Optimize User Settings in Power Apps for Maximum Efficiency
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Power Apps
Sep 28, 2023 2:57 PM

Optimize User Settings in Power Apps for Maximum Efficiency

by HubSite 365 about Jukka Niiranen [MVP]

Power Platform Advisor at Forward Forever. Microsoft MVP, Business Applications

Citizen DeveloperPower AppsPower SelectionM365 Hot News

Improve your Power Apps experience! Ensure your user settings are correctly configured for optimal functionality.

A Deep Dive into Power Apps User Settings

In a recent blog post, Microsoft MVP Jukka Niiranen discusses the complexity behind Power Apps user settings. Here, we provide a brief summary, but for more information, you can refer to the original post.

Niiranen argues that many Power App users probably have incorrect settings. The blog post references the initial setup of a new device, emphasizing that the process for setting up model-driven software like Power Apps is different, often leading to incorrect assumptions about default settings. Power App settings don’t get automatically synchronized like Microsoft 365 account settings do.

The post provides insights into potential user setting issues, focusing on model-driven Power Apps, which include Dynamics 365 apps. Niiranen believes a significant number of users have incorrect settings that are unintuitive to fix, even for administrators. There's a lack of awareness of this issue among app makers and administrators, which ultimately ends up affecting the end-user experience.

Niiranen criticizes the current process of user settings management, stating that Power Apps have not benefited from being merged with another Microsoft platform, Dynamics CRM. Diagrams, numbers, currency, date and time field formats factors into this issue, as these settings are defined server-side and are user account-specific. Different users may see different formatting, potentially leading to confusion.

Niiranen also discusses the problematic aspect of time zones and highlights the importance of date and time column types in the Dataverse. Depending on a user's time zone setting, the actual value entered in a date and time field can differ, adding complexity to data management.

The blog explains the complicated process of accessing and changing user settings in Power Apps, emphasizing that the settings are environment-specific. Consequently, when a new internal app is deployed and hosted in a separate Power Platform environment, the same complexities reoccur.

Niiranen suggests using tools such as XrmToolBox to modify settings on behalf of other users, but this still leaves room for the issue to recur, making maintenance a constant challenge. However, he also mentions the possibility of using cloud flows or Power Apps to update the user settings. In a follow-up post, Niiranen promises to share a tool that helps any user update their own settings across multiple environments.

General Observation

Power Apps, part of Microsoft's Power Platform, offer tremendous potential for developing flexible, scalable, and powerful applications. However, the proper configuration and management of user settings remain a significant challenge. This issue fundamentally affects the functionality and user experience. As an industry, focusing on creating more streamlined and user-friendly processes will be key to ensuring these promising technologies' successful adoption and implementation in the future.

Read the full article Your Power Apps user settings are probably wrong!

Power Apps - Optimize User Settings in Power Apps for Maximum Efficiency

Learn about Your Power Apps user settings are probably wrong!

When it comes to the Microsoft Power Apps, it's essential to ensure your user settings are correct. However, many people starting to use these tools may find it confusing or challenging. This is largely because Microsoft does not pose questions to ascertain your desired language or location, unlike your phone or computer's setup prompts. Misunderstandings can arise as Microsoft's automatic assumptions may not meet your specific needs.

For instance, the regional settings from your browser can generate additional confusion. Then there's the issue of setup with the Power Apps, particularly with model-driven ones. In some instances, users could be utilizing settings partially or completely incorrect.

Continuing on this, there is the problem of trying to fix these settings. Doing so may not be intuitive, and in some cases, more harmful than beneficial. Without thorough knowledge and understanding, problems may arise. So, how do you resolve these potential issues? This article can provide you with that vital information.

Firstly, Power Apps offer numerous benefits. However, unhappily, this isn't extended to user settings management. Power Apps live within Power Platform environments, and these environments usually include a Dataverse database. It hosts various essential parts of Microsoft’s low-code platform. This includes the User Settings table, a pertinent topic in this context.

Over to the format, the decision surrounding number, currency, date and time field formats is made server-side. It means the presentation of these fields in the apps can vary between users. It's fascinating to consider how we, as humans, interpret these varying formats. Thankfully, we can usually comprehend a variety of formats. However, difficulties can arise, particularly when it comes to dates and time zones.

Time zones are specifically troublesome as they're not visible to app users. This can result in confusion over whether you're witnessing the right value in any app's date field. Even though humans are adapt at guessing the right date format based on context, they can't do the same with time zones, they are invisible.

User settings like time zone and field formats are crucial. Ensuring accuracy in these settings can resolve many of confusing issues mentioned before. Power Apps end users may not know these, hence the task falls to the Power Platform administrators. However, even they may find themselves at a loss when trying to alter settings on behalf of another user.

XrmToolBox User Settings Utility is a helpful tool accessible through the platform’s tools. It helps update user settings efficiently across multiple environments. Maintaining the accuracy and consistency of user settings is vital for avoiding confusion and maximizing efficiency. Look out for more of my posts on this topic soon.

By Kenneth Wells, a Microsoft Expert at Microsoft Newsroom.

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