Power Apps improvements for Microsoft Teams

Teams Apps business

Hello dear readers,

Despite of being fully remote, The Ignite 2020 event has been rich on service improvements announcements. Especially towards the Power Platform capabilities inside the Microsoft 365 environment.
We can now appreciate now significative improvements when building business applications to use inside of Microsoft Teams.

For a while now, we can create Power Apps canvas app in a matter of hours as if we were creating a PowerPoint slide deck. Those applications were available for use in mobile, website, inside of a Power BI report or even inside of Microsoft Teams through a Teams Tab :

Power apps embeded into Teams tab
An example of a Power Apps teams tab for managing projects

While building such applications, a terrific choice for “Citizen developers” (aka Business users) occurs : “Where do I store my data ?”

This question sounds trivial but encompass critical consideration regarding to data access management, reliability / performance at scale and with the organization’s practices.
To make it short, is it a good practice to store data in a Excel file stored in a user’s OneDrive, same for SharePoint, using SharePoint Lists, a standard database, the common data service… ?

In case of no positioning from the IT department, such business users trend to choose what they know without any considerations, and start storing data in different places.


A new data storage option

The project Oakdale introduces another options when it comes to handle data storage for low code solutions for Microsoft Teams.
You can now create tables, linked to the Team you want to deploy your solution to – befefiting from relationship table and rich types . In terms of limitations, you can store up to 2 GB per team, and up to 1 million rows.

Creating tables to store Power Apps data in Teams
The table creation experience from Teams

New Power Apps capabilities for managing solutions in Microsoft Teams

As part of the new features package, we have now a dedicated console for managing solutions inside of Microsoft Teams :

For each Team you find a management console showing you Apps, Tables, Flows, bot and other element bind to this specific Team

This console is part of the improvements of the Power Apps app for Microsoft Team. You can access it by adding it to Teams as an application :

Adding Power Apps to Microsoft Teams
Selecting the icon, you can choose Power Apps and select Add. You can also pin it to the left rail navigation of teams by right-clicking on it.

Is this a milestone ?🙄

I am pretty excited about this feature as it brings the Power Platform closer to the Business people working environment. The experience is of building such solution is facilitated and enable “Power users” to create their solutions in a reliable way without any positioning from the IT guys.

We all know that technology is moving so fast that it is challenging for the It guys to involve the resources and time to address the multitude of topics when the organization needs it. Hopefully this new capability for building solutions inside of Microsoft Teams will help organizations to set up the necessary governance faster so that the business users could benefit from the digitalization of their processes as independently as creating PowerPoint presentations.

I hope you found some useful information, see you soon in the blog section !

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