Power Platform 2020 Wave 2 Release Plan – Power Apps portals edition!

Today the Power Platform Wave 2 Release plan was released and I am sure that there are a dozen blogs providing an overview of the various new features and directions of the Power Platform.

…and this blog is another one of them. Let’s dive in. The release plans were pretty light on details around portals, but I hope I can shed some of my opinions on this new info.

You can read the Power Platform 2020 Wave 2 Release Plan here;

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform-release-plan/2020wave2/

Power Apps portals On-premise edition!

…is NOT one of the new features in the Power Platform 2020 release plan. I *did* have you going a brief second. Ok, I had my fun, lets get serious.

Power Apps portals Web API Generally Available… Next February?

The feature I have been waiting on for what seems like years is the ability to have a WebAPI available within portals to be able to securely create, update and delete records directly in the Common Data Service without have to submit a entity form or a web form or kick off a workflow.

Consider something like having an editable grid or being able to add a rating to a product.

The last release plan indicated that there could be a private preview by June of this year, but it appears that also has been delayed. However, announcing a GA date (next February) is encouraging.

In the meantime, you can still create a companion app, or even call Power Automate to update records (a method with some security concerns).

Power Virtual Agents as a component of the Power Apps portals Studio

Currently, this is an easy thing to do by adding a Power Virtual Agent embed code to your portal page (See my blog post on how to do this here). The team at Microsoft continues to enhance the Portal Studio (updated theme editor, ability to add Power BI components) and soon you will be able to “drag and drop” a Power Virtual Agent directly on your page.

Entity Permission Configuration

One aspect of portals that I see folks struggle with is applying entity permissions properly. This is likely because the process to add entity permissions required multiple steps in both the Portal Studio (to enable entity permissions for a list or form) and to setup the entity permissions, web roles and users in the Portal Management app. The release plan alludes to a new way simple way to configured entity permission in the Portal studio.

The Big One…

Power Apps component framework control support in Power Apps portals.

This is huge! If you look at other portal or web platforms, there are hundreds of plug-ins, add-ons and controls that you can add to your web pages to build fully-enabled web applications. The ability to access an already growing list of PCF controls and the ability to target portal apps will greatly increase the value of using Power Apps portals. This obviously would have a dependency on the portal WebAPI. This would also be a good call to action to start learning and understanding how PCF controls are built. MVP Scott Durrow has released a self-paced online course by clicking here;

https://learn.develop1.net/courses/pcf-for-model-driven-apps

Release Plans: What’s Missing?

There are still some things that I would like to see such as a simplified web form editor. The ability to see usage statistics such as logins and page views still doesn’t seem to surfaced yet, but that was announced in an earlier wave.

Summary

It’s good to see Microsoft is continuing to invest in Power Apps portals. I would have liked to see WebAPI access come sooner, but I would also hope it is done correctly as opposed to just quickly. I am pretty excited about the prospect of being able to add PCF controls to my portal pages and its interesting to see the evolution of the Portal studio.

Cover Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Nick Doelman is a Microsoft Business Applications MVP and has just been awarded for the 4th time. Join Nick and others in the upcoming “Fall into Portals” online conference this coming October.

3 thoughts on “Power Platform 2020 Wave 2 Release Plan – Power Apps portals edition!

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