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In this “Power Apps interview questions and answers” article, we will discuss the various questions and answers from the Power Platform areas, which basically include Power Apps and Power Automate. These questions and answers have been designed for both experienced and new job seekers.
Let’s get started on the topics.
FAQ: 50+ Power Apps interview questions and answers for experienced
Below are the two areas we will cover from Power Platform in this question and answer discussion:
- Power Apps
- Power Automate
FAQ: Power Apps job interview questions and answers
As part of this (Part 1) Power Platform interview questions and answers series, we will be covering the frequently asked interview questions for the post of Power Apps developer by multinational corporations (MNCs). If you can confidently answer these questions during the interview, you can get high-paying tech jobs at top MNCs.
Let’s get started.
What do you know about Power Platform?
The power platform is a collection of Microsoft technologies and tools such as PowerApps, Power Automate, Power BI, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Pages (which Microsoft recently launched in mid-2022).
Each tool has its own needs to run the business, briefly explained below about each of them:
What is PowerApps?
It is a tool to develop apps (canvas apps and model-driven apps). Both types of apps are useful and have demand in the market. Basically, in a simple way, we can say that if we want to develop a form where the database can be connected at runtime, then we can use a canvas app; and if you want to create your app out of a data source, then go for a model-driven app.
What is Power Automate?
In simple words, we can say it is a workflow engine that is hosted in the cloud. We can automate our repetitive or event tasks using Power Automate. We can connect to many data sources, like SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, and many more.
What is Power Virtual Agents?
If we want to create AI-based chat-based solutions, then we use Power Virtual Agents.
What is Power BI?
If we want to develop a Power BI report from the given data sources, then we use the Power BI tool.
What is Power Pages?
Microsoft, in mid-2022, added this product or tool to the Power Platform family; earlier, it was known as Power Portal. Using the Power Pages, we can create an external, public-facing website.
So, we can say that if we have a Power Platform license, we don’t need to look for any other tools—it is a complete business package.
What are the various environments on the Power platform?
In the same way that we used to have development, testing, staging, and production environments on-premises, we have similar environments for the same purpose in the Power platform.
An environment is a space to store, manage, and share your organization’s business data, apps, and Power Automate (Microsoft Flows). It also serves as a container to separate apps that may have different roles, security requirements, or target audiences.
- Power Apps automatically create a single default environment for each tenant, which is shared by all users in that tenant.
- We can create a Power Apps community plan-based developer type environment for individual development environments. In general, the naming convention for developer environments is “Employee Name>’s” environment.
Who can create environments on the Power Platform?
Answer: Based on the license you have; you can decide whether we can create an environment or not. Below are the license details:
|Microsoft 365 Plans||No||No|
|Dynamics 365 Teams Plans||No||No|
|Power Apps Developer Plan||No||No|
|Dynamics 365 trial||Yes (one)||No|
|Dynamics 365 Plans||Yes (one)||Yes|
|Power Apps plan||Yes (one)||Yes|
|Power Apps trial||Yes (one)||Yes|
|Power Virtual Agents trial plan||Yes||No|
|Power Virtual Agents plan||No||Yes|
The tenant (or user in the case of email trials) must have the following as prerequisites to create an environment:
- For production and sandbox environments, the tenant must have at least 1 GB of database storage capacity available.
- For trial (subscription-based) environments, each offer-based trial (also known as “admin trial”) subscription entitles the tenant to three subscription-based trial environments. Only tenant-level administrators can provision trial (subscription-based) environments.
- For trial (standard) environments, the user needs a license providing per-user entitlement for trial environments (refer to the table above). This applies to tenant-level administrators as well.
What are the steps for creating a high-level environment in Power Platform?
Answer: Step 1: Login to the Power Platform Admin Center (Power Platform admin center).
Step 2: Click on the Environments link from the left side of panel.
Step 3: Click on the + New button.
Step 4: Fill the details of Environment and click on the Save button.
For the detailed steps, refer to this article: PowerApps Development Environment: Create free development environment using Power Apps Community Plan.
What are the various types of environments we can create in Power Platform?
Answer: The various types of environments are listed below in Power Platform:
- Trial (subscription-based)
What is the programming language used in the Power Apps?
The Power FX language is used in power apps for app development. Microsoft Power Fx is the low-code language for expressing logic across the Microsoft Power Platform. It’s a general-purpose, strongly typed, declarative, and functional programming language. It uses the same language and expressions as Microsoft Excel. So, if you are an expert in Microsoft Excel formulas, you can adopt and develop Power Apps very quickly.
What is a component in Power Apps? Any use examples?
Power Apps, like any programming language or tool, allows us to reuse previously developed functionality; this concept is known as a “component” in Power Apps.
