All about PowerApp storage and hosting!!!

Where is PowerApps data stored? (Exploring Data Storage Options in PowerApps: Where Does Your Data Reside?)

Data storage is indeed important, in any IT business or solution the data must be stored, be it customer information, inventory data, financial transactions, documents, or pictures. 

PowerApps data sources provide your apps with the information that they need to function effectively. These banks of data can be stored in the cloud, allowing you to access them from anywhere in the world. Sometimes the data is also stored locally in a specific app. In this blog, we will see what all data storage options are available, Let’s get started:

  • Common Data Service (CDS):

PowerApps data is often stored in the Common Data Service, which is a cloud-based storage service provided by Microsoft. CDS is a powerful and flexible database that allows you to create and manage data entities with rich data types, relationships, and business logic. It provides a unified and secure way to store and access data across various Microsoft applications like PowerApps, Dynamics 365, and Power BI.

  • SharePoint Integration:

PowerApps seamlessly integrates with SharePoint, a collaborative platform that facilitates data storage and management. By connecting your app to SharePoint lists or libraries, you can leverage the familiar SharePoint interface to store and organize your data. SharePoint provides features like version control, document libraries, and granular permissions, enhancing data collaboration within your PowerApps.

  • External Data Sources:

PowerApps allows you to connect to a wide range of external data sources, expanding the possibilities for data storage. You can establish connections with SQL Server databases, Azure SQL Database, Excel files, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, and more. By leveraging these external sources, PowerApps retrieves and updates data directly from the connected systems, enabling real-time access to critical information.

  • Local Collections:

In addition to the above-mentioned options, PowerApps provides a convenient method for temporary data storage within the app itself. Local collections act as transient tables that reside in the memory of the device running the app. They offer a lightweight and flexible solution for managing temporary or intermediate data during app execution.

  • Azure Services Integration:

PowerApps integrates seamlessly with various Azure services, unlocking advanced data storage capabilities in the Azure cloud. You can leverage Azure SQL Database, Azure Blob storage, Azure Table storage, and more to securely store and retrieve your PowerApps data. Azure services

provide scalability, high availability, and advanced security features, making them an attractive option for organizations with specific cloud requirements.

The choice of storage option depends on several factors, including data security requirements, scalability, and the nature of your application. For organizations seeking a comprehensive and scalable solution with robust data management capabilities, Common Data Service (CDS) is a preferred choice. SharePoint integration is ideal for teams familiar with SharePoint and looking for collaborative data storage.

If your PowerApps need to interact with external systems or leverage existing data sources, connecting to external data sources is a powerful option. Local collections are suitable for transient data needs within the app itself, while Azure services offer cloud-based storage with advanced features.

How much data can be stored?

We read about the storage options but how much storage do these options provide?

The storage depends on the type of storage we selected:

All these options depend on what license plan we have.

  • Common Data Service (CDS):

The storage capacity in CDS varies on the licensing plan, but by default, it is 10 GB per tenant. Premium plans like Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Plan or Power Apps per user plan offer higher storage capacities tailored to enterprise needs.

  • SharePoint Integration:

Standard SharePoint online plan provides by default 1 TB plus 10 GB storage per user license.

  • External Data Sources:

Whether it’s SQL Server databases, Azure SQL Database, Excel files, or custom APIs, PowerApps seamlessly interacts with these sources. The storage capacity in external data sources depends on the limits and quotas of the specific service. Azure SQL Database, for example, offers highly scalable storage options, allowing you to store large volumes of data securely in the cloud. With external data sources, you have the flexibility to leverage existing systems and real-time data without worrying about storage limitations within PowerApps.

  • Local Collections:

The storage capacity of local collections is limited by the available memory on the device. They are suitable for smaller datasets or temporary data needs during app execution.

  • Azure Services Integration:

Azure services such as Azure SQL Database, Azure Blob storage, and Azure Table storage provide scalable and reliable storage options. The storage capacity for these services depends on the specific service and pricing tier chosen.

How are PowerApps hosted?

  • Microsoft Power Apps Service:

The Microsoft Power Apps Service is the default hosting option for PowerApps. It is a fully managed platform provided by Microsoft that allows you to create, deploy, and manage your applications. When you build an app in PowerApps, it is automatically hosted in the Power Apps Service. This hosting option offers several advantages, such as scalability, high availability, and security. Microsoft takes care of infrastructure management, ensuring that your app is accessible to users from anywhere, anytime.

  • SharePoint Online:

PowerApps can also be hosted within SharePoint Online, a collaborative platform offered by Microsoft. SharePoint Online provides a rich set of features for document management, team collaboration, and data storage. By hosting your PowerApps within SharePoint Online, you can take advantage of its robust security, permissions, and version control capabilities. This hosting option is particularly beneficial when you want to integrate your app with SharePoint lists, libraries, or other SharePoint content.

  • Azure App Service:

Azure App Service is a cloud-based platform provided by Microsoft Azure that allows you to build, deploy, and scale web applications. With Azure App Service, you can host your PowerApps as web applications in the Azure cloud. This hosting option offers high scalability, automated scaling, and advanced DevOps capabilities. Azure App Service integrates seamlessly with other Azure services, providing additional functionalities like database integration, caching, and identity management.

  • On-Premises Data Gateway:

In some cases, you may need to host your PowerApps on-premises due to data sovereignty, compliance, or connectivity requirements. The On-Premises Data Gateway allows you to securely connect your PowerApps to on-premises data sources and services. It acts as a bridge between the cloud-hosted PowerApps and your local infrastructure, enabling seamless access to on-premises data while maintaining security and compliance.

  • Power Apps Portals:

Power Apps Portals allow you to build external-facing websites and applications that interact with PowerApps and data stored in the Common Data Service or other connected data sources. These portals can be hosted on Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, providing a secure and scalable solution for external user access. Power Apps Portals offer features like authentication, user management, and integration with other Microsoft services, making them an excellent choice for customer-facing applications.

By selecting the right hosting option, you can ensure scalability, security, and seamless integration with your data sources, unlocking the full potential of your PowerApps applications in the cloud.

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