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Microsoft Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform

In the previous step, we learned about Dashboards. Now, let’s uncover Signals.

PowerApps canvas apps can leverage device signals where the app is running to help improve the user experience.

This tool can be very powerful, for example, knowing where the user is physically located can allow for loading location-specific relevant data. Canvas apps have access to location, connection quality, acceleration and compass signals.

Using Location

Probably the most useful signal is location, which provides the application’s latitude, longitude and altitude. When enabled, the location information will recalculate as the location changes. You can use the Enable and Disable functions to control. Using this information in combination with the Bing Map connector allows scenarios like calculating drive time from the current location to the location of the data record currently being worked on. The data is available via Location. Latitude, Location.Longitude and Location.Altitude signal properties.

Connection Status

As much as we like to think we are always connected, as your apps move into more mobile scenarios the possibility of the user not having a viable connection becomes possible. The Connection signal returns information about the network connection of the device. Two key signal properties are Connection. Connected and Connection.Metered. Using the Connected property allows you to know you are offline and potentially defer server interactions that would fail. The property is updated continuously if the user connection status changes. The Metered property is useful if you want to reduce your network traffic to help the user conserve bandwidth when they are on a connection they have marked as metered.

Compass and Acceleration

The Compass signal provides heading based on the top of the screen. This allows you to determine the magnetic north. The range of the Heading property is 0 to 360. Applications can use this signal to provide directional guidance to the user.

The Acceleration signal provides insight into the device’s movements in three dimensions X, Y and Z. Both Compass and Acceleration provide information to your app on the devices immediate position and movement opening up creative ways you could leverage the device movement to influence your app behaviours.

You can read more about the signal property values available to your application here: Canvas Signal Property Values

Up next, we learn about Customising the User Experience.

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Dynamics 365: Using Power Platform Applications

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