With Power Apps canvas apps, you can build your own app without code, using drag and drop functionality. When you are getting started, you have 3 options on how to create your app:

  • Start from blank
  • Start from data
  • Start from template

Here are my tips on when to pick each option.

Start from data

I’ll begin with start from data because I prefer this option as a way to quickly kick off your app. It’s also a good option for Power Apps beginners, who are still getting familiar with using the tool and Power Fx formulas.

If the purpose of your app is to allow users to view and add records into a system, starting from data will automatically create a 3-screen app for you. First, you’ll need pick your data source, such as Dataverse, and the table you would like to display in your app. You will then get a canvas app with 3-prebuilt screens:

  • Browse Screen with a gallery displaying the records from your data source. There is already a search bar, ability to sort records and add new records.
  • Detail Screen where users can see more details about a particular record.
  • Edit Screen, where users can edit the data in a record.

Since you have the basis of the app already built, all you need to do is customise the design as you like, and add in any other features.

Perhaps you have a sales team, and you’d like them to be able to manage and view customer details while on the road. By starting with data, you can connect to Dataverse (your Dynamics 365 data) and within minutes have an app ready for them to use.

Start from template

Why spend time building something from scratch if it already exists? With templates, you can get sophisticated apps that are pre-built for you. You can customise the template as you like to suit your needs. It’s a good way to learn how to build Power Apps too. If you start with a template, you can take a look at how certain functionality has been built or what Power Fx formulas have been used, then apply it to your own work.

Some of the available templates for canvas apps include: Out of Office, Suggestion Box, Inventory Management, To Do List, Case Management, Leave Requests, Help Desk, Onboarding Tasks, Employee Engagement Survey.

Start from blank

This is a completely blank canvas where you can create your own app from scratch. If you know what you want to build and how to do it, then this will probably be the ideal option for you.

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