The Latest Updates to Microsoft Power Apps Portals

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Need website that allows internal or external users to interact with data stored in Microsoft Dataverse? Power Apps portals may be just what you’re looking for.

Over the past year, Microsoft has continued to add new functionality to Power Apps portals, demonstrating the company’s continued investment in the application and the platform’s increasing value as a website builder. In this article, we’ll introduce you to portals and go over some of the most interesting new capabilities from the 2021 release waves. 

What Is Power Apps Portals?

Power Apps portals is a low-code website builder that enables businesses to create personalized, responsive websites that both internal and external users can access to interact with data stored in Microsoft Dataverse. Portals was once only accessible as a Dynamics 365 add-on, but in 2019 it was made available as a stand-alone Power Platform application.

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Standout Power Apps Portals Features

Microsoft Dataverse

 

The most significant value of using Power Apps portals is its ability to interact with Dataverse data trough forms and lists, which enables rapid development of portal capabilities that are responsive to the changing nature of a customer engagement.

 

Customization

 

There’s also the ability to customize the site using HTML, CSS, JS and liquid for custom styles and behavior. However, if you’re looking for a low-code solution, there’s also the Power Apps portals Studio: A drag-and-drop designer that allows you to modify the styles and texts of the site. Studio works great for basic designs, but if you want a more custom appearance, some coding will still be necessary. 

 

Authentication

 

Another core feature includes portal authentication either through local login (the user information is stored in Dynamics as contacts) or through external logins through commercial authentication providers like LinkedIn, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, etc.

New Power Apps Portals Features

Here are some of the most exciting new capabilities that came with 2021's updates:

 

There’s no longer a one-portal type limit per environment for "Dataverse starter portal" or "Portal from blank" templates. All other templates, however, like Community Portal or Customer Self-Service have a limit of 1 portal for each language.

  • Up to 50 portals per environment
  • This is incredibly useful for companies interested in creating separate portals for different products or brands that have data stored in the same backend.
  • Enables businesses to brand different portals, but still have the data in one place for easy internal access
  • Note: You can only have one environment per language

Table/Entity Permissions enforced on all forms and lists

  • Increases security and allows you to limit what users see based on their role

 

New PowerBI functionalities

  • You can now add dashboards and reports from Azure Analysis Services using live connections
  • Dashboards and single tile with role-based security is also now allowed. This means that you can restrict data access for given users based on what role they’ve been assigned

 

Power Virtual Agents as a portal component

  • You can now add intelligent chatbots to all pages or specific pages

 

Ability to create deployment profiles for different (dev, test, prod, etc.) environments using Microsoft Power Platform CLI

  • This makes it easier for developers to deploy solutions

 

Visual Studio Code extension for portal development experience

  • Utilizes the built-in Liquid language IntelliSense that helps with code completion, assistance, and hinting while customizing portals interfaces
  • Makes it easier for developers to build solutions

Deprecated Features

  • Web Page Tracking: Logs a record when a user views a webpage
  • Web File Tracking: Logs a record when a user downloads a web file
  • Login Tracking: Tracks the date and time user last successfully signed in

 

You’ll now want to track these kinds of data using Azure Application Insights instead.

Interested in learning more about Power Apps portals or the recent Microsoft updates? Read the Microsoft documentation or get in touch with an Altriva Solutions consultant.

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