Overview of Canvas Apps, Model-Driven Apps & Portals
Building your First Canvas App
Building Your First Model-Driven App
Building your First Portal App
Other Power Apps Components
Microsoft Power Apps is a low-code/no-code solution that allows professional developers and non-IT professionals to create powerful applications much faster than with regularly developed applications. In this course, we will look at the core capabilities of Power Apps and how they help businesses automate and enhance repetitive, mundane, and time-consuming tasks.
We will cover canvas apps, model-driven apps, and portals, as well as their use cases and the differences between them. We'll also walk you through how to build each one. Finally, we'll take a look at the Power Apps Component Framework and how this allows developers to add even more functionality to standard Power Apps.
- Get a foundational understanding of canvas apps, model-driven apps, and portals, including their use cases and features
- Use data sources, controls, and formulas to build, share, and publish your own canvas apps
- Plan, build, share, and publish model-driven apps
- Create and customize your own portal and monitor user behavior on your portal
- Learn about the Power Apps Framework and how it can enhance the user experience of your apps
This course is intended for both IT professionals and non-technical professionals looking to automate and enhance business processes for mobile and desktop users.
There are no prerequisites for this course but any computer coding knowledge and even basic Excel knowledge would be beneficial when learning about Power Apps.
In this lecture, we'll cover some basic controls and concepts we can implement to design a great user experience. The first control is actually a concept. Similar to PowerPoint, there are different themes that can be applied to Canvas applications, as you might recall. When designing a great user experience, you can easily standardize your colors by using themes so that the controls you're using have very similar default colors. This provides more of a professional feel to your apps.
The second one we will cover is adding a header to our application. Headers help users know where they are in the app, and typically provide a way for app users to navigate to other screens, or view other relevant information, such as the currently signed in user, the time, or other information. To do this, we'll add a label. We'll make this label quite large and make sure that it covers the entire width of the app. We'll make the font color and background colors different, so that they stand out more. And we'll say Home, so that the app user knows this is the home screen. We could, of course, add other things to this header control, but since this is an introductory course, we'll just stop here.
Icons are the next control that we will cover. As I mentioned before, Microsoft has provided a huge list of available icons that can be used inside of the application. Adding icons might seem like they might not add a lot of value, but think about all the apps that you use on your phone and what icons do. Icons allow users to more clearly tell what the application will do and can even save space since they sometimes can take the place of text. For example, instead of having a button that says back to take us to a previous screen, we could simply use a back arrow icon to save some application space and make the application feel a little more professional and user-friendly. We could keep talking about icons for a while, but I'm sure you now understand how they can be very useful and help provide a great user experience.
Lastly, here are some quick tips that will help you design a great user experience:
- Keep overall design standardized. If the save buttons are green, orange and purple, that might cause some confusion and will probably not look that great.
- Make similar buttons the same color.
- Include company logo. Simple to do and it makes the app feel more official.
- Make sure font sizes are readable. It's easy to tell if the font is too big or small on your desktop, but be sure to test your app on your mobile phone to make sure the fonts are easy to read.
- Align controls. This is, of course, a no-brainer, but can be often overlooked.
- Add validation. If there's a field that is required or needs to have data entered a certain way, be sure to add validation. This both enhances the user experience as they feel confident that what they're inputting is correct.
- Add success messages. The notify function allows simple success, error, warning, and informational notification types to be easily displayed. These can help the user be informed on if their data was saved successfully, or if an error occurred.
In the next lecture, we'll be identifying use cases for formulas.
Ben is a Power Apps and Power Automate Specialist for Sovereign SP and has been using Power Apps, Power Automate, and SharePoint since 2017. Since then, he has built 100+ solutions using these amazing Microsoft tools. He loves helping others realize what technology can do and how it helps automate and enhance business processes. Most of all, though, he loves how these tools help make people’s jobs easier. The phrase, “This will make things so much easier!” is why he's in the IT business.
Ben Fetters lives in South Ogden, Utah, with his amazing wife and brand-new baby girl. A Weber State University Business Administration graduate, he loves to create businesses and help current businesses improve.