Power Apps Portals and the 2020 Wave 1 Release Plans: Something for Everyone

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With the availability of the 2020 Release Wave 1 plans for the Power Platform and Dynamics 365 Microsoft’s focus for Power Apps Portals is clear: enabling low-code/no-code makers to build experiences for external audiences.But they haven’t forgotten about the developers, who continue to build out advanced use cases with the product.

Microsoft recently made available the 2020 Release Wave 1 plans for both the Power Platform and Dynamics 365.  These documents detail the features that customers can expect to see released between April 2020 and September 2020.  For organizations leveraging Power Apps Portals the lists of new features include a combination of investments to enhance the Power Apps Portals Studio experience for low-code/no-code makers and new capabilities that allow developers to build custom functionality directly within Portals.

Power Apps Portals’ Place in the Power Platform

If you are looking to review the plans for Portals yourself, they are all located in the Power Platform document.  This is not surprising, since as of 2019 Wave 2, Power Apps Portals has been classified as one of the three main types of Power Apps, alongside canvas and model-driven.  While we may see mention of Power Apps Portals in the Dynamics 365 plans in the future if new features are rolled out as part of templates developed specific for those first-party apps, there are no mentions of Portals in this wave’s Dynamics 365 plans.

It’s important to note that Power Apps Portals is still the same product as what used to be known as Dynamics 365 Portals.  There still seems to be confusion in the marketplace about when to use which product.  They are the same product with different starter templates available based on whether users have any Dynamics apps installed in their Common Data Service database. In terms of licensing, customers on current Dynamics 365 Portals licensing plans will be expected to move to the new Power Apps Portals licensing scheme when their current term expires.

Enhancements to the Power Apps Portals Studio

Microsoft has been working on the new authoring experience for Power Apps Portals for a while, and it now has a name: Power Apps Portals Studio.  This authoring experience is targeted at low-code/no-code makers, and this is where Microsoft has been focusing their Power Apps Portals efforts.