PowerApps and Microsoft, Where does it fit?

While some people say that PowerApps is Office, others will say PowerApps is Dynamics. They are both correct.

Canvas

Canvas apps si exactly what it sounds like, a blank canvas you create. Here you can choose where to store data: SharePoint, SQL Server, Office 365, OneDrive for Business, CDS , Excel, and many other data sources. For the ease of use I often see storage within SharePoint lists here.

Model Driven

Model Driven app is essentially the Dynamics database, but without all of the bells and whistles that come with Sales/Service/Marketing/Field Service/Project Service etc. It is a clean database where you can start from “scratch” and create fairly complex applications within a short period of time.

Why make a fuss about it?

Well, if you know Microsoft as an organization you will understand me asking this question. Office is now called Modern Workplace, and Dynamics is Business Applications. PowerApps is both, so where does it belong. What team will be the ones promoting the product, and who will gain from selling PowerApps licenses?

Up-sell, Down-sell or Cross-Sell?

Office – “Up-Sell”

While Office consultants se this ass an “Up-sell” and potentially expensive
Office E3 20$ + Plan 1 7$ = 27$
+ Plan 2 20$ = 40$

Dynamics – “Down-Sell”

Dynamics sees this as a “Down-sell”
Dynamics Sales 95$ —> Plan 2 40$ = 55$ savings pr customer

PowerApps – “Cross-Sell”

If you read Jukka’s post about PowerApps maybe what we are doing is creating a bridge between it all, the “Cross-Sell”. I can no longer only focus on Dynamics, and have to embrace PowerApps Canvas and Model Driven. Eventually I think the Office users also will see the benefits of the Model Driven, and then we can start adding value inn all areas to a common database.

On-Premise Data Gateway setup

So the On-Premise data Gateway itself might not be the most awesome thing in history, but in combination with the data integration of PowerApps it is just incredible! Carina wrote about this earlier, but I had to see it for myself 🙂

My example is based on the need to integrate my On-Prem ERP (SQL) server with Dynamics 365 online (aka PowerApps).

This method does require that you have username/password credentials to a view in SQL that will allow you to read data. After the setup, Part 2 – Final Finnish.

I need data from On-premise to Online

I needed to integrate my ERP system (On-Premise) to D365 in the cloud. There are several ways to complete this normally with code, SSIS, Scribe etc. I wanted to learn what the PowerPlatform was capable of.

I am not a developer, so I am always seeking for solutions considered No-Code, Low-Code. Integrations was something I always had to involve developers to complete.

Until now!!

Installing software

Install latest Onprem Gateway software – Be sure to update this from time to time due to function/feature/security updates from Microsoft.

The software should be installed on a server, because of the need for 24/7 uptime. While testing, you can easily install the software on your personal computer as long as it is in the same network as the SQL database you are trying to connect to.

Open the software, and set it up. I chose to use my login credentials for this action. These credentials where also the ones that were “creators” in Dynamics.

Remember the Gateway Name and Password

When this is done you should find the Gateway in your PowerApps.
NB!!! It will only install under the Default instance for now!!

Check connection with PowerApps

Last step is to open up your browser to PowerApps and see if we can retrieve the data. Open PowerApps

Make sure you navigate to the Dynamics Production environment

Then you open a new integration project

From here you connect to the On-Prem SQL DataGateway.
Don’t worry, the credentials and IP are not real here:)

So the important thing on the next step is to use the credentials for your SQL server. These credentials only need to be read from a database. This means that you might have to ask someone to create read credentials for your database.

Choose the tables you want to sync. Debitor is Accounts in our ERP system.

If you are lucky, you will see the following result!! You are now one step closer to actually complete a NO-Code integration with an onprem SQL server.

HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!!

Part 2 Final Integration