Power Apps portals store all information in Microsoft Dataverse. 5 Reasons Why Organisations Need to Use Power Apps Portals as Power Apps Portals entity define site structure, layout, content, and functionality.
Most of a portal’s content is represented by web pages. A webpage represents a particular URL in a portal’s website and is one of the core entities of the portal’s content management system. Through parent and child relationships to other web pages, this entity forms the hierarchy of a website, that is, its site map.
Webpages also form the basis for including other, specialized entity types in the portal site map: web files, shortcuts, forums, ideas, and blogs. Each of these records has a relationship with a parent page, which defines the URL and where the entries are located on the portal site map.
Pages can be added and edited by using the Portal Studio, the portal front-side editor, or directly in Dataverse by using the Portal Management app.
A webpage record does not define how the page looks when it is rendered on the portal. Instead, it’s linked to the Page Template record that defines the layout and the behavior.
The two types of templates that can be used in Power Apps portals are:
Rewrite – These templates use specialized server-side processing to the specific behavior that is required by some of the components such as polls, forums, and so on. These templates are also used to handle special pages such as an error page, site map, search, and others. You can’t create new or edit existing Rewrite templates.
Web – The linked layout template defines how the content of the page is rendered for output. These templates can be edited as required.
Web templates use the liquid templating language to define how the content is processed and rendered. Templates are flexible. A template can reuse other templates for parts of the content. A template can also be based on another template, extending the base functionality.
Web templates can be used to define an entire webpage, a part of a page, or common elements such as the site header and footer. This approach creates a consistent appearance throughout the portal and helps make it easy to modify the appearance.
Existing web templates can be edited in the Portals Studio.
Web files provide access to inline or downloadable content. Though similar to web pages with similar properties, web files do not use templates. Instead, when the file is requested, the attached content is delivered.
The content can be stored as a Note with an attachment or in Microsoft Azure Blob storage. Using Azure storage requires additional configuration, but it is more cost-efficient if the organization deals with numerous documents.
Images that are displayed on portal web pages can also be stored as web files.
Content snippets are reusable fragments of editable content that can be placed within a web template. Using snippets creates a consistent appearance for the site, simplifies the translation of multi-lingual context, and allows targeted edits of parts of a page without affecting the overall content.
Content snippets can include plain text, HTML layout, or template processing instructions, which help enable dynamic content.
Also Read: Top 10 Power Apps Portals features
Among the 5 reasons, there are two more features that organizations need to look out:
Entity lists define how the list of Dataverse records is displayed on portal pages. They are defined by one or more model-driven Power Apps views and include functionality like filtering and sorting.
Entity lists can also have actions associated with them to enable Create/Edit/Read abilities and to trigger workflows. Display formats include traditional grid lists, calendars, or map and spreadsheet downloads.
Entity forms add the ability for portal pages to interact with records in a specific entity by using a model-driven Power Apps form definition as a layout template.
Form mode can be read-only, insert, or edit. This mode defines if the form is used to generate a layout, capture the data, or provide full editing capabilities by using the Dataverse entity record. Examples of the types of capabilities that are defined in Form mode include:
- Informational pages about employees, products, or any other Dataverse entity.
- Data capture from either anonymous or authenticated users, for example, using a Contact us page to record leads in Dynamics 365 Sales or using a survey page to collect product feedback from customers.
- Support pages that provide read-write access to the customers’ cases.
- Profile self-management for customers.
- An alternative user interface for employees that provide required functionality without the need to deploy canvas-based Power Apps.
- Any other scenario where data from Dataverse needs to accessed, displayed, captured, and processed by using the portal.