Archive for November, 2018

Business Connectivity Services – It’s Not Dead… Yet

I had a great time recently presenting at CalSpoug’s SharePoint Saturday.  The first session I presented was on SharePoint Business Connectivity Service.  I have done this session quite a few times and I always have at least one attendee state they have never heard of BCS before.  This session was no different.  One of the things I cover is the importance of BCS in different environments.  Many will argue it is an old, unnecessary system.  I do not necessarily disagree with this.  However, I argue it isn’t dead yet.  If you are working with simple data in a SQL Database or even more complex but well-organized data in a database the ease of use within BCS is quickly seen.  In 5-10 minutes you can connect to your data and present it within SharePoint utilizing built-in forms (no custom form development).  Users will be able to read and update the data immediately (assuming permissions are configured already).  There’s more to it than just this and you can take a look at my slide deck to see.

Having said that, I do believe that I see an end to BCS.  PowerApps and Flows make accessing data just as easy and more configurable through the many, many connectors available.  As these connectors mature and the tools grow, the use cases for BCS will slowly disappear.  However, we aren’t there yet.  BCS is still there and still very easy to use.

 

Take a look at my slide deck and if you have questions, please reach out.

 

Thanks for reading!

Creating Dedicated PowerApps Forms for Each Mode in a SharePoint List

The other day I was tinkering around with a request to have different fields hidden based on the mode (New, Edit, View) the SharePoint form was in.  The process seemed to be pretty straight forward, but for some reason it didn’t quite work out as expected.  I finally figured out the cause and thought sharing the steps for creating dedicated PowerApps forms for each mode in a SharePoint list might help others out.

How Not To Do It

So first off let’s start with how not to do it.  The settings are located as properties of the SharePoint Integration object in your solution.

Creating Dedicated PowerApps Forms for Each Mode in a SharePoint List - SharePoint Integration Properties
Properties of the SharePoint Integration Object

I had thought that by simply  calling the EditForm function and passing the form I had used for editing, it would automatically load for me:

Unfortunately this did nothing.

Creating Dedicated PowerApps Forms for Each Mode in a SharePoint List

So above we are telling the form that we want to declare our edit form as the SMRequestForm_Edit, but we aren’t actually telling PowerApps how to get there.  So we just need to add a little bit of code that tells it to move to that particular screen:

As you see in the screenshot below, I have actually done something similar for all of the forms.  However, I haven’t created a View Form yet so it is looking at the EditForm.

Creating Dedicated PowerApps Forms for Each Mode in a SharePoint List - How To Transition

Check out the transition in action:

Preparing for Updates

One thing I would like to suggest you do is add a bit of code at the beginning of the transition component that tells your form what stage you are at.  This is to assist with any custom code you might want to add depending on the form stage you are at (I will be covering this in a future post).  Simply modify your code by adding the initializing and setting of a variable (I called it formStage).

Thanks for reading!!