PowerApps is a low code/no code suite of apps, services, connectors and data platforms that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs.


Using PowerApps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored either in the underlying data platform (Common Data Serviceor in various online and on-premises data sources (SharePoint, Excel, Office 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and so on).

Apps built using PowerApps provide rich business logic and workflow capabilities to transform your manual business processes to digital, automated processes. In addition, apps built using PowerApps have a responsive design and can run seamlessly in a browser or on mobile devices (phone or tablet). PowerApps "democratizes" the custom business app building experience by enabling users to build feature-rich, custom business apps without writing code.

PowerApps also provides an extensible platform that lets pro developers programmatically interact with data and metadata, apply business logic, create custom connectors, and integrate with external data.

There are two major types of PowerApps:

  1. Canvas Apps: Design and build a business application from a canvas in Microsoft PowerApps without writing code in a traditional programming language. Design the application by dragging and dropping elements onto a canvas, the designer has complete control over app layout.

  2. Model-driven Apps: Design is a component-focused approach to app development based on data models and business processes. Unlike canvas app development where the designer has complete control over application layout, with model-driven apps much of the layout is determined for you and largely designated by the components you add to the application.

PowerApps has four major ways to license the functionality:

1)  IncludedOffice 365 – using PowerApps within the context of Office 365 is included in the service at no additional charge. Qualifying licenses for PowerApps include Business Premium, Business Essentials, F1 Plan, and the E1-E5 Enterprise Plans.  

2)  IncludedDynamics 365 Enterprise Applications – using PowerApps within the context of Dynamics 365 is included in the service at no additional charge. Qualifying licenses include Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Retail, for Talent, Business Central, and more.  

3)  Per User Per App (2 App Package) – for clients who have a small number of PowerApps in their organization. This is typically the plan that companies will utilize when they are getting started with PowerApps that are outside of the included options listed above. 

4)  Per User Unlimited Apps – is for clients with a large number of PowerApps that an individual user needs to gain access to. Just doing the basic math, this option breaks even when a single user needs to access 8 or more PowerApps. 

PowerApps Portals also have a separate licensing scheme which includes the following models:

PowerApps does follow Microsoft’s standard Multiplexing rules.  Basically, no matter how the user touches the data – whether directly in the PowerApps or through some kind of interface or Flow, they would still need to be licensed.  So, putting an Excel data collection point on the front end of a PowerApp, would still require the inputting user to be licensed. 


All of the PowerApps have limits on individual plans. Connect with us to help estimate your actual usage.
For example, on the Per User (2 Application plan), Daily API requests are limited to 1000, Common Data Service Capacity of 50MB, and Common Data File Capacity of 400MB. 
For more details about the limits – see the Microsoft PowerApps and Flow Licensing Guide


Great news for clients who got into using Flow (now Power Automate) and PowerApps early.  Microsoft is offering two scenarios for transition. 

More questions about PowerApps?

Contact us to help walk you through the options. 

You can also check out the Frequently Asked Questions Guide. For more information on Power Automate (formerly known as Flow) check out our blog article - Radical Changes to Microsoft Flow - Now Called PowerAutomate