Microsoft Power Apps: A Look Back at 2023, A Glimpse into 2024

Microsoft Power Apps: A Look Back at 2023, A Glimpse into 2024

As we enter the new year, let’s pause and reflect on the journey Power Apps has made in 2023. This article delves into the highlights, from the initial introduction of modern controls in April, through to the updated style options announced in December 2023. From there we will go over to the innovations coming in early 2024.

2023 recap of modern controls

Reflecting on the advancements of Power Apps throughout 2023. Microsoft has made substantial progress in modernizing the platform with a primary focus on enhancing controls and theming for an improved app-building experience. The year witnessed continuous updates, new control releases, and a heightened emphasis on usability and customization.

A responsive app built fully with modern controls

The journey began with the introduction of 13 modern controls based on Microsoft Fluent 2 in preview. Designed for optimal performance, fast and fluid app experiences, and enhanced accessibility. User feedback played a pivotal role, with makers providing direct input through ratings. Over the subsequent weeks, Microsoft responded by updating the canvas studio experience, introducing new controls, and implementing numerous property improvements based on maker feedback.

In July, a new theming system for modern controls, featuring PFx support, was released. This allows makers to easily and flexibly change the look and feel of apps while supporting classic theme tokens. Additional themes, such as SharePoint and Teams, were incorporated into the available modern themes.

New theming in canvas apps

The introduction of composite controls became another key pillar, offering easily configurable responsive controls to reduce app complexity and enhance performance. By September, multiple out-of-the-box responsive composite controls Table, Header, and Form were released as part of the modern controls suite.

Header control in canvas apps

Recent announcements marked the general availability of five modern controls. Button, Link, Slider, Tab list, and Progress Bar—based on high satisfaction reported by makers and comprehensive feedback addressing critical aspects. This update also includes full supportability for these controls to benefit customers.

Base Palette Color

Significant strides were made in styling modern controls. Introducing the “Base palette color” property to detach from app themes and enabling different color themes on individual controls. Over the last two months of 2023, typography properties such as font color, font, font weight, and font style were added to modern controls.

Style options in modern controls

Since, October updates were the last one of this series. Below is the summary of the updates in November and December 2023.

  • Table: Microsoft released following important improvements:
    • More configuration options – Makers can control the visibility of the footer, column headers, and the avatar (for the list view). They can also enable users to sort the data in the Table using the column headers directly.
    • Header style properties – Makers can style the Table header with much more flexibility. Microsoft added header font, font size, font color, and font weight properties.
  • Tab list – For large set of options in tabs, the flyout will dynamically adjust according to position of the control.
  • Info button – Introduction of line break support.
  • Text – Fixed alignment and wrap issues.
  • Link – Added a tooltip for the link to be displayed to app users.
  • Updated settings – The opt-in setting of modern controls has moved from the Upcoming section into the General section in the app settings in studio.

The progress achieved in 2023 reflects Microsoft’s commitment to providing a modern, customizable, and accessible app-building experience, driven by user feedback and a dedication to leading in low-code application development.

Upcoming updates in 2024

Now we turn our attention to the early months of 2024, where Microsoft will be building upon the foundation laid in the previous year. Customers and makers can expect the following updates to be released in the first few months of 2024:

  • Core controls: Microsoft plans to build upon the foundation laid in the previous year. Anticipated updates include new features for core controls, such as built-in label and required properties, aiming to streamline app building by reducing the number of controls needed. Additional styling properties, including Fill, Padding, Align, and Border, will be introduced, along with the release of Fluent icons as a new control and integrated feature in modern controls like Button.
  • Composite controls (or building blocks): The strategy of releasing high-value responsive composed controls continues with the introduction of two new controls—Dialog and Toolbar. Ongoing improvements are planned for existing composed controls, including Header, Form, and Table.
  • Updates to modern theming: Responding to user feedback, Microsoft is working on the first iteration of in-app custom themes. Including plans to evolve custom theming over time to add more capabilities.
  • Transition of existing controls to general availability –The transition of remaining preview controls to general availability is also a priority, with efforts focused on addressing critical gaps.

Excitement surrounds the glimpse into 2024. As we at allonline365, look forward to continued innovation and progress in the modernization journey of Power Apps. Helping us to deliver bigger and better Power Apps solutions to our clients.

Here’s to an exciting 2024 filled with advancements and success!

For further information on Microsoft Power Apps. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with allonline365 at +27 (21) 205 3650, email us at contact@allonline365.com or visit our website www.allonline365.com

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