So, the components are reusable building blocks available in PowerApps. Using components, the app maker (role) can reuse it in the same app or across apps using the component library. The component library is simply a container for all components.
As an example, consider the following:
Let’s say you developed an app that has 10 screens, and on each screen, at the header and footer, you need to display the company’s logo. In this case, we can create header and footer components that can be used anywhere in the app or even outside of it, i.e. from a different app.
What are the core components or objects in Power Apps?
The core components, or objects, in Power Apps are as below:
- Gallery: A gallery in the app is a way to visualize the data collection; using this, we can create, read, update, and delete an item.
- SCREEN: A screen is a method of visualizing a specific data collection or record (desktop, mobile, and iPad).
- Card: A card is a screen area that displays a specific record from the SharePoint Online list or any other data source from which you have built an app.
- Control: Using controls, we can see and interact with the records.
- Property: Each control has its own set of defined properties.
- FUNCTION: Using functions, we can interact with and change the characteristics of the controls (button, textbox, drop-down list, etc.).
What are the benefits of Power Apps?
Below are the benefits of Power Apps:
- Low-code, no-code strategy
- Ease of development
- extensive integration capabilities with any other line of business.
- increase cost effectiveness
- Business process automation: PowerApps is integrated with Microsoft Power Automate.
- Microsoft 365 integration
- Faster app development
- Hassle-free deployment process to production with zero downtime (through the CI/CD pipeline process)
- Low cost of app ownership
- AI capabilities
- mobile-friendliness and responsiveness
- Upgrades security
- A developer is not always needed for the app’s development; business people or citizen developers can develop their apps themselves because of the ease of development.
Can you validate this statement: “Power apps = low code, no code”?
Power Apps = Low No Code these days, so people or businesses are blindly adopting Power Platform as part of their app development without validating or delving into the details. From my personal point of view, Power Apps development is no longer a low-code platform; here too, if you want to develop a complex app, you need to write a lot of business logic, the way we used to handle it in C#, Dot Net, or any other programming language—though the fact is, portraying business logic in Power Apps is different than in other traditional programming languages.
When we say Power Apps is equal to low code or no code, it appears from the outside that Power Apps development does not require any coding or only requires very minimal coding efforts. Consider the scenario where, for the purchase order module, your app is connecting to backend Microsoft Dynamics ERP, fetching customer details, validating the purchase order entry, sending back the purchase order details entry to the purchase order table in the ERP application, and annotating the purchase order table in the ERP application. To be very frank, to implement this kind of app is very complex and difficult and needs a lot of back-and-forth API and Power Automate calls to all line-of-business applications.
Now the question is: Can a citizen developer or non-professional developer develop this kind of app? No, we must write or use a large number of functions in Power Apps using Power FX coding.
To be more specific, if you want to generate an invoice number from the purchase order app, the format should be “the first three characters of the customer’s first name” followed by “an auto increment number” and “MMYY,” and these details should be sent to the ERP application.
To get this functionality,
- “First three characters of customer’s first name”—we need to find the substring for the first three characters of the customer.
- “an auto increment number”: For each load of the app, we need to generate a unique auto-generated number. For this, we need to query the auto-increment number data source on each page load event, then get the next number from that table.
- MMYY>: Here we need to get the current month and year in the format of MMYY from the current system date.
For all the above calculations, we need to play around with the string functions like substring, string concatenation, etc., in the Power FX coding, the way we used to handle these in C# and any other programming language.
To me, the Power Apps platform is just another tool, like Visual Studio, for developing custom applications. One could argue that in Power Apps, we simply drag and drop a control and pass the parameter in the out-of-the-box function, but we can also argue that the Visual Studio editor does the same thing; you just type the function name, and the required parameters should be displayed automatically. Again, I am not comparing Visual coding with Power Apps—developing an app using Power Apps is much easier and faster than in Visual Studio, and there are lots of business benefits to having an app developed in Power Platform.
With that said, I am not an anti-Power Platform professional; rather, I am a Power Platform lover who has spent decades working with Microsoft Technologies with great enthusiasm and patience. In this post, I want to send a message to non-Power Platform developers and businesses who believe that Power Apps are simply drag-and-drop controls that anyone can create, which is completely incorrect. And many companies also failed to estimate the right cost for their resource utilization from their clients under the assumption that Power Apps is a drag-and-drop control that needs very little development effort. So, before committing to your client, do a proper study of the requirements of the application.
For more details about this, please refer to this article: Validate is it really Power Apps = Low Code No Code? Power Apps low code no code.
What are the differences between the Canvas and model-driven apps?
