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PowerApps Newest Feature Releases Address Top User Requests!

We are happy to announce a suite of new features which come directly from your ideas and suggestions regarding a more intuitive app design/build experience! Please join us in evangelizing the following six (6) top feature releases this month (see additional notes on our "What's New" page!)

1. The New Screen Explorer Tree View

This feature was one that I personally was addicted to immediately! So, I am sure you're going to appreciate this new studio experience. The new Screen Explorer Tree View is an visual list of controls built into the left panel (which used to be just for screens). At the top level are the screens, and each screen expands to display the list of controls for that screen, enabling you to visualize, and to select controls, in an object-oriented and hierarchical manner. Hold on, there's more: the Tree View is not just for object visualization and selection, there are many helpful actions you can do from it as well, such as copy and paste, reordering, and/or deletions and renames of any screen or control. This will be especially helpful for previously hard to select controls that were hiding behind something else, or hidden due to the 'Visible' property setting)! 

Check out this interactive demo!

Tree View Controls Toggled with Screen

Key Advantages

  • Optimizes the left panel and doesn't take away from your work area as you design apps
  • Reduces time spent locating and selecting objects
  • Makes it more intuitive to select controls that may be several layers deep on the screen, or even invisible to the app designer
  • Enables intuitive copy, paste, and renaming of existing objects
  • Encourages best practices in object naming for searchable patterns (i.e. just type "EditForm" in the search area to instantly find all the edit forms anywhere in the app)
  • Facilities knowledge transfer from one app designer to the next!

Get started using this feature today, or learn more about navigating controls and screens here.

 

2. The Multi-Column Form Control

Welcome to the second dimension! The Edit and Display form controls now support more than one column. You can now easily create great looking and efficient forms for tablets and the web. A picture is worth a thousand words, so check out this sample form built in a snap with the new multi-column form control:

Key Advantages

  • Now you can easily create great looking and space efficient forms for all devices
  • Enhances design and layout options for forms with improved readability and form-filler business logic

Find everything you need to get started using the Multi-Column form layout here.

 

3. Co-Authoring Notifications to Prevent Unintentional Overwrites

In the past, it was possible for app makers who share ‘edit’ rights to be able to overwrite the changes of others unintentionally. We have prevented this now with the new co-authoring notifications. With this release, app editors will be notified when the app is being revised, and will not be permitted to make additional changes until the app has been saved and closed. This is just one step forward towards our longer-term roadmap goals for complete application lifecycle management where co-authoring will be further enhanced. Stand by for more on ALM coming soon!

 

Key Advantages

  • All editors can clearly see when apps are being edited, and there is no longer the possibility of unintentional overwrites 
  • The notification dialog includes the full email address of the person responsible for existing locks (enabling unlocks to be expedited off-line)
  • Session expiry limitations prevent long-term lock outs due to app abandonment. PowerApps will automatically unlock the app for edits after 2 hours of inactivity.

Read more about saving apps and co-authoring features here

 

4. Enhanced Date Formatting

Having heard your feedback on formatting dates, please note the following enhancements:

  • You may now format dates in the Date picker control to be displayed and input in the desired format. Example: Setting the Format property to “yy-mm-dd” would display the date as: “17-12-31"
  • You may also choose the language in which the dates are shown, or have it default to the end user device language setting

Learn more about formatting the Date Picker control here.

 

5. Converting to and from UTC Format

Do you work with data sources that store date/time values in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)? Now you can easily convert local time to/from UTC time using the new TimeZoneOffset function and the new ability for DateAdd to work with smaller units such as minutes.

Key Advantages

  • Now you can convert between UTC and Local time.  Many systems store date/time values in UTC.
  • DateAdd and DateDiff now support hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds.

For more information, see the DateAdd, DateDiff, and TimeZoneOffset documentation.

 

6. Brand New Kiosk Service Plan for Retail (also known as the "K1" plan)

The Office 365 Enterprise K1 Plan ( for Kiosks) is focused for frontline workers. Now organizations will be able to publish business apps out to kiosk-like work stations where hundreds of frontline workers may play them in support of retail store operations and productivity. This results in a simplified licensing model for large retail scenarios using PowerApps.

Learn more about how to use PowerApps under the Office 365 Enterprise K1 plan here.

 

We thank you for your ongoing feedback and support as we continue to enhance your experience using PowerApps and Flow! 

Respectfully,

The PowerApps Product Team