As Microsoft is still busy implementing AI-powered Copilot experiences across all of its cloud services, this month we’re going to take a look at some of the quieter features Microsoft added to its Power Platform to help makers be more efficient and secure when building apps.
Anybody who’s ever built a Power App runs into delegation issues at some point, so any enhancements to delegation are exciting news in the community. This month, Microsoft announced 3 new features to be aware of.
Prior to this feature, makers had to break up expressions into smaller, separate formulas for the expression to be correctly delegated. Now, the pieces of the expression that need separate evaluation are done automatically.
Microsoft is still working to support more functions and operators with delegation, and the following functions are now delegable:
These first two features rolled out in commercial regions the last week of June 2023
This last feature is going into experimental preview and will roll out to all commercial regions by July 2023. “UpdateIf will request the set of records that meet the If criteria and then also expand delegation range to be the greater of the (500/2000) row limit or the page size limit. Additionally, it will fully delegate to the back-end data source when it is supported,” the Power Apps team explained.
Secure Implicit Connections is all about making sure that the connections in your PowerApps don’t get used beyond their intention. Previously, connections created for an app were also distributed with the app and shared with end users. Once a user had permission to the connection, they could use that connection in a different app.
This is primarily an issue with apps that use SQL as a back end. With Secure Implicit Connections, the app now creates a proxy connection specifically for the app. The proxy connection allows the app to communicate only with the app it was intended for – not additional apps.
If you’ve ever created apps that talk to Dataverse a lot, you probably often had to go through Power Automate to make it happen. The new ability to call Dataverse actions directly in Power Fx eliminates the need to go through Power Automate by providing access to the Environment Dataverse object within the app itself.
Cutting out the middleman (Power Automate) is always a good thing, and it will also bring performance boosts for your apps.
One of the greatest advantages of Microsoft’s low code platform is the ability to bring together pro developers and citizen developers to boost efficiency and productivity. To that end, co-authoring in the model-driven App Designer allows multiple users to simultaneously make changes to an app in real time.
Users can simultaneously add/remove components and subcomponents, change properties, and rearrange the navigation, among other things. However, be aware that editing forms and views through the model-driven App Designer won’t sync in real-time, and that’s a known limitation.
Overall, this month’s Power Platform updates aim to help makers to be more efficient while keeping apps secure. With improved delegation, secure connections, direct communication with Dataverse, and real-time collaboration, app building in Power Apps is now faster, smarter, and safer, with much more to come!