Tech update: Why we’re excited about PowerApps Portals

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If you’re a long-time Microsoft 365 user, you might already be familiar with Microsoft PowerApps – a platform that simplifies mobile and web app development.

You may also have noticed that PowerApps enhancements have been coming thick and fast in recent months, including the public preview release of PowerApps Portals.

With PowerApps Portals, you can build low-code, responsive websites for external users to interact with your organisation’s data.

As someone who has built countless extranets and customer portals over the years, PowerApps Portals looks like it has great potential. I can see it both accelerating extranet and customer portal development, as well as allowing us to create rich experiences within these sites.

Whenever we create an extranet or customer portal for a client, we try to include a ‘wow’ factor. We want provide users with a deep insight or functionality that delivers value beyond their expectations. And we usually do that by providing external-facing users with insight into interactions with our clients, such as recent interactions, sales history, support cases or shared projects.

Before PowerApps Portals, this wasn’t always easy to achieve, because of the amount of custom development required. The exciting thing about PowerApps, on the other hand, is that you can use the common data service (CDS) to surface information from other applications like Dynamics or bespoke apps. All the data you need to make an impressive and functional extranet or customer portal is right at your fingertips

PowerApps Portals also takes the stress out of user authentication. Instead of managing usernames and passwords (or worse, password reset requests) inhouse, you can use an authentication provider such as Facebook, Google or Windows Live. Users can be invited to the site or sign up on their own with a single click.

To get started with PowerApps Portals, the first step is to set up a base portal. From there, you can build custom applications to handle requests, orders and projects, all backed by workflows.

If you’d like to find out more about PowerApps Portals, need help getting your next portal live, or want to discover new ways to get more out of your Microsoft 365 investments, contact Evolve Information Services today.