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Integrate Live REST Data into Custom Business Apps Built in PowerApps

Use the CData Cloud Hub to create a virtual SQL Server Database for REST data and integrate live REST 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 REST 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 REST data.

The CData Cloud Hub provides a pure SQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for REST, allowing you to easily integrate with live REST 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 REST, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return REST data.

Create a Virtual SQL Database for REST 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 "REST" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to REST.

    See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation to authenticate to your data source: The data provider models REST APIs as bidirectional database tables and XML/JSON files as read-only views (local files, files stored on popular cloud services, and FTP servers). The major authentication schemes are supported, including HTTP Basic, Digest, NTLM, OAuth, and FTP. See the Getting Started chapter in the data provider documentation for authentication guides.

    After setting the URI and providing any authentication values, set Format to "XML" or "JSON" and set DataModel to more closely match the data representation to the structure of your data.

    The DataModel property is the controlling property over how your data is represented into tables and toggles the following basic configurations.

    • Document (default): Model a top-level, document view of your REST data. The data provider returns nested elements as aggregates of data.
    • FlattenedDocuments: Implicitly join nested documents and their parents into a single table.
    • Relational: Return individual, related tables from hierarchical data. The tables contain a primary key and a foreign key that links to the parent document.

    See the Modeling REST Data chapter for more information on configuring the relational representation. You will also find the sample data used in the following examples. The data includes entries for people, the cars they own, and various maintenance services performed on those cars.

  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 REST 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 REST database you created earlier (like restdb)
    • Set the Username and Password and click Create

Building a Data-Centric App for REST Data

With the connection to the Cloud Hub configured, you are ready to integrate live REST 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 REST data that you can save and publish for use within your organization.

SQL Access to REST Data from Cloud Applications

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

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