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What’s new: Power Apps January 2024 Feature Update

Headshot of article author Clay Wesener

Welcome to the Power Apps monthly feature update! We will use this blog to share a summary of product, community, and learning updates from throughout the month so you can access it in one easy place.

This month we’ve got an exciting set of updates for makers, Copilot, pro devs and our end users.

Trust

  • Announcing General availability of Power Platform Customer managed key auto key rotation with Azure key vault key versioning. 

Maker Productivity

  • Building new apps and tables with Maker Copilot is now available worldwide 
  • Drag and drop controls within and between containers! 
  • Create Formula columns using Natural Language 
  • Inactive editor capability now available in Canvas Copresence 
  • Dependent Assembly is now Generally Available 
  • New Performant APIs are now Generally Available 

End User Productivity

  • Optimize screens for mobile devices with stunning native UI/UX 
  • 2023 recap and what is coming for modern controls in 2024 
  • Announcing seamless Dataverse image and file support in canvas offline apps 

Trust

Announcing General availability of Power Platform Customer managed key auto key rotation with Azure key vault key versioning. 

Data encryption is one of several defenses-in-depth that is available to secure storage. All your customer data and configuration information stored in Power Platform is encrypted at-rest with strong Microsoft-managed encryption keys. Power Platform offers customer managed key (CMK) for added data protection control, by allowing customers to manage their own encryption keys. You can create your own encryption keys using Azure key vault.

We are excited to announce the general availability of using Azure key vault key version to auto rotate your encryption key.  You can use the Rotation policy or the Rotate now to rotate the encryption key.

Learn more at Encrypt customer data using enhanced customer-managed key | Microsoft Learn

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Maker Productivity

Building new apps and tables with Maker Copilot is now available worldwide 

We are excited to announce that the Build apps through conversation capability is now available globally on make.powerapps.com. 

Copilot in Power Apps is an AI companion that guides you through the app creation process, from the backing data to the app design. Makers using Copilot have a success rate 60% higher than those who don’t incorporate Copilot and are 65% more satisfied in their overall experience. The feature is available for all makers regardless of license.  

Learn more at Building new apps and tables with Maker Copilot is now available worldwide | Microsoft Power Apps

Drag and drop controls within and between containers! 

Recently we’ve been busy making it easier to use the responsive horizontal and vertical layout containers in canvas studio. At the end of December we started enabling drag and drop positioning of controls within these layout containers, with the update available in all regions as of last week. Starting this week, we’re expanding this update to allow dragging and dropping across layout containers as well! We expect this addition to be available in all regions in the next couple of weeks.  

We’re committed to making responsive canvas authoring intuitive and delightful, and we have more to come. Learn more about creating responsive canvas apps here! 

Learn more at Building responsive canvas apps – Power Apps | Microsoft Learn

Create Formula columns using Natural Language 

Formula columns in Microsoft Dataverse are columns that display a calculated value. They are created using Power Fx, a powerful but user-friendly programming language. We are now previewing  the use of Natural language to compose Power Fx formulas. The preview can be opted in by turning these settings in the Power Platform admin center by going to Environments > [select an environment] > Settings > Product > Features>AI suggestions for formula columns 

Learn more at Work with Dataverse formula columns – Power Apps | Microsoft Learn

Inactive editor capability now available in Canvas Copresence 

Have you ever been stuck waiting for your turn to edit a canvas app? Has a colleague taken a long lunch or left for the day but left their editing session open? Currently, the canvas designer allows multiple makers to join an editing session but only allows one editor at a time. We have heard many makers talk about the challenges of syncing editing schedules with colleagues in their fusion team and being left waiting for a colleague to leave the session to become the editor.  

We took this feedback to heart and are excited to announce the inactive editor capability as part of Canvas Copresence. Waiting for an idling editor no more! Now, if an editor is inactive for two hours, a reader will have the opportunity to take the editor control. Additionally, none of the inactive editor’s progress will be lost. If auto save is turned on, those edits will be automatically saved. If auto save is not turned off, the initial editor will have a chance to save a copy and can incorporate those changes in later. 

And great news. This feature is generally available and on by default, so you don’t have to do anything to turn it on. We can’t wait for you to try the capability and see how this alleviates a key pain point in your maker collaboration journey. 

Learn more at Discover who’s working on a canvas app in Power Apps Studio – Power Apps | Microsoft Learn

Dependent Assembly is now Generally Available 

The Dependent Assembly feature provides a supported way for developers to include additional dependent assemblies along with the plug-in assembly when registering a plug-in with Microsoft Dataverse. This feature allows developers to include other required .NET assemblies or resources (for example, localized strings) with their plug-in assembly in a single NuGet package that is uploaded to the Dataverse server during the registration process. 

Learn more how to use dependent assemblies for simplifying plug-in development or watch this video. 

Learn more at Build your next application on Dataverse – now with hyperscale support for any enterprise data | Power Platform Developer Blog (microsoft.com)

New Performant APIs are now Generally Available 

Dataverse bulk operation messages are designed to improve performance when running operations on multiple rows of a Microsoft Dataverse table. They are particularly useful in high-latency environments as they reduce the total volume of data transmitted over the network2. Here are some of the bulk operation messages you can use: 

  • CreateMultiple: Creates multiple records of the same type in a single request. 
  • UpdateMultiple: Updates multiple records of the same type in a single request. 
  • UpsertMultiple (preview): Creates or updates multiple records of the same type in a single request. 
  • DeleteMultiple (preview): For elastic tables only. Deletes multiple records of the same type in a single request. 

For more details on implementation refer Use bulk operation messages – Power Apps | Microsoft Learn 

Learn more at Build your next application on Dataverse – now with hyperscale support for any enterprise data | Power Platform Developer Blog (microsoft.com)

End User Productivity

Optimize screens for mobile devices with stunning native UI/UX 

Optimize for devices is a feature that changes the way canvas app screens are loaded and displayed for Android and iOS devices to use native UI. This lets makers build stunning native apps for mobile users with device-optimized screens that use native UI elements instead of rendering inside of web view. This feature provides the following benefits: 

  • Brings modern mobile user experiences and interaction patterns 
  • Improves performance and reliability 
  • Integrates device capabilities with maker-defined UI 

Learn more at Optimize for devices overview (preview) – Power Apps | Microsoft Learn

2023 recap and what is coming for modern controls in 2024 

It highlights the progress right from initial introduction of modern controls in April, through their continuous progress up to the recent GA announcements, and finally to the innovations coming in early 2024. 
 
In 2024, our customers and makers can expect critical improvements coming to modern controls and theming like built in label, validations & required property, more composite controls and custom theming. 

Learn more at Recap of modern controls evolution in 2023 and a glimpse into 2024 innovations | Microsoft Power Apps

Announcing seamless Dataverse image and file support in canvas offline apps 

We are pleased to announce the Public Preview of files and images from Dataverse in offline for canvas apps. This new feature is built on top of the already announced Canvas built-in offline that is in Preview since September 2023. 

It is always challenging but critical to give access to files and images to frontline users when their devices are not connected to the network. Indeed, downloading files and images is usually a long process and can take a lot of space on the disk of the device. 

In an offline-enabled canvas app, you can now either allow the files and images to be downloaded on view or on sync. With those two modes, you can decide the strategy to download files and images on the device of the user for an offline usage and optimize the disk size depending on the business needs of the end users. 

Learn more at Announcing seamless Dataverse image and file support in canvas offline apps | Microsoft Power Apps

We’ve also released new, and made updates to some of our documentation – see a summary before of some of the key updates:

Please continue sending us your feedback on features you would like to see in Power Apps. We hope that you enjoy the update!

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