Microsoft Dataverse for Teams (1 Viewer)

zeroaccess

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Using Power Apps hosted by Dataverse and used within a Teams environment, it appears to me that this is the solution Microsoft intends for organizations to develop internal business apps quickly going forward. In that sense, it occupies the same space as Access, but it goes further in that they can be responsive for PC or mobile use. Used in combination with the other Power platform apps for business intelligence and automation, this is the new RAD offering that is getting Microsoft's full development attention. And, if you outgrow the 1 million record or 2 GB limits, MS offers paths to upscale your back-end to something like Azure without having to re-develop your app. In that sense they have you covered from end-to-end.

To use it, you need a Microsoft 365 Business Standard license and the fee is per user per month. Taken together with the team collaboration offered by Teams it would be great for small teams or organizations that can afford the licensing for larger numbers of users.

I've been doing quite a bit of research on this and it seems interesting. What are your thoughts?
 

zeroaccess

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One reservation I have is that if something ever happens to my license, I can't use my app outside the service like I can with Access runtime. In that sense it is truly SaaS (Software as a Service).
 
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NauticalGent

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You seem to be intrigued. Please keep us informed as this may be the way forward. Part of me hopes this goes the way of SharePoint but you never know...
 

zeroaccess

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The programming language used in Power Apps has been dubbed Power Fx:

From Microsoft:

Power Fx is exciting for three key reasons:
  1. Power Fx is open source. The future of programming is open. Microsoft has embraced the pace of open innovation that has accelerated the adoption of languages like C# and Typescript. With Power Fx, we’re now bringing that same open approach to the low code world. Microsoft will open-source Power Fx, making the language available for open contribution by the broader community on GitHub.
  2. Power Fx is based on Microsoft Excel. Using formulas that are already familiar to hundreds of millions of users, Power Fx allows a broad range of people to bring skills they already know to low code solutions. Power Fx becomes a common ground for business users and professional developers alike to express logic and solve problems.
  3. Power Fx is built for low code. Power Fx is already the foundation of the Microsoft Power Apps canvas. We’ll soon extend its use across Power Platform to Microsoft Dataverse, Microsoft Power Automate, Microsoft Power Virtual Agents, and beyond, making it even easier for everyone to get started with low code tools.

The founding team’s original aspiration was to craft a language that achieved three things:

  1. Already familiar to the many millions of Excel users
  2. Content-centric, not program-centric, generalizing not just numbers but all information with friendly naming conventions
  3. Instantly calculated, recompiling in real time as edits are made, just like a spreadsheet, instead of requiring multiple steps to compile and publish.
 
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Isaac

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I am in full gear now, learning to develop PowerApps. I may post random questions and frustrations along the way. I was excited today to learn that I can still use variables, although Microsoft reminds me not to use them unless I really need to. In PowerApps, the simplest (and probably the only one I would start with) is global variables.

I also found out a few interesting, annoying, and helpful things today.

1. My permission level in our PowerApps environment is not going to enable me to create Dataverse tables. They are just not going to go that route, the organization is too large and Microsoft has decided that you either have zero or one Dataverse database container. So I guess I understand that decision (On my institution's part).

2. SQL as a backend will be coming in the future for general powerapps use. Can't wait! But I have no idea if they'll set up a single connector for the entire organization, or actually give us access to the sql tables too!

3. Right now our only option is Sharepoint online as a back end.
 

zeroaccess

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Using SQL Server as a back end requires more than the standard MS 365 Business license. Your options are:

Per app plan​

(Run one app per user)
$10 per user/app/month
Best for businesses that want to license each user to run one app at a time, with the flexibility to stack licenses for each additional app.

or

Per user plan​

(Run unlimited apps per user)
$40 per user/month
Best for businesses that want one license for each user, regardless of the number of apps they need to run.


With the MS 365 Business Standard license, the SQL Server connector is disabled.
 

zeroaccess

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3. Right now our only option is Sharepoint online as a back end.
That significantly affects your options. Why won't they let you use the relational database?
 
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Isaac

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I think they're still figuring out just what their environment is going to look like. Things may change in the future. This is one of the largest financial organizations in the world, so governance processes take time.

Eventually, I'd love to use SQL as a backend, which the powers that be (here) tell me will eventually happen too.
 

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