In late 2019, Microsoft released the new Power Apps Portals, joining Canvas Apps and Model-Driven Apps in the Power Apps family.
Power Apps Portal was a long-awaited addition to the suite. While Canvas and Model-driven apps have made building applications a lot easier than InfoPath, they couldn’t be used to build public apps for anonymous users. Power Apps Portals now fills this gap.
To understand the big picture, the Power Platform is a suite of no-code/low-code tools. The Platform contains a set of tools that include Power Apps, which in turn is made up of Power Apps Portals, Canvas Apps and Model-Driven Apps.
The Power Platform tools are:
In this blog post we will learn the following:
There are two main uses for Power Apps Portals:
Power Apps Portals isn’t completely new. It has been around for some years, but it was previously marketed as “Dynamics 365 Portals” and offered only as an add-on to Dynamics 365 model-driven applications. Portals use the Bootstrap 3.3.x framework to control the appearance of the solution, as well as the template language Liquid.
Power Apps Portal is built on top of Common Data Service (CDS). The CDS database will host all your portal’s data like pages, page templates, forms, forms’ data etc.
Important Note: You can only create one portal per Power Apps environment. If you need to create a second portal, then you will need to create a second environment.
Before we can create a Portal, we will need two prerequisites:
In this tutorial I’ll combine my passion for personal wellness with my passion for the Power Platform. We will build a gym signup form on top of Power Apps Portal. When the form is submitted the data will be saved to our CDS database. Here’s what the end result will look like:
To get there, we’ll follow the steps below:
When you can login to https://make.powerapps.com, you will already have at least one Power Apps environment. If you haven’t created a Portal on that environment, then you can leverage your existing environment to build a new portal. However, if you need to build a new environment, then follow the following steps:
Now that we have the Power Apps environment ready, the next step is to build our gym signup form. We’ll start by creating a new CDS entity named Gym Membership. Next, we will add our fields to the entity, and finally we will create the form. You can think of the entity as a database table.
|Display Name||Data Type||Comment|
|Membership Number||Auto Number||• Autonumber type: String prefixed number
• Prefix: blank
• Minimum number of digits: 4
• Seed value: 1
|Gender||Option Set||1. Click on the Option set drop down
2. Click on + New option set
3. Add the following items:
c. Prefer not to say
|Birth Date||Date Only|
Note: Unchecking the captcha is fine for a demo form. However, when building a production form keep the captcha to keep bots away from submitting your form.
Microsoft has made it so easy to spin up an external website that integrates with the different Microsoft technologies. Now that you know how to build basic sites in Portals, you’re ready to learn how to customize the look and feel of your site. So stay tuned, because in my next post I’ll show you how to allow users to login using their LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts, limit access to certain pages and add a custom domain name.
Power Apps Portals is very powerful, and together we’ll learn how to make the most of it.
This article was originally published at Consultant Diary, Wisam’s personal blog.