The announcement of Power Pages at Microsoft Build was met with some real excitement from our consulting team. It is the fifth addition to the Power Platform – a suite of products designed to streamline your business processes and empower your people to create solutions to their own challenges. It was billed as a way to build external modern business websites, but if you are familiar with the platform, you may already be utilising PowerApps Portals for this purpose.

In this article we provide a brief overview of both PowerApps Portals and Power Pages. As well as exploring the difference between the two and their similarities. We hope you find this useful. If you are looking for more information on the Power Platform or Microsoft PowerApps, you can click on either term to go to their respective product pages.

If you do not have time to read the full article, below is our short-on-time summary. Providing you with a high-level overview of the article’s main points, we hope you find it useful.

Short-on-Time Summary –

Both PowerApps Portals and Power Pages are suitable for building external facing sites. PowerApps Portals requires at least a basic understand of code, whereas Power Pages makes building external websites more accessible to users from non-technical backgrounds, with a low to no-code builder and rich ready to use templates.

Power Pages is built upon the functionality of PowerApps Portals with a range of additional features that enable the creation of more engaging sites, with richer design capabilities, and a more cohesive experience for your creators.

PowerApps Portals

Portals act as an extension of the PowerApps platform. They were designed to enable both profession developers and citizen developers alike, to build external websites. These websites allow users within their organisation to sign in with a variety of identities to create and view data in the Microsoft Dataverse or even to browse content anonymously.

Power Pages

Pages on the other hand is a secure, enterprise-grade low code software platform for creating, hosting and managing modern customer facing (or just external) business websites. From developer to low-code maker, Power Pages enables you to rapidly design, configure and deploy websites that work seamlessly across mobile, desktop and your preferred web browser.

The Differences Between PowerApps Portals and Microsoft Power Pages

  1. Licenses and Microsoft Roles – Portals requires your site creators to be assigned roles as either Global Administrators, Dynamics’ 365 administrators, or Power Platform administrators to create portals. Whereas Pages requires only an additional license or creators to sign up for a 30-day trial (you can sign up for the trial here – get started with Power Pages).
  2. Experience Level – Portals requires at least a basic understanding of HTML, CCS, JavaScript of Liquid to customise your sites and develop a decent User Experience. On the other hand, Pages allows your creators to build low-code/no-code sites where the knowledge of code is useful but by no means essential.
  3. Mobile Site Previews – with PowerApps Portals you must retype the link if you want to preview your site design on a mobile device, on Power Pages you can simple scan a QR code using said device and have a more seamless experience.
  4. Developer Experience – PowerApps Portals Studio provides limited configuration capabilities so to meet your website requirements you have to navigate away from the studio to add in other capabilities like identity providers ect. In Power Pages Design studio however, everything is centralised and organised within the developers workspaces to enable makers to add capabilities as required without leaving the studio, offering a more cohesive and smooth builder experience.
  5. Provisioning Time – Websites built with Portals take far longer to provision than those built using Pages.

The Similarities Between PowerApps Portals and Microsoft Power Pages

  1. Power Pages is built on the solid foundation of PowerApps Portals. Facilitating access to the same robust capabilities and pro developer experiences of the original platform but with the addition of a new low-code maker experience, and out-of-the box templates to help users of all experience levels to design modern business sites.
  2. Both builders use Microsoft Dataverse as their underlying data structure to allow makers to manipulate and store data from multiple sources including Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power Bi, SharePoint, and more.
  3. Users can utilise either platform to build externally facing websites.
  4. Both Citizen Developers and Professional Developers alike can extend their website capabilities by utilising PowerBI, Power Virtual Agents and Power Automate flows in both Portals and Pages.
  5. Within both platforms Creators can configure security, dictate table permissions and identity providers for their websites as per their organisation’s unique requirements
  6. Makers can utilise Pro developer tools on both their PowerApps Portals site and Power Pages site.

For now, especially when Power Pages is still just in general preview both platforms are equally valuable. Going forward we will expect to see a range of users making the move from PowerApps Portals to Power Pages as the experience for all creators, regardless of experience is superior.

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