cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Printing

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.

 

Anonymous shared this idea  ·                      

Status: Started

An update on progress here:

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.

  1. 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 Reports are 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Generate Barcodes & print bar codes – This ask is covered by number 1.
  5. 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.

Comments
Level 10

Power BI?  That is not even an operational program.  I think that is a misdirect as it is just a reporting program.  Printing in PowerApps is an essential need if it is keep its current momentum in popularirty. 

Level: Powered On

First of all, PowerBI being "much further down the line on printing" as a reason for PowerApps not having printing functionality being actively worked on is an excuse, and a lame one at that.  It is inexcusable to me that this request is years old and MS has done nothing about it.   I'll be honest - as a SharePoint developer, I find PowerApps lacking compared to other alternatives.  Sure, it does have some cool capabilities and some strengths, but leaving out obvious features (like printing) boggles my mind and there is no excuse.

 

I went to a PowerApps partner program a few months ago and pressed the MS representatives on printing.  At first, they claimed printing was possible and when I pressed them on it, they backed off and admitted it wasn't.  I have a clumsy workaround for my client, but they're not happy and neither am I.

 

Regarding the ability to "print" to PDF, I'd love to hear more about this solution but my understanding is that you have to have use flow, possibly a paid connector (could be wrong there),  and it isn't super straightforward.  How are you preserving the look of your PowerApp form?  I really don't want to have to mock up the form in a Word doc with the data fields in place and "print" that to PDF - that's a lot of additional effort (which clients are forced to pay for, I might add) when MS should just fulfill the request.

PowerApps Staff
Status changed to: Started

An update on progress here:

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.

  1. 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 Reports are 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Generate Barcodes & print bar codes – This ask is covered by number 1.
  5. 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.

CNT
Level: Powered On

Hi @emmac 

Nice to hear some positive news on this imortant feature that has been overdue for long.

1. In Point 1 you say "People using CDS are leveraging the CDS reporting capabilities available to them (backed by SSRS)." Could you please tell me how to use Report Builder to connect to CDS  to generate paginated Reports as I can't figure that out.

2. You say, "To sum up: PowerBI Reporting Services and Paginated Reports is to become more integrated with PowerApps." It is good news that the Power platform is getting more integrated. But, Powerbi needs Premium capacity to run Paginated Reports. It is way toooooo expensive for non-profits like ourselves. Is there going to be a different pricing model?

3. You say, "Canvas Apps export to PDF is a separate capability to arrive in 2020." Can you give us a more clearer and specific timeline for this and all the other planned items so that we too can plan our roadmap and timescales.

Thanks

Level 10

I think the key issue with printing is also recognising it should be concidered an obsolete requirement.  I already go places where I am asked to get a receipt by SMS rather than by printing. Greate concept and great for keeping records.  I think we should assume that one day paper will be a redundant industry. (if it is not then technology is failing)

 

I already build a view in HTML and send by email.  I already use the Flow Word template which is good.  The Flow PDF builder in one drive is less than satisfactory at the moment as page sizing and orientaion is not simple.  To be able to build a view in by html (a print screen method)  and send by SMS would be great

CNT
Level: Powered On

@emmacAny further updates? timeframe? preview release?

Level: Powered On

Hi

 

I have with regret suspended all powerapps developement and deployment due to the glaring ommision of the ability to easily print.

 

I have been using SQL and outputing via HTML using DBmail and then having a mailbox monitored using an auto outlook third party "plugin" to print emails received to that address- but it is conveluted.

 

This allied to that a "set focus" feature is not available to a powerapp's enitity have made Powerapps not a current option to our organisation.

 

 

 

 

Level: Powered On

I've seen several folks say "printing is an obsolete requirement."  I don't necessarily disagree, but at the end of the day, it isn't relevant - clients require printing and this is a basic feature which should've been implemented.    When you're a consultant and a client says "printing is a requirement," you don't have the luxury of saying "No, that's obsolete."  I mean, you can try to say that, but the  client will say "I don't care - we want it."  What then?  Additional work to cobble together some sort of printing solution means additional hours, which adds to the cost and complexity of a project.

 

Even for SharePoint list forms using PowerApps, you can't simply do a browser print - it doesn't print correctly.  Clients could easily take a screenshot and print it, but they complain about that too.   MS said years ago this was on the roadmap so where the heck is it?

Level: Powered On

@blanghorst I completely agree.

 

Yes its 2019 and we're building paperless systems, but there is always a case for such a simple operation.

 

If legal requires that all data entered into an application be printed and stored off site for discovery purposes, then powerapps is useless to us. This happens a lot in my industry. 

KJH
Level: Powered On

Thank you for implementing this. This will be so helpful for our users.