You’ve heard the old saying: if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem or challenge is a nail. This is true of PowerApps. Now, we’re not calling it a hammer. Nor are we denigrating hammers! They’re useful and versatile. What we’re saying is that while it can (and should!) be used for many tasks, it is not always the best tool for the job. Knowing when to use PowerApps – and when not to – is essential for optimal results.
When To Use PowerApps
PowerApps allows you to build customized apps for your business; where it shines is in connecting your data and work processes across mobile and web platforms. Optimal times to use PowerApps include:
- When you need to pull multiple data sources into one cohesive app. Hopping from one platform to another to enter data, find data, share data, etc., is time-consuming. Not to mention frustrating and tedious! PowerApps gives your team access to business data from 200+ sources (e.g. Outlook, SharePoint, Dropbox, Salesforce, PowerPoint, Twitter, etc.). Access, share, and use data wherever, whenever.
- When staff productivity – and engagement – are a key goal. Let’s face it: enhancing productivity and engagement is always on the minds of business owners. You can easily create apps that allow you to streamline specific functions and meet targeted needs. You free your people to do the work that drives them – and that drives your business forward.
- When you want to create a winning user interface and experience. Again, this is, or should be, on the minds of all business owners. Your customers and clients are your lifeblood, and you need to serve up an experience that is easy, convenient, and engaging. PowerApps makes it easy to build out the UI and UX you need.
- When you’re focusing on security and compliance. You will have 100% control via PowerApps admin center. You can view your apps and establish data policies, permissions, and user control options with ease.
- When you need a low code solution. Sometimes, you just need to get an app out there. One of the most attractive features of PowerApps is that you don’t need to be a developer (but it does help… more on that in a moment).
Sounds like a great solution! And it is, in many cases.
When Not to Use PowerApps
As useful as a hammer is, sometimes you need a screwdriver, wrench, or saw. When should you opt for a different solution to your app needs?
- When you got a lot of stuff. If you have more than 2000 items that you want the app to display, things get tricky with PowerApps. Is it possible? Yeah, sure. Is it more difficult and limiting? Hard yes. When you’re dealing with larger data sets, there’s a better way. We’ll help you find it.
- When you’re asking it to handle long forms. PowerApps can handle a lot, but if you have more than 50, give or take, questions, it can be difficult to maneuver and get the functionality and ease you need.
- When you need more than five screens. Maintaining consistent navigation, alignment, usability, and style across multiple screens is critical – and it can be quite challenging with PowerApps.
- When you expect advanced logic. If you have complex forms, it is difficult to maintain them with PowerApps. Often, as soon as you fix one issue, you inadvertently cause another. Whack-a-mole, anyone? Search, navigation, and editing can be a hassle. (Of course, if you have simple forms, PowerApps is a beast.)
We love PowerApps. It’s an innovative tool that makes app development more accessible. But it’s only one tool among many. The key is to find those that work for you. We want to make life, and business, easier, after all. If you have a great app idea or if you’re struggling to maximize functionality of your business apps, contact MVP.dev. We’ve got you.