Understanding Model-Driven Applications
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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.

Learning Objectives

  • 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

Intended Audience

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.


Model-driven apps are less customizable, require even less code than Canvas apps and are more component-focused. As the name suggests, app makers essentially have a "model" of what the app will look like and feel like and will only have control over the various views and components added to the application. The layout and overall "feel" of the app is essentially already built for you.

While with Canvas applications there are many data sources to choose from, Model-driven applications are only connected to Dataverse data. As you already know, these applications are less customizable than Canvas applications. They are focused on modeling business data, defining business processes, and composing the application. Let's take a look into each of these a little deeper.

Modeling business data means designing the architecture of the data structure the app will be looking at. Meaning, what data will be used and how does that data relate to other data? Defining business processes is a key feature of Model-driven apps. These business processes can be very simple or extremely complex. But, however complicated the process, the main idea is that the user is guided through, step by step, so the process can be more automated, consistent, and standardized.

Composing the application. The composition of the application could be broken down into three sections: UI, Logic, and Visualizations. Let's first look at UI. UI includes the Site Map, Forms and Views that we can add to the application. Logic means the business process flows that we can set up, workflows, other actions and business rules. Visualizations include charts, dashboards and Power BI, which Power BI tiles can be embedded into the application.

For advanced Model-driven application making, the "Solution Explorer" allows you to manage all of the app components in a hierarchy or tree view. And that's it for this lecture. In the next lecture we'll talk about exploring the possibilities and use cases for Model-driven applications.

About the Author

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.