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Boosting Your Power Apps Performance: Practical Tips and Tricks

Hey there, Power Apps enthusiasts! Shane Young here from PowerApps911. Today, we're diving into a topic that's crucial for any Power Apps developer - boosting app performance. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting, understanding how to optimize your Power Apps can make a world of difference in your projects. And guess what? I've got a video that walks you through it all, but let's break it down here for a quick read.


Why Performance Matters in Power Apps

Why obsess over performance in Power Apps? Well, it's simple - performance is the backbone of user experience. Imagine walking into a store where the shelves are cluttered, and it takes forever to find what you need. Frustrating, right? That's what happens when an app lags or doesn't respond swiftly. In our fast-paced world, users expect quick, responsive apps that make their tasks easier, not harder. By fine-tuning your Power Apps' performance, you're not just speeding up an app; you're crafting an enjoyable, efficient experience for your users. It's about making your app not just functional, but delightful to use. And let's be honest, in the competitive landscape of app development, a smooth, fast-performing app can make all the difference in winning and retaining your audience.


Understanding Race Conditions in Power Apps

First up, let's talk about race conditions. These sneaky little bugs occur when your app's processes don't complete in the order you expected. It's like expecting your morning coffee to be ready before you've even plugged in the coffee maker! To avoid this, ensure your Power Apps wait for one process to complete before starting another. This simple step can save you from a lot of unpredictable behaviors in your apps. Flows are a major culprit here or adding code after SubmitForm(FormName). If you want something to happen after the form submits put the code in the OnSuccess property of the form.


The N+1 Problem: A Power Apps Speed Bump

Ever heard of the N+1 problem? It's when your app makes too many unnecessary network calls, especially in galleries. It's like asking for a single piece of information and getting an entire encyclopedia in return - overkill, right? To tackle this, use collections or fetch detailed data only when necessary. It keeps your app zippy and efficient.


Avoid LookUps to external data sources in the body of your galleries! Either don't do them or look to see could you put that external data source in a collection?


A screen shot of Power Apps showing a LookUp function calling an external data source.
Don't add LookUps inside of Galleries!

Power Apps Performance Training

If building awesome apps and understanding them is your thing then you would really enjoy our Power Apps and Power Automate 201 Training Class. In my fun filled class we dive into not only how to do things in Power Apps and Automate but the WHY things work the way they do. Giving you the skills and knowledge you need to build awesome solutions.


SharePoint and Power Apps: A Delicate Dance

Many of us use SharePoint as a data source, but it can get tricky as your list grows. To keep things smooth, think about archiving old data and simplifying your data model. And if you're dealing with a larger dataset, consider switching to Dataverse or SQL Server. It's like moving from a cozy apartment to a spacious house - more room, less clutter!


SharePoint as a data source will slow down as you add items. When you start to get more than 10,000 items in a list you can feel it in a transactional app. Also, delegation is a real concern in those large lists. Things like the Search function not delegating with SharePoint is a real bummer. Archiving, switching data sources, or just not having Search is where you are left.


OnStart Event: Don't Overload It

Is your app taking ages to load? You might be overloading the OnStart event. It's like trying to do a week's worth of chores in one day - overwhelming, right? Use concurrent functions, static collections, or shift some logic to the OnVisible event of your first screen. It's all about balance!


OnStart is a very popular place to put functionality and sometimes the only place to put it. Try to minimize your work here since it blocks your users and try to put in inline somewhere else. Also, the new Formulas property is interesting place to consider but remember then you cannot change the collection or variable.


Offline Power Apps: Pack Only What You Need

Building offline apps? Remember, only take what's necessary for the task at hand. It's like packing for a trip - you don't need to bring your entire wardrobe, just what you'll use. This approach prevents performance issues and data corruption.


A screenshot of Power Apps OnStart Formula for an Offline app
Offline apps can have a lot going on, try to make sure you are only taking the essentials.

Bulk Operations: Handle with Care

Bulk operations can be tricky. Using functions like ForAll with Patch might seem efficient, but they can slow down your app. Sometimes, Power Automate is a better choice for handling complex tasks. It's like delegating tasks in a team - everyone plays to their strengths.


Just because you can do it in a Power Apps app doesn't mean you should. Also, tools like ForAll are very powerful but can be very slow. Think twice whenever you are doing bulk operations and consider using Monitor to see what is happening behind the scenes.


Wrap-Up

Improving your Power Apps performance isn't just about making things faster; it's about making your apps more reliable and user-friendly. If you want to dive deeper into these tips, check out my detailed video on 5 Power Apps Performance tips. It's packed with demos and explanations to help you get the most out of your Power Apps.


And remember, if you're hitting a wall or just need a bit of guidance, don't hesitate to reach out. Drop me a message using the contact form at the bottom of this page. Let's make your Power Apps the best they can be!

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