Power Platform – Introduction of Model-Driven Apps
There are three ways to create apps in Power Apps – Canvas, Model-Driven Apps and Portals. We already discuss about Canvas Apps in our previous articles.
We have very good amount of articles on Canvas Apps, please have a look once
- Power Platform – Power Apps – Exploring Canvas App for beginners – Demo
- Power Platform :- Creating Canvas App in Power App using SharePoint List for Beginners
- Power Platform – Creating a basic Canvas App and fetching data from data source Excel from OneDrive for Business
- Power Platform – Creating Canvas App from Scratch with Excel Data
- Power Platform – AI BUILDER – Use AI Builder model (Business Card Reader and use cases) in Power Apps (Canvas App) – Part 5
In this article we are going to discuss about Model-Driven Apps.
What is Model-Driven Apps?
- Model-Driven Apps provides a no-code or low-code component approach to app development.
- Model-driven apps provide a responsive accessible design running in browsers and on popular mobile devices.
- This app type composes multiple component types including dashboards, forms, views, charts, and business processes which together form a great UI which is discuss below.
- Model-driven apps start with your data model – building up from the shape of your core business data and processes in the Common Data Service to model forms, views, and other components.
- Model-driven apps automatically generate great UI that is responsive across devices.
- Model-driven apps are built and managed from the PowerApps Portal similar to how canvas apps are built and managed.
Model-driven app design provides the following benefits :–
- Rich component-focused no-code design environments
- Create complex responsive apps with a similar UI across a variety of devices from desktop to mobile
- Rich design capability
- Your app can be distributed as a solution
There are three main approach for making Apps are as follow :-
- Modeling business data
- Defining business processes
- Composing the app
Modeling business data – To model business data you determine what data your app will need and how that data will relate to other data. Model-driven design uses a metadata-driven architecture so that designers can customize the application without writing code. Metadata means “data about data” and it defines the structure of the data stored in the system.
Defining business processes – Defining and enforcing consistent business processes is a key aspect of model-driven app design. Consistent processes help make sure your app users focus on their work and not on remembering to perform a set of manual steps. Processes can be simple or complex and often change over time. To create a process, from the PowerApps.com then in Model-driven area select -> Setting icon-> Advanced customizations -> Open solution explorer. Next, on the left navigation pane in solution explorer select Processes, and then select New.
Composing the app – After modeling data and defining processes, you build your app by selecting and configuring the components you need using the app designer.
Modern-Driven Apps Components
A model-driven app consists of several components that you select by using the App Designer. The components and component properties become the metadata. To understand how each of these components relates to app design, they’re separated here into data, UI, logic, and visualization categories. Let’s look more closely at these components.
The data components determine what data the app will be based upon.
|Entity||Entities are items with properties that you track. Examples include contacts and accounts. Many standard entities are available. You can customize a non-system standard entity (or production entity). You can also create a custom entity from scratch.||Entity designer|
|Field||Fields are properties that are associated with an entity and help define that entity. A field is defined by a data type, which determines the type of data that can be entered or selected. Examples of data types include text, number, date and time, currency, and lookup (which creates a relationship with another entity). Fields are typically used with forms, views, and searches.||Entity designer|
|Relationship||Relationships define how entities can be related to each other. There are 1:N (one-to-many), N:1 (many-to-one), and N:N (many-to-many) relationships. For example, adding a lookup field to an entity creates a new 1:N relationship between the two entities and lets you add that lookup field to a form.||Entity designer|
|Option set field||This type of field shows a control that lets the user select among predefined options. Each option has a number value and a label. Option set fields can require either a single value or multiple values.||Entity designer|
The user interface components determine how users will interact with the app.
|App||Apps determine the app fundamentals, like components, properties, the client type, and the URL.||App designer|
|Site map||A site map specifies the navigation for your app.||Site map designer|
|Form||Forms include a set of data entry fields for a given entity. This set of data entry fields matches the items that your organization tracks for the entity. One example is a set of data entry fields where users enter relevant information to track a customer’s previous orders together with specific requested reorder dates.||Form designer|
|View||Views define how a list of records for a specific entity appears in your app. A view defines the columns shown, the width of each column, the sort behaviour, and the default filters.||View designer|
The logic components determine what business processes, rules, and automation the app will have. Microsoft Power Apps makers use a designer that’s specific to the type of process or rule.
|Type of logic||Description||Designer|
|Business process flow||Business process flows walk users through a standard business process. Use a business process flow if you want everyone to handle customer service requests the same way. Or you can use a business process flow to require staff to gain approval for an invoice before submitting an order.||Business process flow designer|
|Workflow||Workflows automate business processes without a user interface. Designers use workflows to initiate automation that doesn’t require any user interaction.||Workflow designer|
|Actions||Actions are a type of process that lets you manually invoke actions, including custom actions, directly from a workflow.||Process designer|
|Business rule||Business rules apply rules or recommendation logic to a form to set field requirements, hide fields, validate data, and more. App designers use a simple interface to implement and maintain fast-changing and commonly used rules.||Business rule designer|
|Flows||Power Automate is a cloud-based service that lets you create automated workflows between apps and services to get notifications, sync files, collect data, and more.||Power Automate|
The visualization components determine what type of data and reporting the app will show.
|Chart||Charts are individual graphical visualizations that can appear in a view or a form or that can be added to a dashboard.||Chart designer|
|Dashboard||Dashboards show one or more graphical visualizations that provide an overview of actionable business data.||Dashboard designer|
|Embedded Microsoft Power BI||Power BI adds embedded Power BI tiles and dashboards to your app. Power BI is a cloud-based service that provides business intelligence (BI) insight.||A combination of chart designer, dashboard designer, and Power BI|
Advanced model-driven apps
Solution Explorer is used to make advanced model-driven apps. By using the navigation pane on the left side of the tool, you can navigate a hierarchy that consists of all app components.
To access the classic Solution Explorer, you must first select a Solution then select Switch to classic.
To open solution explorer,
- On the PowerApps Home page, select Settings, and then select Advanced Settings.
- On the Dynamics 365 Business Management page, select Settings, select Customizations, and then select Customize the System.
Next article – In next article we will discuss about how to create our first Model-Driven Apps
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