For those of us who were continuosly torn between canvas apps (on yer device, pixel-perfect, task-oriented) and model-driven apps (a.k.a. good ol’ forms, views, you know, all that Dynamics 365/CRM stuff), the wait is finally over. Embedding canvas apps in model-driven forms is now available as Public preview. First, the official part.
Makers can now extend the power of WYSIWYG, low-code customization, offered by canvas apps, to model-driven forms. Using embedded canvas apps makers can easily design and create rich visual areas on model-driven forms. They can also connect and display data from over 200+ data sources in embedded canvas apps right next to data from the Common Data Service. The embedded canvas apps also provide rich data integration capabilities to bring in contextual data from the host model-driven form to the embedded canvas app unlocking a variety of scenarios.
The feature is now available in initial regions (Canada, India, Japan and South America). You can create an environment in one of these regions if you want to try the feature right away. The feature will roll out to other regions over the next few weeks and will reach North America and Europe by early January 2019 due to extended holiday deployments chedules.
A huge thanks to you for your valuable time and feedback when the feature was being designed and developed. Please help Microsoft increase the awareness of this feature by blogging, tweeting, talking, shouting out from rooftops 😊.
Links to some resources
- Blog post announcing our release: Enrich your model-driven forms with embedded canvas apps (Public preview)
- Documentation: Embed a canvas app on a model-driven form
- More articles on sharing and troubleshooting will be made available in the next few days.
It’s great to witness this feature finally seeing the light of the day. The number one ask on my list is bidirectional communications. While it is possible to pass the context to the canvas app to do its thing like visualizations, it’s not yet possible to communicate back to the form even in the simplest form like “hey, I’m done, these are the changed pieces, refresh yourself”. Adding that would make me to revisit all implementations that use HTML web resources.
On a plus side, the release is a huge milestone, congratulations to the team. At very least the feature is there, even in a bit rough form, even with some inconsistencies and probably bugs. But it’s there. Which is more than we can say about, for example, PowerApps Control Framework (where’s “disappointed” emoji when you need one?)