Customers are asking, “Are PowerApps and Flow replacing InfoPath and SharePoint Designer?”

powerappsTwo new tools became generally available on October 31, 2016 which enable people to automate workflows and quickly build custom apps that suit their specific needs.  These two new tools have deep integration with the new SharePoint modern experience.

  • You’ll be able to launch PowerApps directly from the SharePoint mobile app.
  • Modern document libraries will be made available as a data source for PowerApps and Microsoft Flow.
  • For Microsoft Flow, you’ll be able to run any flow on demand for a specific document or list item, in addition to waiting for an automated trigger to fire.
  • Using a data gateway, PowerApps and Microsoft Flow will work with on-premises data in SQL and SharePoint as simply as cloud-based data.
  • Deeper integration of Power BI with SharePoint Online. Business process requires more than data and automation. Power BI has been a leader in visualization analytics, and soon you’ll be able to embed visualizations and charts from Power BI directly into a SharePoint team site.
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PowerApps can create forms-like applications that connect to SharePoint data on-premises or in Office 365. So there are scenarios in which PowerApps might be used to create an application where InfoPath might have been used before.

Within apps, logic flows create workflow. As mentioned above, logic flows have both similarities and differences to SharePoint workflows. Across an organization, you will use both for various scenarios and apps.

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PowerApps and Flow do not replace InfoPath or SharePoint Designer, though they are their successors. PowerApps  creates an entirely new class of capability: building mobile business applications without code.

  • SharePoint Server 2016 will include an ongoing capability to host InfoPath Forms Services. InfoPath Forms Services on SharePoint 2016 will be supported for the duration of SharePoint 2016’s support lifecycle.
  • InfoPath Forms Services on Office 365 will continue to be supported.
  • InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 will be the last versions of those products. SharePoint Designer is not being re-released with SharePoint Server 2016, although we will continue to support custom workflows built with SharePoint Designer and hosted on SharePoint Server 2016 and Office 365. Support for InfoPath 2013 and SharePoint Designer 2013 will match the support lifecycle for SharePoint Server 2016, running until 2026.

While SharePoint Designer 2013 will still be used against SharePoint 2013 and 2016 on-premises and SharePoint Online, and InfoPath 2013 will still be used to create InfoPath Forms Libraries and to customize SharePoint list forms there is a new kid on the block, and depending on your license you may already have it.

Green IT is developing Flows and PowerApps for our customers now.  We are also developing training packages for these technologies, including Power BI training.