Is Microsoft PowerApps an InfoPath alternative?

As users search for an InfoPath alternative, the seemingly obvious answer would be Microsoft PowerApps. However, Microsoft never intended for PowerApps to be the InfoPath replacement.

Users who have historically used InfoPath have been searching for an InfoPath alternative since news of its discontinuation was announced.

The tool was very popular among enterprise clients who used it to build custom forms that could be published to SharePoint and to capture data from end users. Some of the forms built by InfoPath included employee reviews, purchase request forms, expense intake forms and various other client forms.

As Microsoft phased out InfoPath, it simultaneously offered up Microsoft PowerApps, a product available through the Office 365 suite that enables users to deliver data collection forms through SharePoint. While PowerApps answered some of the users' InfoPath needs, SharePoint administrators and form designers needed to adopt new skills for building forms. PowerApps does not necessarily meet all of the needs to make it a complete InfoPath alternative.

Like InfoPath, PowerApps provides a desktop tool to help build custom forms that can capture any set of data from end users. Forms created with the PowerApps tool can be integrated into SharePoint for end users to use or can be stand-alone apps accessible across multiple platforms and devices.

One of the appeals that PowerApps has is its ability to support mobile devices and have the same look and feel as a native app on Android, iOS and Windows devices.

There are currently no tools available within PowerApps for a migration or conversion from InfoPath. However, PowerApps does offer integration functionality with multiple data sources, including on-premises SQL and online services. The PowerApps platform also supports integration with Microsoft Flow, the new enhanced workflow engine.

Given all the progress achieved with the features and functionality available in PowerApps, organizations can use this tool to build mobile apps for their employees and enable field users to capture relevant data, site inspections, employee reviews, product catalogs and more. The tool continues to receive frequent updates, and Microsoft continues to make PowerApps more attractive to InfoPath users.

However, in terms of finding a true InfoPath alternative, there are currently more suitable options. A good replacement product needs to align SharePoint Online, Office 365, Windows phones and Windows 10. Some products that do this include Nintex Forms, custom .NET SharePoint forms and Access online app forms.

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