Different types of Power Apps

There are three main types of Power Apps; Canvas, Model-driven, and Portals

Select which type of Power App you're looking for:
Different types of Power Apps - Canvas

What are Canvas apps?

A Canvas app is a ‘traditional’ app - the sort of mobile or tablet app that everyone is familiar with. But where traditional apps require knowledge of a programming language like C# or JavaScript to write, canvas apps are built by dragging and dropping pre-built controls onto a blank canvas, and Excel-style expressions are written to specify logic and handle navigation. 

Integrate with data from a near limitless number of Microsoft and third-party data sources and build a pixel-perfect interface using buttons, lists, text inputs and more for a tailored user experience. Apps can then be deployed for use on mobile or tablet devices, in a standard web client, or even embedded in Teams, Sharepoint, or Power BI dashboards. 

Canvas app design provides the following benefits:

  • Pixel-perfect customisation
  • Simple drag and drop design environment
  • Excel-style business logic
  • Native AI tools, address and map inputs, offline capabilities, and more.
Different types of Power Apps - Model driven

What are Model-driven apps?

With Model-driven apps, you can implement business process flows to ensure consistency and provide structure to processes by defining stages and actions for users to progress through.

Model-driven apps provide the following benefits:

  • Uses Dynamics 365’s Unified Interface
  • Component-focused no-code design environment
  • Integrated business process flows
  • Leverage the power of Dataverse

Different types of Power Apps - Portals

What are Power Apps Portals?

Power Apps Portals is the newest type and focused more on website design. In simple terms, what a Canvas app is to app design, a Portal is to web design.

It's an easier way for people to create external-facing websites using a straightforward studio and expose data to customers and vendors (and those people can be guests, they don't have to login). Also, if you want to get a bit techy, you can even mess around with the CSS! 

Portals share a lot of the framework of model-driven apps in that both are built around Dataverse, and have access to the pool of Dataverse components (Views, Forms etc) as well as the data stored within.