiley FrustratedtateTxt.Text,Status:"Online",Notes:NotesTxt.Text
}),
Collect(TempCollect,{
Colid: Max(TempCollect,Colid)+1,
ColFullName:FullNameTxt.Text,ColStreetSmiley FrustratedtreetTxt.Text,ColCity:CityTxt.Text,ColStateSmiley FrustratedtateTxt.Text,ColStatus:"Offline",ColNotes:NotesTxt.Text
}
);
SaveData(TempCollect,"temporary")
);
Reset(FullNameTxt);Reset(StreetTxt);Reset(CityTxt);Reset(StateTxt);Reset(NotesTxt);Set(SubmitVar,false);
Navigate(HomeScreen,ScreenTransition.Cover)
 
Video
 
 

Conclusion

The attached zipped file has a copy of the MSAPP file and the SQL query you can use. It is important to note that the cached data will be lost every time an updated app is published. Also the size of the PowerApps app on your mobile device will increase as more cached data is stored.
 
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