One of the latest features in Microsoft Lists is a dedicated Progressive Web Apps with Offline mode. The app lets you work in a dedicated desktop application. It’s fast and supports operations on large data sets. It also works without throttling and syncs data offline. How to install the app and use it?
The Microsoft Lists application is a Progressive Web App (PWA) – it is an application that combines features from the web (Internet applications) and desktop apps (installed on your operating system). PWA works like a typical desktop application – you can install it, pin to start menu or taskbar, etc.
The second leg of the app is enhanced Project Nucleus. Project Nucleus was the first iteration of a new client-side component for web applications. It provided a fast and smooth experience for applications. The enhanced version powered by local storage plays a key role in Microsoft Lists PWA. Blazing fast, without throttling (YES!!), and with support for operations on hundreds of thousands of rows.
All those back-and technologies offer one more thing – offline mode! It works similar to the OneDrive client – sync data from your lists to your device. You can work on data with high-speed Internet, with a limited network, or completely offline. In offline mode, the app will sync all changes when the Internet appears.
Installation is simple. Navigate to the Office portal (https://office.com), open the Waffle menu, and go to the Microsoft Lists page.
On the top right corner, you can see an information window New Lists Desktop App. You can simply click the Install button to install the Lists PWA application.
You can also use the install icon available on the right side of the address bar.
The Lists app will be installed – and you can start working!
When you open the app you will see all your lists in the same view as in the Internet application. You can open your list, add items, sort items, create views, edit items, etc. Customized forms using Power Apps works as well! You can also go to the list’s settings and modify it. Most of the options from the web are available in the app. Entire Office navigation with the Waffle menu is also available. If a feature is not yet available in the app or you click on other service buttons (for example, SharePoint Online or Stream) you will be redirected to your web browser.
To check if your list is connected and synced with the cloud check an icon near the list’s title. It indicates the list’s status – synced, syncing, or disconnected.
You can also disable syncing for selected lists. Go to the main page, select your list, and click Stop syncing.
When you open the Task Manager you can find a process that is responsible for syncing data between your device and Microsoft 365 – it’s called Microsoft SharePoint.
The Lists application is a great way to work with large lists or when you are offline. It’s really fast, the user interface is the same as in the web browser. You can use it even if there is a Power Apps custom form.
Currently, not all types of lists can be synced with the app:
- Lists that have the Allow management of content types set to Yes
- Lists that have the “Allow items from this list to be downloaded to offline clients” set to “No”
- Lists that have the Require content approval for submitted items set to Yes
- Lists that have the Make “New Folder” command available set to Yes
- Lists that have display mode set to Classic experience
- Lists with Calculated fields
- Lists with Lookup fields
- Lists with validation formulas on any of the fields
- Lists that have Multiple lines of text fields where Append changes to the existing text are set to Yes
- Lists with fields that have a default value specified.
No support for lookups and calculated fields can be painful but remember that this app was recently introduced and new features are on the way!