Sample apps built on Power Apps in Microsoft Teams
Me playing around with the Power Platform is something that has accelerated since the emergence of Dataverse for Teams (read more here) and some weeks ago I noticed three new apps that you can add as tabs to a team in Microsoft Teams. These apps are Power Apps and Microsoft calls these apps sample apps, and they are sure great for getting inspiration, but I also believe they can be handy for real cases as well 😊. The sample apps are Employee ideas, Inspection and Issue reporting. Today I’ll share how you can add the apps, what they do and other considerations for the apps.
Power Apps app in Microsoft Teams
Like I said in the introduction the apps I’m going to show you are actually Power Apps, when we got Dataverse for Teams we got new possibilities to easily use the Power Platform within Microsoft Teams. The Power Apps app is a new app which makes it possible to build your apps from Microsoft Teams, publish them and let the people in your team use them without leaving your favourite application 😉. Something that I’ve mentioned in the blog posts about this topic is that with Dataverse for Teams building apps with Power Apps is included in the Microsoft 365 licence 🙌🏻. This will not be deep dive into Power Apps but I wanted to give you the background, here you can read mora about Power Apps in Microsoft Teams: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerapps/teams/create-apps-overview.
To find the Power Apps app you might need to add it first, search for it in the app store and add it (I've already added it so my availible option is to open it):
After that you can pin it in the left-side navigation for a quick and easy access by right-clicking it.
When we open the app we are welcomed with the option to create a new app (I’ll save that topic 😅), a list of our most recent apps, a few pre-built sample ones (these are the ones I’ll share more about in this post) and in the bottom a bunch of links to handy learning links.
Let’s have a look at the sample apps
Let’s dive into the sample apps we can use!
There are at this moment three sample apps: Employee ideas, Inspection and Issue reporting.
Employee ideas: This app enables team members to quickly generate and organize ideas by campaigns. You create a campaign for a topic, for example ideas for the summer party or the new office, change the settings and let the team members add their ideas. Then you can review the ideas, manage them, and vote upon team members ideas to increase team engagement. This helps team managers to gather ideas, improve the workplace with employee ideas and creates engaged employees who can share their own ideas. You can both make it possible for everyone in a team to add idea campaigns and only for team owners. Here you can read more about the app.
Inspection:This is an app that makes it easy for team members to do inspections based on checklists. Have different checklists for different areas/assets/locations you want to inspect, take photos, add notes and create tasks right from the inspection. As you use the app there will be data to see trends over time. This app actually consists of two apps, one to manage how the inspections should look and work and one to do the inspections. The manage app consists of three different components: Items being inspected (the sample app is created with location as the example but can be area, asset, vehicle, well anything you’d like to inspect), category of items being inspected (the sample app is created with location type as the example but can be area, asset, vehicle, well anything you’d like to inspect) that define the classes of different areas that can be added to the app for inspection and inspection forms that decided what should be inspected.
To make it clearer it’s this hierarchy:
1. Items being inspected e.g. Location
a. Category of being inspected e.g. Beauty department, grocery store
i. Store A, Store B, Store C are the different items being inspected that we add
Inspection forms are tied with category of being inspected, so for the example above we will have an inspection form for Beauty department. It is also possible to have the same inspection form for several categories (for example if we decide to have categories which can have the same type of inspection). In the form we add steps for the inspection.
When the setup is done it’s time to do the inspections. The user clicks start, chooses what to inspect and does the inspection. Here you can read more about the app.
Issues Reporting: This is an app that makes it easy for team members to report issues they see on the ground. It’s connected to Planner to keep track of reported issues and to make it easier keep track of them. Just as for the inspection app the issues reporting also consists of two apps, one for managing and one for reporting. As you use the app there will be data to see trends over time. Before I’ll show you the different components of the app you need to create a Planner board for the team where you want to add the app, as said previously this app is connected to Planner to make it easier to keep track of reported issues – be sure to name the Planner board something easy so you remember the purpose of it. The issue reporting app is a little bit simpler than the inspection app, we have two major components: category and issue templates. Category is how you want you want to divide the issues, for an office a few categories could be: lunchroom, bathroom, corridors e.g. Issues templates is the different issues we can think of for the category, for bathroom it could be the bathroom is dirty, the light is not working, there’s no hand sanitizer. In the template you also add the SLA:s, who to assign the issues reported with (this will be assigned in the Planner board) and add additional questions for the issue.
When a user opens the issue reporting app to report an issue, a new task will automatically be created for the responsible person. Easy for everyone to follow. Here you can read more about the app.
All of the apps have sample data to make it easy to understand, but this can easily be removed for when it’s time to start using the app for real. Here you’ll find how to.
How to add an app to your team
Now you’ve learned everything about the apps, let’s have look at how to add them. To add them you just add the app you are interested in as a tab in the relevant team channel.
The app (or apps) will be added as a tab to the channel.
It takes some time to install.
The first time you open it you need to approve the needed connections.
And after some time again it’s installed and ready to use ✨!
Then it’s time to make all the small changes and tell the team about this new fab app. And of course it will work from you mobile – you don’t need to use the Power Apps app 💃🏻.
Can you change the apps?
Ok now I’ve showed you these sample apps, there are smaller changes we easily can do in the app but what about if you want to change more? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I love things that just work without a lot of fixing and doing things. But some of you might be of a different school than me 😄 and think ok these apps are nice but my organization have a need that’s sort of the same but yet not. Then there are a few things you can do in the Power Apps Studio in Microsoft Teams, you can for example:
Remove sample app data
Add your logo to the loading screen
Change the welcome screen text
Change the screen background color
Bulk edit data
Add a column to the app
Add Store Name text column to the Location table (items being inspected)
The changes you do are specific for the team, so if you have the same apps for several teams these changes won’t apply to them. Good or bad? You tell me 🤷♀️.
I like it, it takes some time to understand how we can adjust the issues reporting app and inspection app to our specific needs – but it’s a great start! I love the employee’s ideas app, this is perfect to create engagement in our company wide teams! Have fun trying these apps out ✨.