How to Provision a Dynamics 365 Portal the PowerApps Portal Way

A lot of folks with little to no experience with Dynamics 365 have been creating PowerApps Portals on vanilla CDS instances as a way to create externally PowerApps. What isn’t well known that PowerApps Portals evolved from Dynamics 365 Online Portals and before that, Adxstudio Portals.

If you still want to deploy an actual Dynamics 365 Portal such as Customer Self-Service, Partner, Employee Self-Service or Community Portal, you might still be tempted to login to the legacy Dynamics 365 Admin Center and deploy the Dynamics 365 Portal “the old way”.

A quick tip that was pointed out to me recently was that you can provision a Dynamics 365 Portal via https://make.powerapps.com that same way you would provision a vanilla CDS starter Portal.

Dynamics 365 Portals are PowerApps Portals with extra features to enhance the existing Dynamics 365 apps (and Portal SharePoint integration).

You will need a CDS that has the Dynamics 365 first party apps and solutions deployed. Unfortunately at this time, you need to specify this when you create your CDS database. You cannot add the Dynamics 365 Apps later (or remove them either).

Note that Dynamics 365 Apps are, in fact, model driven PowerApps.

Instead of choosing “Portal from Blank” on the main PowerApps page, instead click Create.

Create Dynamics 365 Portals from make.powerapps.com

In the search bar in the upper right corner, key in “Portal” and you should be shown the selection of Dynamics 365 PowerApps Portals Templates.

Assuming your CDS database has Dynamics 365 apps installed, you should see the Dynamics 365 PowerApps Portals templates.

Dynamics 365 Starter Portals

Once you select the template, the process will follow the same path as spinning up PowerApps Portals on a vanilla CDS environment. Note that the URL will be “<<uniquename>>.powerappsportals.com” and not “microsoftcrmportals.com”

The process will run anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or two. When complete, you should be able to navigate and edit your Dynamics 365 based PowerApps Portal using the new Portals Maker Studio and the Portals Management App.

Hopefully this saves you a bit of time!

Cover Photo by Todd MacDonald on Unsplash

Nick Doelman is a Microsoft Business Applications MVP and has been working with PowerApps (in their Dynamics 365/CRM form) since 2003. Follow Nick on twitter @readyxrm for updates on the Power Platform, Portals and other Microsoft technologies.

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