Need a 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 its 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.
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.
The most significant value of using Power Apps portals is its ability to interact with Dataverse data through forms and lists, which enables rapid development of portal capabilities that are responsive to the changing nature of a customer engagement.
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.
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.
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.
Table/Entity Permissions enforced on all forms and lists
New PowerBI functionalities
Power Virtual Agents as a portal component
Ability to create deployment profiles for different (dev, test, prod, etc.) environments using Microsoft Power Platform CLI
Visual Studio Code extension for portal development experience
You’ll now want to track these kinds of data using Azure Application Insights instead.