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PowerApps Portals recommendations

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  • 1.  PowerApps Portals recommendations

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Sep 16, 2019 06:40 AM
    Edited by Zarko Radevic Sep 17, 2019 04:56 AM
    Hi, my organization has started an implementation of a Dynamics CE portal before the PowerApps Portals came in preview. I would appreciate if someone could help with recommendations regarding further development.

    1. None of the resources I found has clearly described the internal difference between these two. I expected that PowerApps version would be like a canvas app, that we could use connectors and write Excel-like expressions, but it seems it still depends on AdxStudio components, it is still Liquid that gives us access to data. Is the transformation just the addition of external login functionality (and some others of course) or is the underlying technology changing as well?

    2. I can see that I can edit our existing "old" portal from PowerApps interface, but I am not sure if this is the way to go. We have not developed so much functionality that we can't start from scratch in a new Power Apps Portal, is this a recommendation?

    3. With Dynamics CE Portals, it was not possible to have a sandbox version of portal, is this something that we can do now? Or do we have to pay? I see that there is a tool for transferring configuration-entity records between environments, so I assume they had this in mind. Can I transfer those form our production to dev environment (from old portal to new PowerApps portal) and start from there?

    Now I am trying to remove all the configuration and content regarding portal in development environment (got there when we cloned the production last time, but portal is not provisioned). I managed to delete the model-driven app for portal and started removing solutions as described here https://nishantrana.me/2018/10/23/uninstalling-or-deleting-dynamics-365-portals-solution/ . My goal is to start from scratch. Unfortunately, the Reset capability of the admin center removes hosted components, but no content and configuration is removed from CRM/CDM database. Many of these solutions have dependencies, isn't there an elegant way of doing this?


    Thanks in advance

    ------------------------------
    Zarko Radevic
    Dynamics CRM Programmer
    Digitale Medier 1881 AS
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    Conference-CRMUG_200x200


  • 2.  RE: PowerApps Portals recommendations
    Best Answer

    Posted Sep 17, 2019 09:26 AM
    Hi Zarko

    Let me try to answer questions as best as I can:

    1) The only difference between the Dynamics 365 Online Portals and PowerApps Portals is that you can provision PowerApps Portals on a vanilla CDS instance.  There is also the new PowerApps Portals "designer" where it is a WYSIWYG interface to design portal pages and add components like lists and forms.  PowerApps Portals are essentially the exact same as the existing Dynamics 365 Online Portals in structure, Portal metadata, etc.

    2) There really is no difference.  If you provision a "PowerApps Portal" on a CDS environment with Dynamics 365 all the existing templates are still available (Customer Service, Partner, etc)  It all comes down if you need the 1st party features.

    3) You always could have a sandbox portal, but you had to pay for it.  Now you will be able to provision as many portals as your environment can handle.  (One portal per environment) but you now can have dev/test/QA etc.  As of October 1st, portal licensing will change to per login/per page view (see here for a good overview on portal pricing: https://colinvermander.com/2019/08/29/powerapps-portals-pricing-update/)  To move configurations, I prefer the XrmToolBox portal records mover, but MS way is to use the Configuration Data Migration tool.  I have seen some folks put together some great DevOps tools, but I haven't seen a lot out in the community yet.

    If you have issues removing/resetting, the best way, unfortunately, is to open a ticket.  MS needs to make a more elegant way to do this.

    Cheers
    Nick

    ------------------------------
    Nick Doelman
    Microsoft MVP
    Dynamics 365 Specialist
    Nick Doelman Co.
    ottawa ON
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    Conference-CRMUG_200x200


  • 3.  RE: PowerApps Portals recommendations

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Sep 18, 2019 01:42 AM
    Thanks for the answer Nick. Does it mean that we can just continue working with existing portals from the new designer (with no worries of styling issues)? I also noticed that the domain is different when you provision PowerApps portal, is this irrelevant?

    Thanks again.

    ------------------------------
    Zarko Radevic
    Dynamics CRM Programmer
    Digitale Medier 1881 AS
    ------------------------------

    Conference-CRMUG_200x200


  • 4.  RE: PowerApps Portals recommendations

    Posted Sep 18, 2019 09:12 AM
    Hi Zarko

    Keep on working!  Portals still use bootstrap v3 so all styling/theming is the same.  You can actually update the domain name to the new one if you want (there is action somewhere in the admin) but it really doesn't matter.

    Pretty much all the same documentation etc. from Dynamics 365 Portals is applicable to PowerApps Portals.  The following are some learning paths from Microsoft Learn about Dynamics 365 Portals but apply to PowerApps Portals, but these are hard to find:

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/extend-dynamics-365-portals/

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/work-with-portals-in-dynamics-365/

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/get-started-dynamics-365-portals/


    Cheers
    Nick



    ------------------------------
    Nick Doelman
    Microsoft MVP
    Dynamics 365 Specialist
    Nick Doelman Co.
    ottawa ON
    ------------------------------

    Conference-CRMUG_200x200


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