If you want to create an app from scratch using PowerApps drag-and-drop controls, we can use the Canvas App; this type of app is commonly found on mobile and tablet devices. Once you are done and happy with the app design, you can connect to one or more data sources to handle the data through the app. For example, the data source could be a SharePoint Online list, a SQL table, etc.
On the other hand, if you want to develop your app out of your data sources, then a model-driven app is the best choice. In a model-driven app, the app gets designed automatically once we create it from the data source. A model-driven app allows you to quickly add components (example: dashboards, charts, forms, etc.) to your apps; it is more of a data-driven app development model.
Which one is better? The answer is simple: both the app model and the business model have their own requirements and scopes for running the business; it all depends on the requirements.
How does the error handling work in Power Apps?
The built-in functions Error, IfError, IsError, and IsBlankOrError handle errors in Power Apps; these are responsible for detecting errors and providing an alternative value or taking action. Create a custom error or pass through an error. For detailed information on how these functions work in Power Apps, refer to this MSDN article: Error, IfError, IsError, IsBlankOrError functions in Power Apps.
If you want to store multiple items or records in Power Apps, what type of variable will you use? Explain how to use the collection variable. In which scenario have you used the collection variable in your project?
To handle the multiple records in the variable, we need to use the collection type of variable in Power Apps. For example, if we have a customer list in the data source, which may be in a SharePoint list or a database (dataverse), and based on certain conditions like region or country, we need to retrieve those customer details in the Power Apps form, we should use the collection variable and grid control in the Power Apps. Refer to our article “Best way to work with collection variables in PowerApps – Microsoft 365” for a more detailed walkthrough of how the collection variable works in Power Apps.
What is the difference between the Set and UpdateContext functions in Power Apps? In which scenario should we use the Set and UpdateContext functions in Power Apps? Where have you used them in your project?
Following are the fundamental differences between the Set and UpdateContext functions in Power Apps:
- The Set function creates a global variable that is accessible throughout the application. In other words, the Set function is used to set the global variable’s value. This holds an information piece temporarily, like the result of operational data or the number of times somebody has clicked a button. And then, the UpdateContext function is used to create the content variable, which holds information temporarily.
- The UpdateContext function is used to define a local variable that is accessible only within its screen. The UpdateContext variables’ values must be defined in the JSON format.
For example, you have a purchase order number in the database, which is linked to many connected tables. Similarly, if you want to use the same purchase order number in multiple screens in Power Apps, we need to store that value in a global variable using the Set function in Power Apps, then we can use this purchase order number across multiple screens. Or let’s say we want to display “contact us” in each screen of the Power Apps, then we can store the “contact us” value, like an email address, in the global variable.
On the other hand, if we want to create an auto-increment number with its total, then we can use the UpdateContext function, whose scope is to the current screen only—it cannot be accessed from anywhere except the screen where it is created, which is why the variable name is local.
For detailed information about the Set and UpdateContext functions, refer to our previous article: Set and UpdateContext function in PowerApps: Understand the difference between Set and UpdateContext function.
How do you deploy Power Apps to production environments or move them from one to another?
Power Apps can be deployed from one environment to another using the following methods:
- Export and import the Power Apps solution package file (.zip file) manually.
- Automatic deployment using the Azure DevOps CICD pipeline.
- Pipelines in Power Platform can be used to automate deployments – Preview mode.
How can we optimize the Power Apps’ performance?
The Power Apps’ performance can be improved in many ways. While developing the Power Apps, we should focus on the below areas:
- Locally cache your data; cache data in collections and variables
- Execute your code using concurrency calls; avoid sequential calls to the data source.
- Use the “Batch Patch” technique for multiple changes to a data source table at once.
- Delegate burdens to data sources; handle data processing at the data source end.
- Make it a practice to republish your apps often.
- It is best to limit the size of collections.
- Try to minimize the number of controls on a single screen as much as possible.
- DelayOutput must be enabled for text input controls.
Locally cache your data; cache data in collections and variables:
Let’s cache frequently used data that has a low chance of changing in the original data source locally for better performance. Example: basic customer information
Execute your code using concurrency; avoid sequential calls to the data source:
A sequential call to a data source is slow because the current one must be completed before the next one starts. The concurrent function allows Power Apps to load data faster by simultaneously processing multiple data connector calls at once.
Use the “Batch Patch” technique for multiple changes to a data source table at once:
We can efficiently and quickly update multiple records in the same data source table by using the “Batch Patch” technique. The “batch patch” technique enables record updates to be made simultaneously. The traditional “ForAll + Patch” method is slower because it makes the updates sequentially, as the previous call has to complete before starting the new call.
