Ahead of Microsoft’s Build Developer Conference later this month, I plan to post a handful of posts to help those who follow from a distance. As is the case before almost all major Microsoft events, some of its planned announcements have started leaking. And in cases where this is not the case, it can still be useful to have general and contextual information once the embargoes are lifted.
The first of the Build buzzwords I expect to hear on May 24 is “Power Pages.” Microsoft sleuth “The Walking Cat” unearthed some Power Pages references earlier this month and posted them on Twitter. One of the URLs referenced in the presentations he found clearly stated that Power Pages is the new name for Power Apps portals (now that URL, https://make.powerpages.microsoft.com/, points to the preview site Power Pages and requires credentials to sign in).
Power Apps Portals is a development and hosting platform for building business-centric websites. Low-code developers can use portals to publish desktop and mobile sites and have the ability to use customizable templates to create these sites. Microsoft launched Power Apps Portals in October 2019 and changed the name of Dynamics 365 Portals to Power Apps Portals at that time.
A recent Microsoft Dynamics blog post also incorrectly referred to Power Pages when discussing Power Apps portals. This post notes that Microsoft is adding Dataverse search support to the Power Apps/Power Pages portals, which will allow users to access the same search service that model-driven apps already use. For context, Dataverse, formerly Common Data Service, or CDS, is how users can store and manage data used by business applications.
Microsoft touted Power Apps Portals as “one of Power Platform’s rapidly growing capabilities for large organizations, educational institutions, and governments around the world to quickly design and launch data-centric external websites” .
There are already a number of sites powered by the Power Apps portal that Microsoft uses to showcase the technology, including COVID-19 vaccination planning sites; self-service customer return sites; product warranty registration sites; and more.