PowerApps is helping us think about mobile user experiences that weren't available to us until Office 365 forced our hand
March 20, 2019

PowerApps is helping us think about mobile user experiences that weren't available to us until Office 365 forced our hand

Chris Carpenter | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with PowerApps

Our company and parent company are in the piloting the use of PowerApps in the midst of a move from on-prem SharePoint to SharePoint Online and Office365. We are using PowerApps to bridge the gap left by Nintex (that we are no longer using in O365) and the sunsetting of Microsoft InfoPath. It has been made available for pilot and soft-adoption across all operating companies from a centrally governed parent company's MS master agreement. Use at each operating company can differ slightly and support for the tool is mostly a shared burden between parent company IT and operating company IT. The business problem that it addresses for us is the management of data entry points in the mobile space for SharePoint. It allows us to collect metadata for Lists and Libraries in a mobile environment and to design some forms for online client use as well. It is primarily mobile consumption, though.
  • Because PowerApps is tied to the Office365 environment, it does a very good job at talking to source information in SharePoint. For those considering PowerApps, there is something to be said for the seamless handshakes that Microsoft authors between their own tools.
  • If you are wanting to parse down the fields requested (again, in relation to SharePoint) and get away from messing with content types or default forms behind the curtain in SharePoint, PowerApps is a good buffer to selecting exactly what you want to capture and nothing that you don't (that isn't required).
  • While still in its early deployment, PowerApps does have good flexibility because of the coding opportunities in the tool. Coding can be a barrier of entry, but it balances code and common sense entry pretty well.
  • PowerApps works pretty well on a Mac. Of course, everything Microsoft functions better in Microsoft products (IE, Windows, Edge), but the online authoring tool for PowerApps is just fine for Mac.
  • PowerApps has a great coding option, but there are some pieces of the tool that the requirement to understand code is a barrier to fun if the user doesn't code.
  • MUCH time can be spent looking for solutions on this young platform and the body of forum/help/lessons learned is not as robust as it will be in a few years.
  • Like many early-stage Microsoft products, PowerApps is a relatively blank slate that will be improved by the feedback of their users and ongoing feature development. Right now it seems that the product lacks a critical mass of use-case driven templates (there are some, but I haven't yet found one that didn't require more work to customize it to my need that it would take to build my own tool).
  • It has given us a focal point for development. We now have the possibility of connecting to mobile and the default SharePoint online interface isn't always easy to manipulate. PowerApps has given us an opportunity to improve our user experience.
  • An improved user experience has given us a better shot at compliance. When users don't fight the environment, they don't gravitate towards workarounds or non-compliance.
  • As lists and libraries change, the platform scales pretty well.
  • Having users with the capability to create their own forms and tools has dialed back the app dev need (there is a balance though) and distributed power to the process architects and people who actually need the solutions in the first place—much more efficient model of service delivery: self-service.
PowerApps is what the company has presented to us as our option. While Nintex is nice and relatively capable, it is always a +1 to the Microsoft platform and requires its own validation and integration. Nintex can also be feature limited in its online version depending on the license agreement, so future upgrades can jeopardize continuity. Google Forms is simple and easy to use, but rarely secure enough or "blessed" to be used in a regulated environment for anything other than garden variety collaboration needs that hold no confidential information or have a requirement of credential testing. Default SharePoint forms are always an option, but they can be a very large and unwieldy form for some contexts where only a few pieces of info are being collected per transactional moment.
PowerApps does a great job of bridging the gap for mobile form entry where needed. We don't have a ton of mobile use cases, but that's because we haven't had a very active online tool kit until the deployment of O365. With most tools behind a firewall, any opportunity to work in business applications has been through VPN and that usually requires a PC/Mac. Now that we're able to access the system through a credentialed entry point in O365, we have the opportunity to think about what our mobile environment could look like. That's where PowerApps comes into our portfolio.

PowerApps Feature Ratings

Visual Modeling
Drag-and-drop Interfaces
Platform Security
Platform User Management
Platform Scalability