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In this article, we will explore our consultants’ top 5 Power Pages features. We discuss web roles, liquid templates, content snippets, API integration and CDN firewalls. This article was written by a technical consultant and was written for those familiar with basic coding and technical language.

What is Power Pages?

Power Pages has replaced PowerApps Portals as a low-code platform allowing you to create and host engaging external websites. To learn more about the basics of the solution, read our overview here.

Pages are configured to work seamlessly across devices and web browsers, and you can test mobile functionality by simply scanning a unique QR code. Power Pages make website design more accessible to people in non-technical roles who have limited coding experience. Users can choose from a library of dynamic, ready-to-use web templates or develop custom pages in the rich design studio.

Power Pages integrates with the Microsoft Dataverse, enabling you to securely manage data that is used across the business and within other Power Platform components. Web roles allow you to only give a user the level of access required for them to be successful in their role. It also ensures the integrity of your data with built-in security and compliance features. 

In this article, we will explore our consultants’ top 5 Power Pages features. Starting with a brief description, how to use them and the benefits to your business. We hope you find this helpful. 

Web Roles

Web roles allow you to secure your data and section off parts of your site by assigning different permissions based on the needs of each user. Users can be assigned multiple web roles and gain access on a cumulative basis. 

Power Pages Web Roles Example

Web roles allow you to control what they can view and edit based on their categorisation. For example, a student user would have access to assignments and classes they are enrolled in. If that student was to go on to provide support to the teacher, they could also be assigned a teacher’s web role giving them additional permissions. These permissions could include being able to update class content and maintain confidential reports that student user can’t see.

This allows you to easily limit who has editing permissions within your organisation. By only giving people access to what they need for their role, you can majorly reduce security vulnerabilities  

Liquid Templates

Enable more advanced responsive design with Liquid Templates. Developers can directly interact with the Dataverse environment the page was created on. They can look at a table of their choice and pull back a specific row using the ID. Or render a page using a conditional response, and retrieve a specific section of the page code based on a true or false response.

Liquid Template will determine what is needed dependent on the conditions written by the developer. Unnecessary style and JavaScript files won’t be added to the final page that a client sees, thus improving the user experience. 

Content Snippets

Organise and keep track of text used in multiple places within the website so you don’t waste time duplicating the same data. When you update content in one place, it will automatically update everywhere that it’s referenced. 

Power Pages Content Snippets Example

Content Snippets are records within the Power Page management that can be defined as ‘HTML’. Snippets can also be defined as ‘Text’. This is simply recurring text throughout the website, for example in the footer or within product descriptions.

Web templates use Liquid templates to allow for the inclusion of other elements and snippets within the template. Simplify how page layouts are customised with these pieces of editable content.

API Integration

Improve the user experience by giving developers more control over how and when a user interacts with Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) within a page.

One way you can interact with APIs is by integrating with payment providers such as PayPal or Barclays. Just as you would store CSS and JavaScript files in a ‘Web File’ record, you can add the necessary assets to one. You can create a web template to display the payment integration in multiple places across the site, allowing your users to interact with the payment processor, wherever it’s required.

From the Web API, you can set up new accounts, delete or update records, and more. Interact with the Microsoft Dataverse for enhanced functionality and a better user experience.

CDN/ Web Application Firewall 

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers that let you deliver your website content to users. All Power Pages sites can have a CDN and Web Application Firewall enabled to increase efficiency. 

Files that a user might need to access for the page can be stored in one of Microsoft’s many CDN servers. However, there are some restrictions on which files can be stored there. Any page that is not accessible by anonymous users will not be stored in the CDN and all page-specific files will be fetched from the site directly. 

Web Application Firewall is powered by Azure Front Door using the default profile. This means that out of the box, your site will have rule sets to prevent potential security breaches. It protects against attack methods such as cross-site scripting that could be used to attempt to gain access to restricted areas of the site. To use this out-the-box functionality, you must first set up the site using the CDN. 

At ThinkShare, we can support you in the creation of engaging internal or customer-facing sites with Power Pages. Schedule an appointment with one of our expert consultants to discuss your needs in more detail.

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