Power Apps for External Users

This post is all about how you can share Power Apps canvas apps with people who are external to your company.

First of all, there are two main concepts that it’s important to understand.  There is a technology called Power Apps Portals.  This post is NOT about Power Apps portals, which use Microsoft Dynamics CRM and the Common Data Service (CDS).  They can accept anonymous users, but there is an associated cost per month for this capability.

Power Apps Canvas Apps can be shared with anonymous users, and here’s how.  During my live SharePoint Power Hour broadcast, I picked a random volunteer, to demonstrate this during the show.  Keep in mind that your organization’s sharing settings will make a big difference in your experience when it comes to sharing externally.

If your organization does allow external sharing, there are various degrees of sharing allowed.  If you are an admin, one place you can go to see this setting, is https://admin.onedrive.com

sharepoint-online-external-sharing-settings-admin

High level for admins

YOU CAN JUST SKIP TO THE NEXT SECTION, YOU MAY NOT NEED TO DO THIS PART, depending on your own organization’s settings (above).  At the organization (tenant) level, different sharing settings can be set for SharePoint versus OneDrive.  Here’s how to manage / admin the guest (external) users in your organization, and it’s where I start in the video (below) when I first add my volunteer to my demo tenant.

1.  From the main Office 365 admin center, go to the Azure Active Directory admin center.

2.  Click Users on the left, and click New guest user at the top.

azure-ad-users-admin

3.  Fill in the person’s name and email address, and click Invite.  They will receive an email letting them know that they’re invited.

Note that if your site is already set to “Anyone” or “New and existing external users”, you don’t have to do anything in Azure, you can just add them directly in the site, per the next set of instructions

Sharing a SharePoint list customized with Power Apps

1.  In this example, I’m using a SharePoint list form customized with Power Apps, just right inside of my SharePoint site.  So the guest needs to be given access to the site, to be able to get to the list /  fill out the form.  Go to your SharePoint site where the list is that you want to share, and go to the site’s permissions.   (Settings gear –> Site permissions)

2.  Click Share Site.  Add the person to the site.  It’s up to you as to what role to give them, but if you want them to be able to fill out a form, they’ll need at least the Edit role.

You can even give them read permissions on the site, and only contribute permissions on the list or library that you want them to be able to work on.  For more on advanced SharePoint permissions, check out my course.

image

Sharing a Standalone Canvas App

1.  Go to the main Power Apps interface at https://web.powerapps.com

2.  Pick the app you’d like to share, click the ellipsis next to it, and click Share.

3.  Type the person’s name or email address in the little box at the top left that says Enter a name…

4.  Pick the person, and notice that by default, their role is User.
share-animation-powerapp-external

5.  Optionally check the box at the bottom to send an email invitation to them, and click Share.

Notice in the screenshot above, it has a little section called Data permissions.  Read this message, it’s important.  This means that you would need to make sure the guest user has access to the underlying data as well.  What’s that?  As an example, if your app uses a SharePoint list (one or more) in it, then all of the people using the app also need to have permission to the list.  I wrote a whole other blog post about using Power Apps as a Front End to SharePoint.

In this video, I go over all of these steps and a demo of inviting someone, plus I spend about twenty minutes in the Azure Active Directory interface, talking about different types of users and licenses.  If the guest is already part of their own company’s Office 365 tenant, and their user license already includes SharePoint/PowerApps, then they can have access to your tenant’s.  But if the user is just a yahoo or gmail or some other email address that’s not in Office 365, then that user will need to have/create a personal Microsoft account, AND you’ll have to use one of your tenant’s licenses for that person’s guest account.

The first half of the video was about a different topic, but the link below takes you to the second half, where I talk about this topic, Power Apps shared with external users.

power-hour-powerapp-sharing-external

12 comments

  • Hi Laura, I have question regarding sharing a canvas app and a linked Sharepoint site.

    Is it possible to only allow guest to edit at powerapps, but not enabling to view the data at sharepoint? Or is there any way that we can prevent the guest from viewing the full list inside the Sharepoint site?

    Appreciate if you could advise.

    Thank you.

    Like

  • Hi, I’ve been contracted to build a Power Automate workflow for a company. Can they use this tutorial to add me as a user to complete this task?

    Like

  • I added an external user but the get a “You need a current plan or trial to use Power Apps” error even though they do have PowerApps license enabled on their tenant. Any idea why?

    Like

    • That could have to do with the connectors that you’re using in the app. Any premium connectors will require a license for the users. You could test this by creating a blank app with no connectors in it, and see if those users can open it.

      Like

  • I need to create a power app that has header data that will be written to a SharePoint list. Under the header is an excel form (not power app fields) in which the user will enter their data and once they save it will be saved as an attachment to the SP list. Is it possible to have a portion of your powerapp saved as an attachment to SP list?

    Like

    • Yes, insert a form control with a SharePoint list as the data source, and be sure to add the attachment control to the form when you’re adding the fields to it.

      Like

  • hi laura. how many concurrent users can share an account, i mean can 30 login with the same shared account at the same time

    Like

  • Hi,
    I need to give access for third party to build the apps. But how do we secure this account?
    As

    Like

    • You’ll have to create an account in your tenant for the contractor, external users can’t develop apps in your tenant. Then, you’d use whatever security protocols you already have in place for contractors and accounts. Not really related to Power Apps at that point.

      Like

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