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Offline mode

Provide some sort of cache to allow offline input and let it sync afterwards

 

Kris Buntinx shared this idea  ·                      

 

Status: Planned

First off let us acknowledge how important this feature is to mobile scenarios.  "Always connected" is simply not a workable assumption for mobile scenarios which range from field workers in remote locations to sales agents in spotty wifi places in a city or building.  And while we did release, in 2016, a set of features that allow PowerApps customers to fashion an "offline" story programmatically, it was not the "off the shelf", no code, low code kind of experience you should expect in PowerApps.  In order to build this we need good support and interaction from a back-end.  We have, currently in progress, foundational work in CDS to enable this feature.  Once that capability is enabled, we will enable features in PowerApps to take advantage of it.  While there is work in progress on CDS, I do not want to mark this as "Started" until we have started the work on the PowerApps side and we can talk more concretely about a timeline.  So, for now it will be marked as "Planned".  But do understand that we plan to enable this and that we're taking the foundational steps to make it great. 

Comments
Level 10

Oil and Gas example. Field workers need to perform inspections in the field and many sites do not have wireless or cellular connectivity.

Level 10

Mining example: When a safety incident occurs at one of our mines, an individual must visit the location and capture a variety of details there and then, including photographs. Mines are in remote areas and many incidents are underground, so this often needs to be done without connectivity.

This is a great use case for a PowerApp.

Level 10

Excellent suggestion! In manufacturing applications this could be critical. Manufacturing cannot stop because of a problem with data entry (Internet outage). Also, wireless may be a problem in some areas of a plant, yet tablet entry would be very advantageous.

Level 10

Definitely need ability to load powerapps and run application offline - trying to walk to top of a hill to capture data to hopefully get a data connection makes this app only possible to be used in cities.. by all means make initial connection to replicate on hard drive - makes speeds better (one basic powerapp with 5 records in a remote location with poor internet took.... 10 minutes to load) - useless.

Level 10

In Australia, we manage infrastructure all over NSW - not everywhere is "permanently" connected and it will be 10 years before somebody bothers with remote country areas. Paper based solutions are used because of the high cost of rolling out microapps to collect data. Collecting data in the field with an offline app is the only alternative.

Level 10

We would like to capture data for surveys and quality scorecards. Our users most be able to build these forms without or with the least amount of IT Support. PowerApps and SharePoint Online would be a suited combination for this.
I work at a hospital. The ability to capture the data and photos with mobile devices is a requirment. But there are a lot of places in the hospital where there's no mobile or wifi connection. Because it's impractical at the moment, but sometimes a wireless connection is even not allowed.
So the ability to cache these forms, allowing them to capture the data when there's no connection would be indispensable.

Level 10

Yes. In most developing countries, Mobile, though common, but the 3G / LTE connection signal is not as stable / strong / consistent as of USA / Europe / Japan, etc. I am working towards countries, apart from my homeland Malaysia, Cambodia! Reason: Infrastructure to build Landline is expensive, but 3G/LTE through Mobile is fast. Hence, this shall be strong reason behind. I fully support and request for this features.
One comparison: I prefer Google Drive and DropBox Sync behind the scene comparing to OneDrive which always sync immediately and make my Office Collapsed.

Anonymous
Not applicable

I definitely concur with the need for offline capabilities in manufacturing plant environments. In many cases it is not practical or feasible to blanket every square foot with wifi coverage. We're planning to develop and use a simple PowerApp to capture and share safety-related observations from the shop floor. To ensure a positive user experience and strong adoption we need to remove every potential barrier for our end users. Searching for a spot on the shop floor with wifi, or even worse, heading back to an office area with wifi just to submit a report would be a huge barrier.  Offline capability will eliminate this barrier for our teams.

Level: Power Up

The amount of scenarios that require an offline mode is growing, as Mobile apps are being used more and more for capturing data in the field. 

 

I recommend that Microsoft use a mobile database (Realm mobile database?) to store data offline, then allow for the syncing of that data when an internet connection is available. Until that happens, I imagine the majority of your constituents will go with a third party solution that is outside of the Microsoft stack. 

 

I am a software engineer, and honestly can not recommend our institution to use PowerApp until this feature is implemented. Until then, I guess we will have to roll our own solution (React Native + Realm + OAuth into Office 365). 

Level: Powered On
This is VITAL, since your connectors to clouds are more than annoyingly slow!