Understanding the Difference Between Power Apps and AppSource Apps

Understanding the Difference Between Power Apps and AppSource Apps

One of the hallmarks of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is its flexibility. Software developers can use the AL programming language to create powerful solutions to extend Business Central’s functionality tailored to your organization’s unique business requirements.

However, custom development requires a certain skill set and can be costly. Perhaps someone else has faced similar problems and has already developed a solution.

Two alternatives to custom development are developing a low-code solution using Power Apps, part of Microsoft’s Power Platform, or downloading one of the more than 5,000 pre-built solutions for Business Central from AppSource. But not all apps are created equal.

Let’s explore when it makes sense to develop a solution in PowerApps vs. when to buy a solution from AppSource and some of the issues with both.

Power Apps

Microsoft Power Apps provides a low-code/no-code development environment to create custom business applications that connect to Business Central. Power Apps are used to develop business solutions for a multitude of business use cases. Power Apps can be accessed using a mobile app, through Teams, or with a standard browser. While technical in nature, Power Apps can be developed with less complexity than standard Business Central development in AL.

Power Apps use cases

Power Apps are a powerful and cost-effective way to work with Business Central data and perform simple data entry. For example, service-oriented companies can develop a Power App for field technicians to go onsite, take pictures, and upload the images to Business Central to document the service order. In this example, developing the solution using Power Apps is easier than developing a similar solution in Business Central. It can save money because Power Apps does not require a user license if that user already has a license for Business Central and any other systems they access through Power Apps.

Getting started with Power Apps

Microsoft provides example Power Apps that can be used as a starting point for creating your own Power Apps, such as a simple Warehouse Helper App that uses an AL extension, a Power App, and a Power Automate flow to scan a barcode and map the value to a GTIN property in Business Central.

Power Apps provides security features to let you manage access and permissions to help provide control over security and compliance within your applications.

Apps from AppSource

As a general rule, Power Apps are unsuitable for complex logic applications. These types of solutions require a more robust software solution that is available through custom development or by finding a suitable solution using Microsoft’s AppSource. These apps are provided by a community of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)

Tips on selecting an app from AppSource

Here are some tips when selecting an app from AppSource:

  • Consider how well the app addresses the specific requirements of your company.
  • Learn whether the app provides something unique or if it is already provided within Business Central or by another ISV.
  • If the app offers a free trial period, try the product to ensure it meets your company’s needs.
  • Ask for recommendations from your partner and read user reviews for positive and negative comments about the app.
  • Understand how well it integrates with Business Central and your other business applications (CRM, inventory management, etc.)
  • Verify the app complies with security and regulatory requirements.
  • Conflicts can occur when you use multiple apps that perform the same task, like warehouse management.

When to buy, when to build

Power Apps can provide a development environment that allows for the rapid development of simple business solutions. More complex solutions can be obtained through AppSource or by hiring a software developer. If purchasing an app from AppSource, perform your due diligence to ensure the app meets your specific business requirements and involve your Business Central partner to ensure they can assist should the add-on cause any problems.

Contact ArcherPoint to learn more about the solutions that are possible with Business Central.

Trending Posts

Stay Informed

Choose Your Preferences
First Name
Last Name
Subscription Options
Your Privacy is Guaranteed