A Modern Autograph Book - Part 1 - Preparation

This series of blog posts will guide you through how to create an Autograph Book using Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. There are four parts to this series, each concentrating on the various elements of the solution which will all combine into something which you can use for some great solutions in Office 365:
The whole premises of this series of blogs is a complete gimmick, but it is designed to give you some ideas of where you can use PowerApps and Flow. Putting this into the concept of an Autograph Book will allow you to walk through a set of learning steps to achieve something, whilst allowing you to practice interacting with some of the key elements of PowerApps and Flow. The inspiration for this really came from seeing a presentation by Paul Culmsee MVP, so credit goes to him for getting me started on this journey.

Like cooking a meal, you need to gather some ingredients which you can combine together. They are as follows:
  • 1 x SharePoint Site
  • 1 x PowerApp
  • 1 x Flow
  • 1 x Azure Function

The overall architecture for this solution looks like this:

The PowerApp will be the main user interface which we'll be using to capture some basic information about our "famous" person. This will contain the key functionality which we need to capture a signature from someone and also take a photograph.

I will then use Microsoft Flow to take the photograph from PowerApps, process it and pass it to SharePoint. The same will be done with the autograph. Once I have these items stored within SharePoint, I will call to my Azure Function to combine all of the elements into a Word document and save them back to SharePoint.

In order to make this happen, let's get our ingredients ready...

SharePoint Site

First of all create yourself a new SharePoint site to store your autographs, photographs, and eventually your combined document. I used a Modern Team Site and called it "A Modern Autograph Book". Once the site has generated, create a new document library called "Autographs" which is where we'll drop our fully formed Word documents containing all of our autograph information.

PowerApp

Secondly, create yourself a new PowerApp from a blank canvas. Select the mobile phone layout as the canvas you wish to use, and let the app generate.

Flow

Thirdly, create a new Flow, again creating it from "Blank" rather than from a template. The trigger which we're going to use is "When a HTTP request is received" instead of PowerApps. There area a number of reasons for this which we'll dive into more when we get to Part 3 - Flow.

Azure Function

Finally, create an Azure Function. For this you'll need to navigate to the Azure Portal: portal.azure.com and select create Function App from new resources. In my example, I'm going to be using C# within my Azure Function.

Further detail on creating an Azure Function can be found on the Microsoft Site in the article "Create your first function in the Azure Portal"

Now we have the constituent parts, we can start to build out each individual piece of the puzzle, starting with A Modern Autograph - Part 2 - PowerApp.

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