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Formerly an add-on to Dynamics 365 model-driven apps, the Power Apps portal has recently been released as a standalone Power App. Since then, there have been rapid releases of new features and functionality available for configuration, cutting down on custom development and time to deploy. With the increased accessibility for organizations due to licensing changes, there has been renewed interest in ramping up in this area of the Power Platform. Lately I've been receiving many questions around where to even get started in ramping up and how to go about starting a proof of concept. I'll address both points in this multi-part blog series.
Model-driven and canvas Power Apps allow citizen developers to quickly build and share low-code apps, delivering business functionality to users. Microsoft Dataverse allows organizations to store and manage this data via entities.
Power Apps portal extends Dataverse by putting an external wrapper around your organization's data. It allows internal and external audiences to interact with data from Dataverse, the same source wherein your Dynamics 365 data resides. With this technology, data residing in Dataverse can be shown via configurable lists and forms and users can interact anonymously or login using multiple identities.
Digital transformation challenges us to reimagine all areas of business in order to change how we operate and deliver value to customers. In 2020 specifically, it has become apparent that having a digital platform strategy is more critical now than ever before. Having an external web presence gives organizations a way to receive direct input and interaction from customers and partners in real-time and from any device.
Consider using a portal when your audience must
That said, advantages to using the Power Apps portal over developing a completely custom portal include:
Perhaps at this point you're now considering building one. Excellent! Here are some points to take into account prior to starting:
To leverage out-of-the-box functionality:
Notice that "web developer" was absent from the above bullet points :)
If you have identified a number of "gaps" in your fit gap analysis, you may need to address these using more advanced techniques in the portal. To extend Power Apps portal to address these gaps, you may need to explore:
Learning any new technology can seem like a daunting task. Here are some tips:
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