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June 2019 updates for Microsoft PowerApps

With the Microsoft Business Applications Summit just finishing, it is little surprise June was an incredibly busy month for the PowerApps team.  Even if you weren’t at the Summit all of the content is available for your viewing pleasure at: https://aka.ms/mbasonline

In June the PowerApps team released over 16 new features and enhancements for making your application creation experience even more productive and fun.

If you don’t want to wait for this blog post you can always can view a roll up of the upcoming features here: https://aka.ms/businessappsreleasenotes and more fine grained PowerApps weekly release information here: https://aka.ms/PAWeeklyReleaseNotes 

AI Builder for Power Platform

AI Builder is our low code artificial intelligence platform that supports the Power Platform. It will be available for consumption on data that already exists in the Common Data Service (CDS), the enterprise-grade datastore included in the Power Platform. AI Builder is the platform for providing a low-code user experience for every developer to create and customize their PowerApps and Flows.


PowerApps Portals: powerful low-code websites for external users

PowerApps Portals enables PowerApps makers the ability to build low-code, responsive websites which allow external users to interact with the data stored in the Common Data Service.


General availability of embedded canvas apps in model-driven forms

Makers can now extend the power of WYSIWYG, low-code customization, offered by canvas apps, to model-driven forms. Using embedded canvas apps makers can easily design and create rich visual areas on model-driven forms. They can also connect and display data from over 200+ data sources in embedded canvas apps right next to data from the Common Data Service. The embedded canvas apps also provide rich data integration capabilities to bring in contextual data from the host model-driven form to the embedded canvas app unlocking a variety of scenarios.


Automatically validate your solutions using the PowerApps checker PowerShell Module

Using this PowerShell module, you can directly check your solutions from your pipelines and receive the a detailed report of issues similar to what was made available to you from the PowerApps maker portal. Alternatively, you can also allow your teams validate their solutions locally by using the interactive login mode to access the checker service.


(running a check using the interactive login mode)

PowerApps that brings Common Data Service into Outlook

App for Outlook, a model-driven app that extends Common Data Service experiences to Outlook. PowerApps is the platform for rapidly building apps and automating business processes. For users to be most productive with these apps, what also matters is the context in which users discover them. With Outlook the place where important customer interactions start and live, PowerApps Plan 2 users can now contextually extend interactions in Outlook with PowerApps.


A PowerApps Center of Excellence Starter Kit

The Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit is a collection of templatized best practices, that are designed to help organizations get started with tools needed to set up a CoE. Today the starter kit focused specifically on the Administration and Governance function of the CoE, but we do plan to grow it over time to be more encompassing of all the CoE functions listed above.


React and Office UI Fabric React now available for PowerApps component framework public preview

This release enables PowerApps component framework developers the ability to use React to build their components. This is a big step in allowing 3rd party developers to use components that they have already built for other applications with just a few changes needed to get those components hosted by and communicating with the framework. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to create a framework component that uses React and Office UI Fabric.

(Find out more on the PowerApps component framework forum)

Improved data table control with column formulas

The new data table control is being released as an experimental option which inserts the new control type instead of the previous type when turned on.  Turning on the option will not affect existing data table controls and turning off the option will not remove the new data table controls.  This allows trying the new control with an existing app that contains the previous data table.


EasyRepro automated testing framework

EasyRepro is an automated UI testing framework built specifically for testing your Dynamics 365 or Model-Driven implementations. Our Wiki documentation on GitHub contains information on how to quickly Get set-up and started on writing your tests using the framework.


Northwind Traders relational data sample

This sample is now available for everyone to download and use.  The instructions for building the canvas app from scratch are also included in our documentation, the same articles we used in the workshop here in Atlanta.


On-premises data gateway June 2019 update

This month’s On-premises data gateway update highlights:

  • Performance Profile based on gateway CPU
  • Others
  • Port test Issue resolution
  • HTTPS by default
  • Gateway usage and Performance monitoring template update

Power Query updated to access custom entities and actions in the Common Data Service

Now connect Excel, Power BI and any other Power Query enabled application to connect to any entity data or action in the Common Data Service.

JSON for canvas apps

The JSON function returns the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) representation of a data structure as text so that it’s suitable for storing or transmitting across a network. ECMA-404 and IETF RFC 8259 describe the format, which is widely used by JavaScript and other programming languages.


New data source selection and Common Data Service views

With this new experience is an improved data access to Common Data Service and will soon include all of the recent connection improvements.  To streamline use of Common Data Service, the data source selection includes a list of suggested entities.  The ability to use entity views as a filter allows more advanced queries to be used without delegation limits.


New Common Data Service entity creation UI

When creating a new entity, you can now provide the desired entity name and display name along with any optional details (such as the primary field, an entity description, etc) in the new entity callout, and your entity will be provisioned in the background. While this is happening, the UI will remain unblocked for you to make any additional customizations that you may need. Feel free to add fields, key, and relationships, or edit some of the entity details. Just remember to save your latest changes once you are done!


For upcoming features be sure and check out the release notes: https://aka.ms/businessappsreleasenotes