It has been quite a few months since I posted a blog and the main reason is that I have been heads down working with our team on a set of new documentation that relates to one of the big announcements from Microsoft BUILD 2022.
Today Microsoft has introduced the fifth pillar of the Power Platform; Power Pages!
What are Power Pages?
Essentially, Power Pages is a mix of completely new tools and processes (new design studio and new site templates) that utilizes proven existing technologies of Power Apps portals (web sites, Dataverse metadata, portals Web API, and others).
The new designer, templates and new provisioning process are currently in public preview.
There is the all-new design studio, which is composed of four “workspaces”.
This is a big upgrade to the existing portals Studio where you can add pages, add components like text, images, sections, lists, forms, etc. You now have a lot more capabilities and flexibility when designing your page layouts.
Here you can modify colours, fonts, buttons, and section styles with a lot more options than in portals Studio. You still have the ability to upload your own custom CSS, but I found for a “citizen designer” like myself, I could make my sites look a lot more professional.
Currently, in Power Apps portals, developers and makers need to hop over to Power Apps to create tables, fields, views, and forms. The Data workspace provides you with the ability to create your Dataverse assets directly in the design studio. The caveat is that at this time, these assets are not adding to a custom solution nor can define a publisher (my understanding is this is a roadmap item). However, lazy developers like me appreciate the fewer clicks and less hopping around, the better. I look forward to improvements to these tools.
Here is where you can configure your table permissions (which are enabled for any Dataverse enabled component by default) and configure authentication. Currently, there are placeholders for tools for enabling progressive web apps and configuring other sites/portal settings.
Portals Management app
You are still going to need to use the trusty Portals Management app for a lot of your Power Pages site configuration. The bonus is that there are various launch points from within the design studio to launch the Portals Management app when required.
As part of the preview, there are new starter templates (none of which required any of the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement apps to be enabled.) There is the default template which is essentially the blank starter template, along with the “After School” template which demonstrates an event management and registration solution and the “Book a meeting” template which provides a solution for external stakeholders to book a meeting via a Power Pages site.
The templates utilize well known concepts such as basic forms and lists, and are extended with advanced forms and the portal Web API.
Power Pages also now has its own dedicated home page that is separate from the Power Apps maker site.
Power Pages Learn Hub
Built directly into the home page of Power Pages is the Learn Hub. The Learn Hub will provide users directly into the new docs site containing reference material, tutorials and instructional videos.
Power Apps portals or Power Pages?
If you are in any stage of a Power Apps portals project you might be asking if you should put your project on pause and wait for the generally availability of Power Pages? The answer is simple, keep going. All the work and investment today will simply switch over to Power Pages as the infrastructure has not changed.
I can’t say too much about the roadmap for Power Pages but I can say there are more exciting features coming. Definitely keep an eye on the Power Platform release plans.
Nick Doelman is a Senior Content Developer focused on Microsoft Docs for Power Pages and Power Apps portals. Follow Nick on twitter @Readyxrm