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We need to talk about... PowerApps Portal v Power Pages

Understanding PowerApps Portals

Firstly let's position an initial understanding of what functionality is provided with PowerApps Portals. PowerApps Portals are an extension of the PowerApps Platform that enables both citizen developers and professional developers to build external facing-websites.

These website are generally used to provide both internal and external users the ability to sign in with a wide variety of identities, create and view data in Microsoft Dataverse, or even simply browse content anonymously. Main use cases for PowerApps Portals are an extension of a case management solution to allow external users to create and manage cases, acting as a self service website essentially.

Understanding Power Pages

Microsoft Power Pages is, in its simply form a superset of what PowerApps Portals already provides but has been extended to provide a new secure, enterprise-grade, low-code software as a service (SaaS) platform for creating, hosting, and administering modern external-facing business websites.

Whether you're a low-code maker or a professional developer, Power Pages enables you to rapidly design, configure, and publish websites that seamlessly work across web browsers and devices.

PowerApps Portal vs Power Pages

In the following walk through I will cover the main aspects of PowerApps Portal and compare how the same actions are completed or possible using Power Pages.

Firstly, in order to set up and getting working with PowerApps Portals you are required to have a number of options and permissions already in place. This can take a considerable time and understanding in order to get up and running with tool. Portal creation being enabled for your overall tenant and the Global Administrator, D365 administrator, or Power Platform administrator are generally needed in order to create your Portal initially.

With Power Pages you simply require an additional license for Power Pages in order to start building your content. You can of course, control license allocation to add a layer of governance to your tenancy. But fundamentally, it is considerably easier to get up and running with Power Pages connected to your instance than it has been traditionally with PowerApps Portals.

If you want to get really creative and dynamics with your website using PowerApps Portals you may require some basic understanding and knowledge of programming languages and code, such as HTML, JavaScript, CSS, or Liquid in order to customize your sites and build a better User Interface/User Experience.

With Power Pages you are capable of building similar quality and complexity of website using low-code/no-code techniques and a click and point user interface. You can build pages making use of out-of-the-box templates and then compile your pages using intuitive colour palette and visual component builders.

In terms accessibility PowerApps Portals simply provide a URL that must be shared, bookmarked or including in any communications directing your users to the site.

With Power Pages you have a selection of access methods, not limited to simply sharing a URL, you can also present and access your site using a QR code.

PowerApps Portals Studio provides limited capabilities of configuring your website to meet your requirements and you must navigate away from the studio to add in other capabilities like identity providers.

With Power Pages Design studio everything is centralized and organized in workspaces to enable makers to add capabilities as required without navigating away from the studio.

PowerApps Portals & Power Pages CrossOvers

  • Power Pages is built on the foundation of PowerApps Portals providing the same robust capabilities and pro developer experiences with a new low-code maker experience and out-of-the box templates to design modern business sites.

  • Both PowerApps Portals and Power Pages use Microsoft Dataverse as their underlying data structure for makers to manipulate and store data.

  • Users can build externally facing websites using both PowerApps Portals and Power Pages.

  • Users can take advantage of extending their websites through the addition of Power BI, Power Virtual Agents and Power Automate flows in both PowerApps Portals and Power Pages.

  • Users can configure security, table permissions and identity providers for their websites as per their specific requirements in both PowerApps Portals and Power Pages.

Hope you all enjoyed this post on the difference between PowerApps Portal and Power Pages. I will continue this series with some additional content specifically related to how we can use Power Pages to build our external facing tools. Take Care, Speak Soon!

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