All You Need to Know About PowerApps Portals

Power Apps makers can create a powerful new type of experience: external-facing websites that allow users outside their organizations to sign in with a wide variety of identities, create and view data in Microsoft Dataverse, or even browse content anonymously.

Previously, Dynamics 365 Portals offered only as an add-on to customer engagement apps (Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Marketing, and Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation), are now available standalone in Power Apps.

The portal developer can create a website and customize its pages, layout, and content. The portal developer can also create page designs by using templates, add forms and views to display critical data from Dataverse.

What is PowerApps Portal?

A PowerApps Portal is a low code, responsive website design through the WYSIWYG Power Apps Portals Studio for quick branding, linkable to a Dataverse. Users can interact with the data via authentication provided by the enterprise authentication providers or anonymously. Information can be filtered, and data security is taken care of so that the external user can only see or interact with data that is specific to him or his role.

Users can create a portal either in a new environment or in their existing environment.

What is Microsoft Dataverse (CDS)?

Microsoft Dataverse, abbreviated as CDS earlier, is a data storage service. Like a database. You can use CDS to store data in the form of tables, also known as Entities. Common Data Service is used in the Power Apps portal; however, it is accessible through other Power Platform services and Microsoft Dynamics. The data can be loaded or extracted from the CDS entities in multiple ways. 

PowerApps Portals use:

There are two main uses of PowerApps Portals:  

  1. You want to build public–facing website that anonymous and authenticated users can access.
  2. You want to create an integrated experience with other Microsoft technologies like: 
    • Embedding a Power BI dashboard and report into your website.
    • Triggering a workflow when a user submits a form on your website.
    • Leverage Azure Blob Storage and SharePoint to store documents.

PowerApps Portals Architecture

PowerApps Portals isn’t wholly new. It has been around for some years, but it was previously marketed as “Dynamics 365 Portals” and offered only as an add-on to Dynamics 365 model-driven applications.

PowerApps Portal is built on top of Common Data Service (CDS). The CDS database will host all your portal’s data like pages, page templates, forms, forms’ data, etc.    

Important Note: You can only create one portal per PowerApps environment. If you need to create a second portal, then you will need to create a second environment.

Portal

portal

PowerApps Environment

Dataverse
Microsoft Dataverse (CDS)

Core components of portals

Power Apps portals have several core components which define the site structure, layout, content, and functionality.

  1. Webpages
  2. Page templates
  3. Web templates
  4. Web files
  5. Content snippets
  6. Entity lists & entity forms

Critical features of PowerApps portals

  1. Create portals with CDS or Dynamics 365 CE database
  2. Start with a prebuilt template like customer self-service, partner management, event management, etc., or create your customized portal.
  3. Authentication configuration: Azure AD B2C, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, and others
  4. Integrate with Power BI components like reports, dashboards, and tiles
  5. Portal Checker with Enhancements (2020 Release)
  6. Additional Entities in Global Search (2020 Release)
  7. Web APIs for CRUD operations on Common Data Service entities (2020 Release)

Power Apps Portals is a powerful tool. It is an exciting tool to quickly build powerful business applications not only for internal staff but for external stakeholders as well. If you are looking for any further support related to Power Apps Portal, get in touch with a DEV IT expert here.

Power Apps Portals is a powerful tool. It is an interesting tool to quickly build powerful business applications not only for internal staff but for external stakeholders as well.

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Pankit Shah

Sr. Technical Consultant at Dev Information Technology Ltd.
Pankit Shah works in the capacity of a Senior Technical Consultant at DEV IT. He has completed his Bachelors in Commerce (B.com) and Masters in Computer Application (M.C.A.). With a total of 9 years of experience in the I.T. field, Pankit is an expert at what he does. He likes to engage in video games and learning new technologies during his time of leisure. He aims to make a significant impact in the I.T. industry by becoming the best solution provider and developer in the future.

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