Top 3 PowerApps & Flow features from the October release notes

Top 3 PowerApps & Flow features from the October release notes

Twice a year, the release notes of the semi-annual release get published by the different teams of the Microsoft Business Application Group. That means Dynamics 365, Power BI, PowerApps & Flow receive new goodies! For the complete release notes, go here!

The fantastic April Dunnam (Seriously, follow her on Twitter!) already wrote a great article about the release notes with her top 3 features from PowerApps & Flow, so I thought: let's make two top 3 lists too! So, here it goes!

Microsoft PowerApps - Top 3

1. Create canvas apps with responsive layout

One of the complaints about PowerApps I've heard from customers is: why isn't PowerApps responsive while the rest of the world is?

I guess the PowerApps team got tired of hearing that because they fixed this! And it's a welcome fix! I can't wait to start creating canvas apps without creating another app to optimize it for tablets and desktops.

2. Improve ALM for canvas apps with solutions

Oh man, this is going to be a great one! In short, this will make it possible to combine PowerApps (canvas and model-driven apps), Flows and other components in a solution package and quickly move it between environments. I can't wait to get my hands on this and try it out. It could make a real big difference for ISVs and System Integrators!

3. Easier to configure cascading dropdowns and conditional field visibility

A lot of my customers who are interested in PowerApps are coming from InfoPath forms where there are cascading dropdowns. This new feature will make it easier to configure cascading dropdowns (and as a bonus conditional field visibility). For companies coming from InfoPath, it will be a smaller step to get to PowerApps, so I can only encourage this move.

Microsoft Flow - Top 3

1. Design Flows in Visio

Documenting business processes is something everyone should do. But, a lot of times people tend to forget to create or update documentation. It can be a pretty time-consuming job to keep all the documentation of your processes up to date, but it's a necessary evil (?).

This new feature will make it much easier for people to create documentation before creating a Flow. I'm not sure if updating the Visio diagrams will work, but I'm sure if it's not working, they will try to make it happen in the future.

2. Flow button enhancements

I love Flow buttons! Flow buttons are powerful in a lot of scenarios. So for me, it's a no-brainer to put this in my top 3. In October, the number and the checkbox inputs get added as an option to the Flow buttons.

The funniest part about this feature is that I posted this idea in the Flow ideas forum a while back and now the Flow team is building it into the product!

3. Leverage device signals on mobile devices

Device signals are already available in combination with Flow Buttons, but this feature takes it up a notch. Soon, you will be able to trigger a Flow when you enter or leave a location. Another name for this is geo-fencing. Some scenarios you can think about:

  • Automatically start/stop a VM when you are within/outside 200 meters of the company offices
  • Turn on/off the lights when you are close to home

Another great feature by the Flow team!

Wrap up

When you take a close look at the release notes, you will see lots of references to the Flow ideas forum and PowerApps ideas forum. These references show the product teams are listening!!! If you have an idea, make sure to share it through these channels. The chance that your idea will eventually end up in the product is pretty high.

I can't wait to see these new features in production, and I hope you can't wait for them as well. When some of them hit production, I'll make sure to write a blog about it and show you guys some great use cases, so stay tuned!