With the upcoming Microsoft Power Platform 2022 Release Wave 1, I wanted to provide a guide to the community on the upcoming feature enhancements that will help make a difference in your deployments. The intention is to provide rolling commentary across the next couple of weeks with a focus on each of the major products within the Power Platform, continuing with today with Power Automate.
If you missed the previous article on Power BI and Power Automate, you read my summary here.
Microsoft Power Apps 2022 Wave 1 release brings about significant enhancements across all areas of Power Apps Model, Canvas and Portals. The core themes of this release, in my opinion, are Platform Enhancements (either previously previewed features, or exciting new features such as Branded Apps), and Collaboration (Co-Presence, Co-Edit for example).
Here’s a hot take on some of the features included in this release.
Power Apps Grid Control for Model-Driven Apps (Public Preview May 2022)
The existing Read-Only Grid control which powers all list views within Model-Driven apps will be effectively deprecated. There will be a new Grid Control that will support infinite scrolling and Inline editing (like how the Editable Grid control works on forms).
Additionally, we will see the Jump Bar disappear in the April 2022 release.
This new Grid Control will become the default grid control for all table views.
In-App Notifications (Model) – (Generally Available April 2022)
One of the most requested features in Dynamics 365 CE has been a native Notifications system. Microsoft has made good on this promise, with the previously public previewed (July 2021) In-App Notifications system going to GA in April 2022 with Wave 1.
In-App Notifications work across Model-Driven Apps by enabling Notifications to be displayed in the Toast Notifications area of the top menu bar. This is controlled through a Notification record being created (via Power Automate Flows or Programmatically via Web API) within the appNotification table.
As you would expect, In-App notifications may have varying types (e.g., informational level, critical level, error etc.), expiry times, duration for display (specified in milliseconds), and so on.
Here are some examples:
Notification Display Types Toast Notification Example of Notification Display
Modern Advanced Find (Generally Available April 2022)
First previewed in December 2021, the Modern Advanced Find feature provided a glimpse of the new unified searching model. It lets you search across all tables, provides choice of views to use, and enables filtering of data.
This feature is due for general availability in the upcoming April release.
Activities only show those relevant to App (Generally Available – April 2022)
Now there is an option to hide specific Activities on a per App basis. This would be hugely beneficial for example in certain Organisational Teams that may only require access to Letter, Email, Task types.
Command Designer (Generally Available May 2022)
This was previously public previewed in July 2021, and will finally make it to GA in around the May timeframe. Command Designer allows buttons to be programmed with action logic. This was previously achieved by consultants using the Ribbon Editor within xrmToolBox, but it is great to see this functionality supported natively and also significantly enhanced with PowerFx support, ALM support and the ability to program on a per app basis.
Column Calculations (Generally Available May 2022)
Building on Roll-up and Calculated fields, this feature allows for PowerFx expressions to be coded into calculated columns. This opens up a raft of new possibilities for calculated columns and potentially reduces the number of workflows/plugins that need to be written for an app.
This was first previewed in September 2021, and with the May GA of this functionality, it should be rock solid by the time it drops.
Full Parity of Form Designer with Legacy (Generally Available May 2022)
I believe another round of drinks is on order, with a huge milestone for the Product Team, and that is reaching full parity with the legacy Form Designer.
Most of us have likely been using the new Form Designer almost exclusively for the past year, but with GA approaching in May 2022 this should mean that all remaining edge cases issues for the legacy designer will have been resolved.
Better Sharing (Generally Available April 2022)
A significant improvement to sharing with the new Share option to enable copying a link to a shortened URL. This is complementary to the Email Link functionality that currently exists, and is a great way to direct message colleagues to review records.
This is part of a broader strategy to keep closely in line with Office Design language.
Co-Presence in Records (Generally Available – September 2022)
With Co-Presence you can see who is working on records, viewing records as well as their online statuses (which has also seen further reliability improvements).
This is exactly how Co-Presence works in other Office 365 applications, and should be very familiar to users.
Starting with Power Apps Model-Driven, we should expect to see this in Canvas Apps and Pages hopefully in upcoming releases. See Co-editing on Power Apps Canvas.
Create and Join Teams Meetings from in-app Appointments (Generally Available April 2022)
I was a little surprised that this feature hadn’t been implemented yet, but it is nice to see that Teams Meetings integration will now be available in Appointment activities.
It does complete the Appointment functionality finally.
Co-editing on Power Apps Canvas (Public Preview – June 2022)
This functionality greatly improves team-based working. This was quite a technical challenge for Microsoft Product teams, as real-time compilation and code-merging was not a simple task to achieve. But it does look like they have nailed this one.
It supports Source Code level changes and changes through the Maker Experience, so that means technical and non-technical users will be able to develop harmoniously within the same app.
Co-presence provides feedback on who is editing, while responsive real-time preview shows changes as they occur in real-time.
Standalone Branded Mobile Apps (Public Preview April 2022, Generally Available June 2022)
Branded apps look to make a splash into the enterprise computing space. With the ability to apply custom branding in the form of splash screen/icons, and app management via Microsoft InTune, as well as the ability to self-publish on the Apple App and Google App Stores.
This feature will have a very short Public Preview period in April before becoming available two months later in June 2022, showing a great degree of confidence on the reliability of this feature.
Power App Portals
Portals support for image columns (Public Preview April 2022, Generally Available Jun 2022)
Power App Portals will soon have support for relatively new image column types. It will support thumbnails and have Forms support for upload.
Web API support for upload/download will also be available.
This will also have a short Public Preview period of 2 months.
Portals support for file columns (Public Preview June 2022, Generally Available Aug ust 2022)
Similarly, to the image column support, file support will also be available natively to Portals. Previously it had supported the notes functionality, that enabled drag and drop upload capabilities.
Now file handling support on portals will also feature support for the File column type. It will be made available for support on basic forms, advanced forms, and lists. There will be both upload and download support within.
Microsoft continues to make huge strides in all aspects of the Power App platform, and whilst this is a short overview of my top 10 favourite upcoming features, you can download the entire Release Notes for Wave 1 here:
What did you think of this Wave 1 release for Power Apps? Are there any other features you think should be on this list? Please do drop me a comment.