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Create Custom Power Platform Connectors to Leverage ChatGPT and Other APIs

Author: Reza DorraniTime: 2024-02-13 09:30:00

Table of Contents

Introduction to Building Custom Connectors in Power Platform

A custom connector in Power Platform allows you to connect to any API or data source and leverage it directly within Power Apps and Power Automate. In this blog post, we will examine how to build a custom connector for the ChatGPT API, and then utilize it in Power Apps for no-code applications and Power Automate for workflow automation.

Overview of Custom Connectors

Custom connectors provide a seamless bridge to external APIs and data sources from within the Power Platform. They abstract away the underlying complexity of directly calling APIs and let you leverage them via easy to use actions. You can build custom connectors for virtually any API - public or private. This includes APIs for popular services like ChatGPT, Twitter, MailChimp as well as internal Line-of-Business applications used by your organization.

Benefits of Custom Connectors

Some key benefits of using custom connectors in Power Platform include:

  • Rapid integration with external systems and data sources
  • Enhanced extensibility and customization options
  • Easy reuse across multiple apps and flows
  • Built-in connectivity troubleshooting tools
  • Enterprise-grade security with support for authentication

Connecting to the ChatGPT API via a Custom Connector

Examining the ChatGPT API Documentation

ChatGPT offers various AI models via developer friendly APIs that we can easily connect to. These include:

  • DaVinci: for general conversational text completion
  • Codex: for generating code snippets
  • Dali: for creating images from text prompts The APIs are well documented with sample requests, responses, parameters etc. that serve as a great starting point for building our custom connector.

Developing the Custom Connector

We will build the custom connector right within the Power Platform admin center. The key steps include:

  • Giving the connector a name, icon, description etc.
  • Specifying the ChatGPT API base URL
  • Adding API key based authentication
  • Defining connector actions along with request and response details We can directly import the request/response samples from the ChatGPT API docs which saves a lot of effort. The connector definition also allows configuring advanced functionality including static value lists, default values, required parameters etc.

Testing the New ChatGPT Connector

Once built, we can test run our shiny new ChatGPT connector!

  • First we create a connection by specifying our personal API key
  • Then we can execute the connector actions and validate the responses If needed, we can tweak the connector actions, make improvements and iterate until we are satisfied. The testing capability is invaluable to ensure our connector works as expected before putting it to use in apps/flows.

Leveraging the ChatGPT Connector in Power Apps

Adding the Connector to a Power App

In Power Apps, we can easily add our ChatGPT custom connector via the built-in data source integration:

  • Select the connector from the list of data sources
  • Create a connection by specifying our API key
  • The ChatGPT actions now show up ready to be used! That's it! No coding needed to call the API or parse responses. The complexity is entirely abstracted by our custom connector.

Connecting Controls to Call the API

We can bind Power Apps controls directly to the custom connector actions. For example:

  • Text input control to capture the user prompt
  • Button to trigger the ChatGPT API call
  • Label to display the response The request parameters and response data automatically get mapped to control properties. We can also fine tune behavior by storing the response in variables and manipulating the result.

Displaying the ChatGPT Response

Based on the action called, the ChatGPT API can return different response formats like text, images, code snippets etc. These get stored in the response variable for easy access. For example, calling the text completion action returns choices in an array. We can display just the text property in a label with minimal code. Power Apps makes it incredibly easy to work with complex API responses without worrying about the underlying JSON structure.

Using the ChatGPT Connector in Power Automate

Triggering Flows with the Connector

In Power Automate, we can leverage the ChatGPT connector to build sophisticated workflows that are kicked off based on various triggers like:

  • User request submitted via a form
  • New email received
  • Interval based recurrence
  • Event in external system The trigger could capture input details like prompt text that get passed to the ChatGPT actions for processing.

ChatGPT Integration Examples

Some examples of using ChatGPT workflows in Power Automate:

  • User submits form to ask question -> Trigger flow -> Call ChatGPT to get answer -> Email response
  • New support ticket received -> Extract key details -> Pass to ChatGPT for initial recommendation -> Create draft response
  • Daily digest blog post -> Prompt ChatGPT to generate article outline -> Email draft to author The possibilities are endless! Workflows integrating AI can automate all sorts of manual processes and augment human capabilities.

Conclusion and Next Steps

In this post we built a custom connector to easily leverage advanced ChatGPT capabilities across Power Platform. Custom connectors open up new integration possibilities and enhance extensibility.

Next, we could extend this further by:

  • Building connectors for additional ChatGPT models like image generation

  • Creating App/Flow templates for common use cases

  • Adding connector based triggers in Power Automate

  • Exploring governance controls for broader usage


Q: What are the benefits of building custom connectors?
A: Custom connectors allow you to integrate custom APIs into Power Platform. This provides easy access to advanced AI like ChatGPT without writing code.

Q: What ChatGPT APIs can I connect to?
A: You can connect to the text completion, image generation, code completion and other ChatGPT models via custom connectors.

Q: Can I use custom connectors in both Power Apps and Power Automate?
A: Yes, once created you can leverage custom connectors across Power Apps and Power Automate for no-code integration.

Q: Do I need to write code to build a custom connector?
A: No, you can create custom connectors entirely through the graphical interface with no code required.

Q: How do I get API credentials for ChatGPT?
A: You'll need to sign up on the Anthropic site to get free API keys to access the ChatGPT APIs.

Q: Can I connect to any API with a custom connector?
A: Yes, you can build connectors for any publicly available API by specifying the endpoint, parameters, headers etc.

Q: What triggers can I use with the ChatGPT connector?
A: You can trigger flows on a schedule, from a button click, or based on events like emails, teams messages etc.

Q: How do I display ChatGPT responses in Power Apps?
A: Store the API response in a variable, then set controls like labels, galleries etc. to this data source.

Q: Can I use custom connectors with on-premises data?
A: Yes, you can create hybrid connectors to securely connect to on-prem SQL, SharePoint, and other data sources.

Q: Do I need developer skills to build connectors?
A: No, the connector creation process is designed to be low-code with graphical configuration instead of programming.