The missing link: How to collaborate with partners and customers through the PowerApps Portal

by Jelte Siegersma

The Portal App is an underexposed Power App of the Power Platform. This application was previously known as the Dynamics 365 Portal. However, since then big improvements have been made and the Portal has now joined the Power Platform as the PowerApps Portal.

A distinct difference between PowerApps and the PowerApps Portal can be found within accessibility. Where Model-driven Apps and Canvas Apps facilitate internal users, the Portal can also be used for external users. Microsoft has put a lot of effort in making the Portal a missing link in the connection of organizations to their partners and/or customers.

Safe collaboration with partners outside your organization

Let’s explore the Portal a bit more and underline why it is of interest for many organizations. Whilst empowering employees to collaborate successfully internally, the thought behind PowerApps Portal is to also provide an application to collaborate well with partners and customers. Since organizations are continuously trying to innovate, there has not been a specific application to leverage a digital transformation for partners and customers outside an organization. Working remotely due to Covid-19 has also underlined the need for safe collaboration, not only internally. This is one of the reasons why Microsoft heavily invested in this product. Safely collaborating online among partners and customers is becoming more and more a necessity.

Database Add-on

One huge advantage of the PowerApps Portal is that it seamlessly integrates with Dataverse. Dataverse is previously known as the Common Data Service (CDS) and is the same source used for your Dynamics application or any other Power Platform product. This could be your model-driven or canvas apps or your Power BI Dashboard. In other words, if you already use any Dynamics or Power Platform application, you have a foundation for a PowerApps Portal!

Extend your Portal

Not only does the Portal seamlessly integrates with your current Dynamics 365 applications you can also easily extend the Portal. If your organization shares a lot of sensitive information the Portal is secure and authenticated for. Security can also be extended by using Azure Active Directory and all its security features to provide a safe application.  If your organization uses SharePoint, you can enable the SharePoint integration and display documents in the Portal. You can also share insights of the data, it is easy to embed a Power BI rapport in your Portal and empower partners or customers to take action. The last beneficial aspect of the Portal touched base on is its redesigned Portal-Maker experience. With the “what you see is what you get” editor any citizen developer is to configure and customize a Portal with drag and drop possibilities. No need for custom development, you can now use the standard configuration to make adjustments in your Portal.

PowerApps Portal

With these competitive advantages you will be able to empower your business to easily collaborate with partners and customers, while leveraging all the other applications Microsoft landscape has to offer.

Want to know more details about PowerApps Portals? Contact our Business Developer, Ellen Oosterwijk at ellen.oosterwijk@be-empowered.nl or reach out to info@be-empowered.nl!