Few updates ago, Microsoft announced functionality to use applications created in Power Apps within Power BI – which gives new possibilities to work with Power BI. The biggest advantage is writing data directly to data sources like Azure SQL, SharePoint lists and many more. We can also use it for extending possibilities of What-IF analysis available in Power BI.
What is Power Apps?
Power Apps allows non-developers to create and publish web and mobile apps through an easy to use the web-based tool. There is no need for Visual Studio, coffee-based languages. You also don’t have to deal with getting something published to the fruit store. If you can use a web browser, you can build and publish your own app for you or your whole team to use. Pretty awesome stuff.
With the latest preview feature, you can embed a Power Apps app into your Power BI report. Besides that, while sticking an app on the page would be cool, they took it further and you can even pass data to the Power Apps app from the Power BI report. WOW!
The only limit is your imagination. The idea though, as we continue to adapt to an era of the more data-driven world, is to respond to a greater demand for actionable data. If this data is actionable, shouldn’t we make it as easy as possible to take action? Power Apps and Power BI are ahead of the game as usual.
Implementations and business scenarios
Write back in financial estimations
Making fast forecasting solution by providing manually values for future or with use advanced analytics algorithms to support your decisions.
You can easily type parameters for what-if analysis, not only numbers but text or other data as well.
Acceptation process based on self-service reporting
You can organize the workflow using Power BI and Power Apps integrated together including row-level security. On the report page, you can analyze and provide appropriate values filtered by access to this report page.
Creating an inventory dashboard that provides for on-demand ordering through the app
There is an easy ordering process thanks to integrating with reporting layer in Power BI. Besides that, you can use values regarding the actual state of stock availability to make your ordering process faster and more accurate.
An executive status dashboard where you can assign tasks and send feedback on the fly
Very easy way to write your feedback or quick comments to entire reports.
To sum up the possible scenarios, please let me show you the general view and the sample workflow.
Microsoft Flow is the crucial component because it’s responsible for organizing the entire data flow between Power BI and the data source.
How to integrate Power Apps with Power BI?
Thanks to the latest announcements, Power BI gains the functionality in Custom Visuals and allows us to download dedicated Custom Visuals for Power Apps. A huge Limitation is that this visual (Power Apps) is not supported in Power BI Report Server and Power BI Mobile App.
After getting this form of AppSource you will have a PowerApps custom visual installed in Power BI automatically. As a result, by using drag and drop you can empower your reports by Power App application.
How to get data from Power BI and use it in Power Apps?
First of all, after adding the custom visual dedicated to Power Apps and dropping it into your report workspace. Then, you have to choose appropriate fields which you’d like to use in Power BI. Besides that, you will be able to create a new application or choose another one created before. Furthermore, please take into account that visible applications are related to your email address. Finally, you will see only applications which are assigned to your user.
After clicking on Create New, Power Apps Studio will open in a new browser tab designer for Power Apps.
After logging into designer you will be able to find out dedicated dataset PowerBIIntegration which consist of all data fields which you choose in Power BI.
- To get a specific column from the dataset – PowerBIIntegration.Data.ColumnName
- To extract the value after using the function – First(Data.ColumnName).ColumnName
What is very important from the maintenance point of view? First of all, if you change the data fields associated with the visual, you must edit the app from within the Power BI service by selecting the ellipsis (…) and then selecting Edit. Otherwise, the changes won’t be propagated to Power Apps, and the app will behave in unexpected ways. Besides that, we can’t use Power App as a filter for the report.
Pin Power BI tiles to Power Apps
Another way to integrate Power BI with Power Apps is embedding specific Power BI tile into the application. Therefore, this is a process, you have to just click on Controls dedicated to Power BI tile and choose the element from Workspace > Dashboard > Tile
To sum up:
- Power Apps visual integrated with Power BI can be used only with Power BI desktop or Power BI Service.
- We can’t use Power Apps Custom Visual as a filter for data in Power BI reports.
- You can integrate Power Apps into Power BI by Power Apps Custom Visual or integrate Power BI tile into Power Apps by dedicated control.