Microsoft's low-code Power Apps portals: Big update rolls out plus Teams Incentives app

Power Apps portals gains easier authentication confirmation and there's a new Teams Power Apps open-source template.

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Microsoft is rolling out its big 'Wave I' updates for Power Apps portals, the low-code toolset for building websites for external users to interact with business data stored in the Power Apps cloud-based Common Data Service.  

Power Apps portals designers can now create themes for portals in Portal Design Studio, which offers a theme designer for creating basic themes and provides several preset themes that can be used with the portal. 

The themes are available from the portal theme panel located on the left-hand side menu. 

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The Wave I update for Power Apps also makes it easier to create and manage authentication settings and to configure the identity provider, such as Azure Active Directory, as well as authentication protocols such as OpenID Connect, OAuth 2, and SAML 2.0. Microsoft, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook support OAuth 2 configuration. 

In the current preview, admins can configure Azure Active Directory B2C and OAuth 2-based providers from a list of identity providers. Admins can also configure identity providers with in-app guidance for users, icons for settings and 'learn more' links, and input validation for common data types.  

Microsoft is also rolling out support for more entities in the Power Apps portals global search feature. The feature allows users to search for records across multiple entities, such as knowledge article, blog, blog post comment, forum post, forum thread and so on. 

Now admins will be able to set up Portal Global Search to search custom entities. Microsoft says this is one of the most requested features from portals users.    

Separately, Microsoft has released an Incentives Power Apps-based template for Teams admins to create Incentives apps in Teams that help organizations gamify change-management initiatives, such as getting employees to break old habits and learn new ways of doing things when using a new business system or process. 

Microsoft argues that gamification using incentives helps organizations avoid the risk of employees perceiving that change is being forced on them. 

Managers that use the Incentives app can decided on what incentives to use, such as a leaderboard, gift cards or free coffees, or maybe even a free lunch with the leader of the organization. 

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The Incentives template for Teams is open source and is available on GitHub. It's designed to incentivize and track participation in training and other change-management initiatives. 

The organization might setup an activity that an employee would undertake and, once complete, enter a unique code in the app to receive points. There's an admin module where admins create activities and rewards, as well as remove points if a user cheats.    

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Microsoft's Incentives Power Apps-based template for Teams helps admins gamify change-management initiatives.  

Image: Microsoft