Make A Power Apps Component Library To Share And Reuse Components
Power Apps component libraries are now the recommended way to store several components in one place. I was caught by surprise earlier this week when I tried to use a canvas component made in an earlier app and found the import button was missing! Now that the old method of importing components is deprecated we need to learn a new way of doing things. In this article I will show you how to make a Power Apps component library.
Table of Contents: Why Use A Power Apps Component Library? Add A New Component Library Import An Existing Component From An App To A Library Get A Component From A Component Library Make Changes To A Component In A Component Library Update A Component Already Inside An App
Why Use A Power Apps Component Library?
Components can be stored inside a component library or inside in an app. Most times you will want to choose a component library for these 3 reasons:
- Available To Use In Other Apps – Any component in a component library can used in other apps whereas a component stored inside an app cannot. The main benefit of components is to save time by re-using them in as many places as possible.
- Ease Of Updating Across Many Apps – When a changes are made to a component inside a component library the developer can open any app where it is being used a prompt will appear to ask whether it should be updated.
- Share With Others – By saving components in a component library they will be easier for others to find. Component libraries have their own menu separate from apps. This makes them more discoverable.
Add A New Component Library
To create a new component library go to the Apps section of make.powerapps.com and choose Component Libraries. Select the create component library button.
Give the component library a name then click Create.
When the component library opens in studio mode it loads directly into the components tab. Now we are ready to create a component for use in other apps.
You might notice that that component libraries have all of the same features as a normal app. We can make screens and insert our components into them for testing purposes. But be careful, if we accidentally create an app inside of a component library it cannot be run by other users. A component library can only be used to store components.
Import An Existing Component From An App To A Library
Once we create the component library the next step is to make some new components. But what if we already made some components inside of other apps. There is no obvious way to import them! Fortunately, we can still re-enable the import components feature that was retired. Go to File on the top menu and choose Settings. Then select Upcoming Features, click on the Retired tab and turn on Export and import components.
The 3 dots symbol will now appear beside the new component button. Click on the dots and select import components.
Pick the app where the components we want to import are stored. In this example I am importing a navigation menu component I built in a previous article.
Now the navigation menu component is included in the component library. Repeat this process as many times as you like until all components you want have been imported then save the library.
Get A Component From A Component Library
We can now import components from the library into any app. Go to make.powerapps.com and create a new app from blank called My New App. Select the Insert icon from the left menu and click Get More Components.
The component library will appear in the Import Components screen. Choose the navigation menu component and click Import.
The component will appear on the first screen of our app. If we need to use navigation menu on another screen we can find it in the Library components section of the Insert menu.
Make Changes To A Component In A Component Library
A component library allows developers to make changes to components and quickly load a new version of the component into any apps currently using it. We can make a small update to the navigation menu to test this feature out. Select the navigation menu and add a new custom property called Size as shown below.
The purpose of Size is to control the size of any text in the menu. Select the label lbl_SideNav_Value and change the Size property to cmp_SideNav.Size. Test the changes by inputting a new number in the size property of the component.
Once finished save and publish the component library.
Update A Component Already Inside An App
A prompt will appear the next time you open the app containing the component. We can make it show by closing and re-opening My New App. To update the component click the Review button.
A list of component libraries used by the app will appear with the modified date. Select the component library we changed and click Update.
A new version of the navigation menu component will replace any instances of the previous version in our app. We now can use the Size property we added while in the component library.
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