Delegate burdens to data sources; handle data processing at the data source end:
We can process the data, like filtering and sorting, at the Power Apps end, and the same could be handled at the data source level as well; the later technique of handling the data processing part at the data source end is faster.
Make it a practice to republish your apps often:
As Microsoft quite often releases the builds, we can publish the apps quite often to get the latest functionality from Microsoft.
It is best to limit the size of collections:
For better performance of the app, we need to limit the size of collections to the fewest number of rows and columns that are required by the app. It is well known that mobile devices have tight restrictions on memory usage. As the collections are stored in the device’s memory, there is a chance that the mobile operating system might kill the Power Apps process, and the app will crash if the usage of device memory is huge.
Try to minimize the number of controls on a single screen as much as possible:
Every control and screen in a Power App follows the same basic rule: “Every control added to a Power Apps screen increases memory usage when the Power Apps screen loads.” We should try to create a screen design with as few controls as possible. A screen with fewer controls is faster to render and takes less memory. If your screen needs too much control, try splitting it into multiple screens and connecting them with some business rules.
DelayOutput must be enabled for text input controls:
The Text property of a text input is updated after each keystroke. So, it is recommended to set the DelayOutput property of the input to true to wait until after the user stops typing. This is useful when we build a search bar connected to a Power Apps gallery control. With DelayOutput enabled, the app will only make one request to the data source when the user stops typing, as opposed to each keystroke.
Can we use the Canvas app in a model-driven app?
Yes, we can. The Power Apps canvas apps are embedded in model-driven forms in the same way other custom controls are added. An embedded canvas app includes rich data integration capabilities that bring contextual data from the host model-driven form to the embedded canvas app. For more details on the implementation, please refer to this MSDN article: Embed a canvas app on a model-driven form.
What are the challenges in Power Apps development? Is PowerApp a mature enough product?
Like any other product from Microsoft, the Power Apps do have challenges or limitations. The following are a few limitations or challenges we should consider while we work on the Power Apps:
- Licensing constraint
- Complicated license model and costly
- Limitations in developing the complex application
- Screen orientation issue
- Item Limit in Power Apps connection
- Limitation in the attachment control
- Limitations in Power Apps for the anonymous user
The Power Apps forms can only work within the licensed business domain. However, users can share their content with their colleagues and guest users who have Active Directory accounts and Power Apps licenses. The Power Apps Portal also provides anonymous and third-party access.
Complicated license model and costly
The Power Apps offer multiple license plans, which are not easy to understand. You can refer to this MSDN article about the Power Apps licensing: Licensing Overview for Microsoft Power Platform. The Power Apps cost $120 per user annually for an individual app. As the monthly price for one app per user is $10, this price might change over time.
Limitations in developing the complex application
Complex business applications cannot be developed using the Power Apps yet; if you want to develop custom complex business applications, you’ll still need to go with server-side coding like Dot Net, Java, etc. For example, even though we talk about the SharePoint Power Apps integration, we still cannot customize all objects of SharePoint using the Power Apps; for example, we cannot develop a web part for SharePoint using the Power Apps.
Screen orientation issue
Developers of Power Apps must create multiple versions of apps for different devices, such as phones and tablets. For example, an app developed for phones and tablets requires two versions, one for each device.
Item Limit in Power Apps connection
Power Apps has an item limit of 2000 from a connected data source like SharePoint, SQL, or Oracle.
Limitation in the attachment control
Power Apps has limitations in the attachment control to SharePoint or Dataverse at the back end, meaning that from Power Apps, we can store the attachment in SharePoint or Dataverse, but platforms like OneDrive or SQL cannot be the targeted document stores. Additionally, the maximum attachment upload size for Power Apps is 50 MB.
Limitations in Power Apps for the anonymous user
As Power Apps work based on the user license, an anonymous user can still not operate Power Apps. For the anonymous user, we need to develop a Power Pages application.
With these limitations, we can conclude that Power Apps are not yet mature products; they are still growing, and Microsoft has invested a lot of money and effort, so we can definitely expect to see the magic for the above-mentioned concerns we discussed in the coming days as the business and industry move towards low-code, no-code platforms.
See Also: Power Platform interview questions and answers
- 50 Tricky Power Automate Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
- Top 50+ Power Apps interview questions and answers for experienced – Part 1
- Build applications faster—with fewer resources
What is Next? Power Platform job interview questions and answers
In the next upcoming Power Platform Interview Questions and Answers series, we will come up with real-time scenario-based Power Platform interview questions and answers that will cover Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Pages, SharePoint Online, Dataverse, etc. Generally, these types of scenario-based questions are asked in the big MNCs, so by referring to these questions, you can easily crack any big MNC interviews and get into your high-paying dream job, both in product- and service-based companies.
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