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Integrate Live Act CRM Data into Custom Business Apps Built in PowerApps

Use the CData Cloud Hub to create a virtual SQL Server Database for Act CRM data and integrate live Act CRM data into apps built in Microsoft PowerApps.

PowerApps is a service for building and using custom business apps that connect to your data and work across the web and mobile — without the time and expense of custom software development. When paired with the CData Cloud Hub, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to Act CRM data from the apps you build using PowerApps. This article shows how to connect the Cloud Hub from PowerApps and build an app based on live Act CRM data.

The CData Cloud Hub provides a pure SQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for Act CRM, allowing you to easily integrate with live Act CRM data in PowerApps — without replicating the data. The CData Cloud Hub looks exactly like a SQL Server database to PowerApps and uses optimized data processing out of the box to push all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Act CRM, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Act CRM data.

Create a Virtual SQL Database for Act CRM Data

CData Cloud Hub uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Cloud Hub and click Databases.
  2. Select "Act CRM" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Act CRM.

    The User and Password properties, under the Authentication section, must be set to valid Act! user credentials. In addition to the authentication values, see the following:

    • Connecting to Act! Premium

      In addition to the authentication values, the URL to Act! is also required; for example https://eup1-iis-04.eu.hosted.act.com/.

      Additionally, you must specify the ActDatabase you will connect to. This is found by going to the About Act! Premium menu of your account, at the top right of the page, in the ? menu. Use the Database Name in the window that appears.

    • Connecting to Act! Premium Cloud

      To connect to your Act! Premium Cloud account, you also need to specify the ActCloudName property. This property is found in the URL address of the Cloud account; for example https://eup1-iis-04.eu.hosted.act.com/ActCloudName/.

    Note that retrieving ActCRM metadata can be expensive. It is advised that you set the CacheMetadata property to store the metadata locally.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

Connecting to the CData Cloud Hub

To use the Cloud Hub to integrate Act CRM data into your PowerApps, you need a new SQL Server connection:

  1. Log in to PowerApps
  2. Click Data -> Connections -> New connection
  3. Select SQL Server
  4. In the connection wizard:

    • Choose to connect directly
    • Set SQL server name to the address of your Cloud Hub instance (myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Set SQL database name to the name of the virtual Act CRM database you created earlier (like actcrmdb)
    • Set the Username and Password and click Create

Building a Data-Centric App for Act CRM Data

With the connection to the Cloud Hub configured, you are ready to integrate live Act CRM data into the apps you build in PowerApps.

  1. Log in to PowerApps
  2. Click Create, hover over "Start from data" and click Make this app
  3. Select the SQL Server connection you created
  4. Search for or choose a table to work with
  5. Click Connect
  6. Customize the newly created app just like you would any other, including changing the layout and setting the fields exposed in BrowseScreen, DetailScreen, and EditScreen

At this point, you have an app with read and write access to live Act CRM data that you can save and publish for use within your organization.

SQL Access to Act CRM Data from Cloud Applications

Now you have a direct connection to live Act CRM data from Microsoft PowerApps. You can create more connections and apps to drive business — all without replicating Act CRM data.

To get SQL data access to 100+ SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources directly from your cloud applications, see the CData Cloud Hub.