What is the Power Apps Portal?
When you need to build custom business applications that connect to your data across the web and mobile devices, Power Apps is the solution. Built on Microsoft’s Azure framework, Power Apps allows you to create the functionality you need throughout your company with little to no coding experience required. It reduces the cost of custom development and makes tailored tools more accessible with templates and an intuitive user interface.
While many customers and partners are currently using Power Apps to deliver low-code apps to employees across their organizations, there is a huge demand for sharing those apps to external users (i.e. people outside the company). In fact, this was the #1 request on Power App Ideas in 2018.
In response to this demand, Microsoft introduced the Power Apps Portal.
Presenting Power Apps Portal
Power Apps Portals is a capability of the Power Platform where you can build responsive customer portals that allow external users from your organization to interact with the data stored in the Common Data Service. Customized portals fueled by the Common Data Service open the door to a new level of data access, security, productivity, and customer service.
With your data easily accessible to anyone inside and outside of your organization, you control the narrative. Here are some of the major features that the new Power Apps Portal offers:
- Anonymous Browsing
Power Apps Portals allows you to give any user secure access to the data you make available anonymously. You set the authentication requirements, customize the data you want to make public, and control the experience.
- Simplified Login Options
If you don’t want to take the anonymous route, you can provide secure access to internal and external users through commercial authentication providers like LinkedIn or Google. This gives users the option to sign in with a Power Apps account or use an external account.
- Enterprise-Grade Security
The Common Data Service supports the underlying data platform for Power Apps and Power Apps Portals. Security can be implemented as a simple security model with broad data access to a more complex, advanced security model, where users have specific record and field level access.
- Intuitive Portal Designer
Microsoft’s new no-code portal designer was built for ease of use. With a simplified drag-and-drop feature, custom branding, and bootstrap theme options, in addition to Common Data Services components (i.e. forms, views, and dashboards), anyone can create and manage content like pages and templates to build better customer experiences.
- Fast Data Access Without Additional Users
Power Apps are created for employees who can connect using their corporate Azure Active Directory account. With Power Apps Portals, you don’t have to set up external users with their own accounts, which eliminates the licensing and admin time required to give external partners, vendors, and customers access to your website.
- Data Integration
The Common Data Service allows you to bring data from all the apps you use, from Power BI to Microsoft Automate (formerly Flow). You can enhance your portals with forms, views, lists, charts, and dashboards to improve the customer experience.
WATCH POWER APPS PORTALS OVERVIEW
Who Should Take Advantage of Power Apps Portals?
Customers and partners around the world are using Power Apps for everything from product purchasing to internal process automation. Whether you’re looking for new ways to improve employee efficiency, enhance the customer experience, or simplify complex processes, Power Apps is a tool used by businesses of all shapes and sizes from many different industries.
Since Power Apps Portals is available to securely share data and safely communicate valuable data to users outside an organization, the sky is the limit. Two major examples of where you can start taking advantage of Power Apps Portals are through external-facing websites, like Partner Management Portals or Customer Self-Service Portals. Both are used for deeper engagement and communication with your clients and partners. Using Power Apps Portals, you can personalize the user‘s experience, customizing the data they see, and the information they interact with during their experience.
To use and make the most of Power Apps Portals, we recommend that your portal builders have some experience working with Microsoft Power Apps. While the intuitive user interface and step-by-step guidance simplify development, you still need a clear understanding of what you are designing and some experience working with the tool itself. If you need a good place to start, the service also includes out-of-the-box, pre-built Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement portal templates, including Employee Self-Service and Partner Management templates
When Can I Start Using Power Portals?
You can start experimenting with Power Apps Portals today or get help from the team at OnActuate. We have been building custom apps for as long as we’ve been in business, which means we know a thing or two about designing apps and customer portals to solve business challenges. We know the shortcuts you can take, and the ones you shouldn’t.
Our Power Apps services are designed to help our customers truly leverage the power of custom development. By taking the right precautions with your data and code, along with preparing your people and your environment in advance of the upgrade, we can help you get up and running quickly and start seeing value immediately.
Updated February 2021