Introduction to Microsoft Power Pages

Microsoft Power Pages is the newest module of the Power Platform. It’s a service built on the Power Apps portals. It allows you to create and host external-facing business websites. Embedded low-code designer together with advanced customization options gives you a very flexible web development tool. There are other tools that you can use to create websites and expose them to the Internet, so what’s so special about Power Pages? What are the possible uses cases?

In this article, I will show you how to start working with Power Pages and prepare for more advanced scenarios.

Power Pages are part of the Power Platform which means it can connect with other services and share data with them. It can also use well-known Power Platform connectors.

Power Platform services

Pages are built on Power Platform apps, and they became separate module with their place in the platform.

Key features:

Design Studio

The designer app where you can create your website. The studio is a low-code tool, so you don’t need to write any code. There are a set of controls, connectors, preview mode, responsive design preview mode, and much more.

Power Pages Design Studio

Responsive design

Pages use Bootstrap (a frontend toolkit for building responsive sites) to provide support for responsive design.

Advanced development

If you need a more customized website or to create something unique you can connect Visual Studio Code with Power Pages and build your page using code.

Visual Studio Code and Power Pages

Security and governance

With TLS 1.2 and built-in Azure DDoS protection, you can securely share your data externally. If you want you can choose from multiple authentication providers (e.g., Microsoft, Facebook, Google).

Integration with Power Platform

You can use Pages along with other Power Platform components to cover more advanced scenarios.

  • Dataverse – Pages can consume data stored in Dataverse
  • Power Apps – you can build applications that work together and deliver users a consistent experience (for example, Power Apps for internal users and Power Pages for external)
  • Power Automate – need automation on your website? Create and use Flows to add business logic to your site
  • Power BI – embeds reports and shows them to external users
  • Power Virtual Agents – create bots and share them externally on your Power Pages

Licensing

Power Apps portals licensing model is based on persona type. Power Pages is still in Preview mode and final licensing details will be known later, but we can take portals as a reference.

  • Login capacity for authenticated users – $200 per month for 100 login sessions. A login provides an external authenticated user access to a single Power Apps portal for up to 24 hours. Multiple logins during the 24-hour period count as one billable login.
  • Page views capacity for unauthenticated users – $100 per month for 100,000 page view
  • Internal users can be licensed either by the Power Apps per app or per user plans, or a qualifying Dynamics 365 subscription.

Scenarios

If you want to quickly create a website and connect it with your internal data and Power Platform system it’s a great tool; for example, an information site, a support site for your products, a COVID-19 information site, a charity website, or a selling support page.

It’s great for publicly available websites or those integrated with available authentication providers. If you have more complex requirements, you should consider other solutions. This is still in preview and more features will be available in upcoming months.

To get some more insights let’s create a basic site from a template.

Create a site

Before we start – you can evaluate Power Pages using a trial version. It’s valid for 30 days and should give some ideas about when and how it can help you.

To start a trial check the page https://powerpages.microsoft.com/en-us/.

1. Open Power Pages studio https://make.powerpages.microsoft.com/ and click Create a site button.

Create a site in Power Pages

2. To quickly create a site select a template and click Choose this template

Choose template for Power Pages

3. Provide a title for your site and site address. The address must be unique. The site will be created in the powerappsportals.com domain. You can connect your own domain later.

Create a website in Power Pages

4. When the site is ready (the provisioning process takes some time) click the Edit button

Enter Design Studio in Power Pages

5. Welcome to Design studio! Navigation UI is similar to Power Apps – main left-hand navigation toolbox and page design on the central part.

Design Studio in Power Pages
  1. Main toolbox
  2. Options for the selected tool
  3. Main page content (working area)
  4. Preview options and code view
  5. Preview the website

6. The Design Studio provides an easy and familiar design interface (like SharePoint Online page editing). You can modify the page layout and add components to it.

Add components in Power Pages

7. You can check the code behind the page using the Code icon. The code can be edited directly from the window (you can play with HTML and CSS).

Code Editor in Power Pages

8. To preview your website click the Preview icon. The Preview mode is a fully functioning website with content and sub-pages.

Preview mode in Power Pages

Conclusions

Within a few minutes, you can set up a simple website with sub-pages and basic content (from a template). It’s not a fancy animated website with advanced objects but as a template site, it’s good enough (it’s still in Preview mode!).

Using available components and integrations you can build a complex site that should cover multiple scenarios (from the information page to the products support website). Try it and build your test site!

In the next article, I will show you how to create a website from scratch and go through all the available components.

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