This video showcases the creation of an app that empowers traveling agents and salespeople with single-click options to call, text, and get driving directions to their clients and prospects. Although this is just one of countless functionalities that can easily be built out with PowerApps, you’ll see the drag-and-drop actions and Excel-like formulas that differentiate PowerApps from other app builders. Check it out!
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Venkat: Hi. I’m Venkat, and today, we’ll look at PowerApps. Now, PowerApps as a solution can be used by any organization that belongs to any industry and can be of any size. One of the many examples that I can think of is an app that’s meant for your traveling salespeople or your field agent. Think about driving directions.
Okay, so if I am traveling for my job, I need to know where I’m going and how I can get there. The other thing is the ability to communicate with my customer, but here’s the thing. I don’t want to keep swiping on an app. I don’t want to keep clicking to get to my customer’s phone number. All I want is one click and it leads to a phone call or a text message. With PowerApps, you can do all of this very quickly and efficiently.
Let’s see how. Let me show you what this app that we built will be based on. It will be based on Dynamics 365. So what we are doing is we are bringing in all the contacts that we have in our Dynamics 365 into our PowerApps app. And you will see that each person has a phone number and also if I drill in here, they would have an address. So this is the information that will surface in the PowerApps app. On that note, let’s get into PowerApps.
Once you’re in your Office 365 portal, you will see all of the apps that are available to you. One of those would be PowerApps. If you don’t see PowerApps in this list, make sure to click explore all your apps and access it from there. Now on this screen, you will see all the apps that you’ve already created and also if you scroll down a bit, here’s where you can create new apps. Since my data is in Dynamics 365 already, I will say start from data.
On the next screen, it gives me several options. From this list, I’m going to choose Dynamics 365 and click phone layout. Here, it will ask me to connect to my dynamics. Notice that I have a connection to Dynamics 365 already. If you don’t, make sure to click new connection and then create a connection to your Dynamics 365 instance.
So now that my connection is ready here, it will ask me to choose a table. Just search for contacts and select it. Click connect. So on this browse screen, you will notice that it’s displaying all the contacts that we have in our Dynamics 365. Let’s go into the browse gallery. We’ll select that, and then within the browse gallery, we will click the label that’s displaying the email address. And notice now in the formula bar that it’s displaying the email address one field from dynamics. I’m going to remove that and say, show us the full name. And there, it’s as easy as that.
Now, similarly, you can adjust the values for the other labels in the gallery as well. If you don’t want city in the next label, you can change it to something else. For now, we’ll stick to city. Now, what I want to do is I want the ability to get driving directions to each of these contacts, and I also want the ability to communicate with them through phone calls and text messaging. The next thing I’ll do is I’ll add three different icons.
So I go into insert, say icons, and let’s start with the simplest one. So the first thing we’ll do is we’ll add a phone icon. Okay? So I’ll just click this icon right here and move it right under the name. Okay? The second icon I’ll add is for text messaging. So I’ll look for an icon that looks like a bubble. This right here, and move it right next to the phone icon. Last but not least, I will add an icon for driving directions. So I look for something that looks like cars. There we go.
Alright, and I’ll move this right next to the other two icons just so they are aligned. Now that the icons are added, we have to make them functional. We just add some very simple formulas to see how they can interact with our phone applications and provide the ability to communicate and also get driving directions. So for the first one, what I want to do is I want to initiate a phone call.
So for the OnSelect method, I will say launch. Okay. Use the launch function and in double quotes say tel. All it’s doing is saying that this app will initiate a phone call. And say, “& telephone1.” So the next thing we’ll do is we will make this app send text messages, and for that, we use the same launch formula with just a twist.
I click my messaging bubble here and four OnSelect, I will write this formula where I’m still using launch, but now this time it says SMS. And here, if you notice, what it’s saying is send the SMS to the telephone number that’s coming from Dynamics 365 and then also say hello and the name of the contact, and then the text, “I’m in your area and was wondering if I can stop by to say hello.” It can be anything.
So now that that’s done, let’s look at driving directions, and what we’re really saying here is that get the address from Dynamics 365, store it in the address location [inaudible]. Enable the phone’s location. You want to know where the phone is and then send that information to Google maps. That’s pretty much it. This is the app, right?
Let’s also save it and make it available to everyone. So what I’ll do is I’ll click file and save as, let’s call this app The Road Warrior. Okay? And click save at the bottom right. Make sure to share this app with everyone in your organization as well. You can either share this with specific people by entering their name or email address, or you can just say, “Add everyone in my org,” and then that’ll make it available to everyone.
If your users go into their phones and download the PowerApps app and log in with their Office 365 credentials, they will see this app listed in the home screen of PowerApps. Now you can see on my phone I have the PowerApps app, and you’ll notice that the second one in this list is The Road Warrior app that we just created. If I go into this, you will notice that it loads all the contacts from my Dynamics.
So let’s say I am going to see Yvonne, and as I’m approaching this person’s house, I want to give them a phone call. So all I do is click the phone icon and my phone call gets initiated. Similarly, if I want to send them a text, I hit the text messaging icon, and this is where you can see now that it has the template text that we added in our formula. I can either send this or I can just remove this text and type my own as well.
Now going back to PowerApps, if I wanted driving directions, all I have to do is click this cars icon and this will give me driving directions from my current location to this person’s house. So as you can see, it’s just that simple. So one app with one screen can give you the ability to communicate with your customers, get driving directions, et cetera, with just one click. We created this app within a matter of minutes, but then what it can do for your users is extremely helpful, extremely beneficial, and that’s what the power of PowerApps can do for you.
What you saw was a very small example of what you can do with PowerApps. If you are wondering, can PowerApps do this for me, can PowerApps do that for me? Please reach out. You know, we love to answer questions. And also, just so you know, it’s highly likely that the answer to your question is yes, PowerApps can do this or that for you.
Now, don’t just stop right here. Please go watch the other videos and webinars and blog posts that we have. And just so you know, we will be posting a lot more content in the near future just to help you succeed with our PowerApps and make you feel empowered. Thank you for watching.