Microsoft PowerApps Review

Great for quickly making apps, with reasonable pricing, but doesn't scale well externally

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use the solution for its business application. My business needed an application and so that's what we're using Power Apps for.

How has it helped my organization?

We've been pleased with it. I would say that it has improved the way our organization functions. It makes app-building faster and easier.

What is most valuable?

The solution is excellent at figuring how to build an application in three months. It makes it very quick and easy.

The pricing is very reasonable. it's not overly expensive.

What needs improvement?

I can't recall any missing features. Currently, the solution is doing a good job of meeting my needs.

My target is to have an application that I can use for clients. I don't see Power Apps as being the long-term solution. They get expensive when you start to go to non-internal users. If there were to be external users, the solution would get expensive.

The documentation isn't great. It's only 75% of what you need to know. If you go beyond that and run into issues, it's really not going to help you.

For example, the software is almost guilty of being too powerful. The particular problem I had was that they recommended that I use Azure to do the login, to do the user authentication. Therefore, I set it up. However, it didn't work. I could not find the solution via documentation or online at all. Without knowing I could access technical support, I paid someone a couple of hundred dollars to try and figure it out for me and they couldn't figure it out. Eventually, I was just looking around and I came across one setting hidden away and it was set to false. I instinctively realized that it looked like it might be related and so I set it to true and all of a sudden everything worked. However, that whole issue could have been mitigated if the documentation just took that extra step and got into the nuances of the product.

What I'd love to see them do is to sit down and clean up the interfaces. There are three different ways that you can program. I'm particular to using a Power Apps portal. There are three different ways I can edit my Power Apps portal website. Each of them kind of does a better job of doing some things than the other ones do. Therefore you're kind of in this in-between realm of having to choose between certain things if you decide to go with a specific approach. They really need to clean up the development environment so that t's straightforward and predictable across the different ways to program. 

It does things, such as, if you want to delete a particular field or table, you get this message that says you can't due to the fact that it has dependencies. It's really hard to find what those dependencies are. Items like that need to be clarified. 

The application is working great now, however, every once in a while it gets complicated and it's hard to navigate.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've recently delved into using the product. I've been using the solution for at least the last seven or eight months or so. It's been less than a year. I haven't used it that long just yet.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. its performance is reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is limited if you want to scale externally. A company needs to keep that in mind.

I only launched my first application sometime around Christmas, or just after. It's still quite new. I have about a dozen or so people that move in and out of it. It's just a small app.

As a company, we are quite small. All of our users would be external. And, due to the fact that the solution gets expensive for external users, it's not a solution we plan to expand upon or use for the long term. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is not easy to find. It's a bit of a well-kept secret. However, once you locate them, they are quite helpful and responsive. 

Truthfully, they are hard to find due to the fact that you just don't realize they're there. I had spent a month, six weeks phoning around trying to find internet solutions to problems and resources and paying people to help me, and nobody knew the answer. 

This was done without ever realizing that there was a very capable tech support resource available in Power Apps through the subscription. Once we found them, they were able to fix all of the issues we were struggling with very quickly.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite straightforward. A company shouldn't have any issues with the setup process. It's not overly complex. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is excellent. It's not too expensive.

However, once you get into adding non-internal users, the solution can get pricey. It's only reasonable if you are trying to create internal team-based apps.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I haven't looked at any other low-code development platform.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers and end-users.

We are using the latest version of the solution.

From a perspective of me doing a full test of the application and how I want it to run, it just met all of my needs and there are other storage locations for data. That said, the data is sitting in the CDS.

From my perspective, it was a great place to start and a great place to sit and test the waters. I'm looking to migrate it into something else in a little while. I won't stay with it forever. That's not the plan.

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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