Ahead of Microsoft's Build developer conference later this month, I'm planning to publish a handful of posts meant to help those who will be following along remotely. As is true before almost every big Microsoft event, some of its planned announcements have started to leak. And in cases when they don't, it still can be helpful to have some background and context once the embargoes lift.
The first of the Build buzzwords I'm expecting to hear on May 24 is "Power Pages." Microsoft sleuth "The Walking Cat" unearthed some references to Power Pages earlier this month and posted them to Twitter. One of the URLs referenced in the presentations he found made it clear that Power Pages is the new name for Power Apps portals (now that URL, https://make.powerpages.microsoft.com/, resolves to the Power Pages preview site and requires credentials to log in).
Power Apps Portals is a development and hosting platform for building business-centered web sites. Low-code developers can use Portals to publish sites for desktop and mobile and have the option of using customizable templates to build these sites. Microsoft launched Power Apps portals in October 2019 and changed the name of Dynamics 365 Portals to Power Apps portals at that time.
A recent Microsoft Dynamics blog post also mistakenly made a reference to Power Pages when discussing Power Apps Portals, too. That post notes that Microsoft is adding support for Dataverse search to Power Apps portals/Power Pages, which will allow users to access the same search service that model-driven apps already use. For context, Dataverse, formerly Common Data Service, or CDS, is the way users can store and manage data used by business applications.
Microsoft has been touting Power Apps portals as "one of the fast-growing capabilities of Power Platform for large organizations, education institutions, and governments around the world to quickly design and launch external data-centric websites."
There already are a number of Power Apps portal-powered sites that Microsoft uses to showcase the technology, including COVID-19 vaccination-scheduling sites; self-service customer returns sites; product warranty registration sites; and more.