2 years ago when the PowerApps environments within Microsoft Teams were launched, MS wanted it to be quick for new makers to see what kind of apps could be built there. A set of sample apps was offered, demonstrating common scenarios like idea management, issue tracking, project task management, and so on.
When you launched Power Apps from within Teams, these sample apps were available to be immediately deployed. If you selected a target team that didn’t include a Dataverse for Teams instance yet, a new one was automatically provisioned. No questions asked, or even any information provided to the user about what was actually happening.
As a result, the number of #Dataverse databases within most tenants grew rapidly. Apps like Milestones and Employee Ideas were deployed widely. But were they actually used? Probably not very often. Were they customized for the needs of the organization? Hardly ever, that’s my guess.
Today MS has removed the ability to provision these sample apps directly. Instead the potential app maker is directed to GitHub. They would need to download the solution file from a repo, then upload that into Teams. While it’s certainly doable for an experienced Power Apps user to perform this, it is a barrier that will keep most business users from ever trying the sample apps.
This is both good and bad. The positive thing is that we’ll have less clutter of unused Teams based Dataverse environments in the tenant. Also, having the solutions on GitHub will potentially make it easier for advanced makers to customize them.
For the “every developer” story of empowering information workers to create apps for themselves insite Teams, it doesn’t make things easier. It’s starting to look more and more like the Dataverse for Teams story that #Microsoft originally envisioned to be the path for turning Teams into an app platform isn’t what MS is pursuing today.
There’s been hardly any investments lately that would have improved the Dataverse for Teams maker nor user experiences. With the built-in app distribution model not evolving to meet the needs for these in-house sample apps, I’m not sure customers or partners should expect much progress on this front either.
Have you seen Dataverse for Teams adopted broadly as a platform for #lowcode apps in some organizations or for certain scenarios? What would be the functionality most needed in order for these Teams based apps to become more popular?