Using PowerApps - Authoring Made Simple And Powerful

I am glad to bring you up to date with the latest change in the PowerApps Studio, in the latest version (2.0.660). The enhanced capabilities are shown and discussed in this article. PowerApps Studio had changes in the Properties Panel, Viewing data with the edit form, global variables, and the reset function.

PowerApps Studio | Properties Panel

What brings the thrill is the addition of Properties Panel is the right canvas of the PowerApps Studio. The properties panel will be the one exposing common properties that will be making the understanding with the functionality of the control much easier. Configuration of that control will be much easier, it is totally visual instead of code.

PowerApps Studio

The panel consists of the following capabilities,

  1. Categorized properties are available for color, border, positioning of controls.
  2. For forms and galleries the data panel is there so that successful configurations of data sources are done.
  3. Color scheming was done via R B G values, but now the color picker is there for it to remember R B G values.
  4. Now you can view the formula in formula bar by just clicking on the property name in the panel.
  5. Some of the complex functionalities are locked in the properties panel to prevent overwriting of them with the static values.

Thus, this is how the properties panel is being updated. I would love to know your feedback on it. So, the updates will be proving that PowerApps studio has become more simplified.

PowerApps Studio | Viewing Data With Edit Form

Data, is the most important part of Apps especially the business solutions apps. Apps created by data have three screens

  1. Gallery Control: This shows the list of all the records.
  2. Display Form Display: This displays the selected record view.
  3. Edit Form Control: This is used to edit the records.

So what's new is that the same functionality goes with 2 screens. How? What if the Edit Form Control could be configured in a mode screen, functioned as Display Form Control? You just have to author your page/form once. So now the edit form has an extra mode that is known as View. View Form Functions make you enter in that view. You can also default to this mode by setting the Default Mode property on the control.

In order to increase the functionality, reusability of the app controls for the input/edit and displays tasks, all controls now have a Display Mode. That property supports the value for Edit, View or Disabled. User input, to display, or disable is allowed via configuration of the control. In the View mode, the value of will be displayed and will not be allowed to be rendered, in the input control, date picker etc. This makes them suitable to be displayed in forms or readable output.

PowerApps Studio

Stepping ahead, each card now has a Display Mode property too with the same values. Talking about default attributes and values each card input card has the value of DisplayMode = Parent.DisplayMode . Setting one level more up the edit form has also has the DisplayMode property, default card value remains the same DisplayMode = Parent.DisplayMode. Now you can break the default dependency chain as you like.

So, a bird's eye view,

  1. Set the Edit form Mode with the DefaultMode property and EditForm, NewForm, and ViewForm functions.
  2. The Edit form’s DisplayMode property will be set accordingly automatically.
  3. By default, the card derives from the Edit form’s DisplayMode with Card.DisplayMode = Parent.DisplayMode. You can modify this dependency anytime you like.
  4. By default, the input controls within a card derive from the Card’s DisplayMode with Control.DisplayMode = Parent.DisplayMode. You can modify this dependency anytime you like.

PowerApps Studio | Global Variables

Until now, in PowerApps working with variables has been tough, now it's much easier getting into the new Set function i.e. Set(DataLime, 1). anywhere the PowerApp you are working at use DataLime it is that simple. The value might be of any type i.e. number, text string, date, boolean, record, a table, or an object.

Within the product, maintaining the same position Context variables and collections are there on their own places. Screen variables are highly dependant on the context variables hence they are highly useful and they are aimed to pass the values by the use of the Navigate function, whereas the collections can be saved and loaded from the local device with Save Data and Load Data. Global variables are listed in the file menu.

PowerApps Studio | Reset Function

Reset, as the name specifies, will be about getting back defaults. So this function will reset the values to the values of control that were pre-modification by the user.

For example, say you are having the text input control named Full Name that is having the default property of "Shag", the end user comes in and types Shaggy instead, later he wants to go back to the original value. You offered the cancel button to him, but in actuality the behind the scenes formula is Reset(FullName) that makes it to go back to the original value.