What is new in Portals for Release Wave 2 (October 2019) Plan

The release wave 2 plan, the fancy new name for the planned items for the October 2019 release have been released today and include some very interesting notes about Portals. The major news in the release notes is the portal is becoming a first class app type with the October 2019 release. The Power Platform will now have 3 app types, Canvas Apps, Model-driven Apps, and now Portal Apps!

Portal now a first class Power Platform app type

Firstly as noted previously in the April 2019 release notes, the portal is under the Power Platform for its core product. There are still sub sections in the Dynamics 365 apps like Customer Service, but the core portal product is part of the platform release details and this alignment has all been working toward the portal playing a role as an app type. The portal that started out as Adxstudio Portals, then became Microsoft CRM Portals, then Dynamics 365 Portals, is now PowerApps portal. I have always described portals as the definitive Dynamics 365 external app story but now it the definitive external Power Platform story.

So what does this really change? It is still the same underlying infrastructure, and code, but what is being done is making the portal extremely accessible to anyone. Previously the portal was kind of hidden away in the Dynamics Administration Center under Applications, labelled as an Add-on, and had its own custom administration. This release will bring the portal into the PowerApps Maker portal, it will be a tile at the exact same level as canvas or model-driven apps putting it in-front of thousands as an option of working with CDS data.

The provisioning process, or the creating of a portal app will be extremely simplified as it goes into this new interface compared to what you might have been use to previously if you were a portal admin or developer. All the functions of the portal administration will start to be surfaced in the PowerApps Maker portal for simple access to those functions. Of course as this is a first release there will be reference to the old administration area for certain functions but I foresee over time that all functions will move over to the maker interface.

Once provisioned the creating or editing of the portal is also getting a huge overhaul. If you tried out the new editor that was in preview for the last year, guess what it was sort of an experiment leading to a portal studio meant to be very similar to the canvas apps studio.

Portals studio for managing and creating portal content

This all is going to be huge, putting the portal on the highest of stages. The complexity or barriers that had to go into how do I make my Dynamics 365 or CDS data externally available will be gone. You can create a portal now so naturally, without Dynamics 365 required at all which will enable so many scenarios, and a whole new audience, a huge audience is going to have this available at their fingertips in October 2019.

You can expect with this new PowerApps portal studio that all the portal components are going to get a lot more accessible, but this will take time for it to be end-to-end the interface for everything. Expect that you will be able to configure, add, create entity lists, entity forms, web pages, liquid templates, and more, easily, naturally from within this new interface.

Questions:

How can I get this?!
There will be a public preview coming July 2019. Sign up to the subscribe to preview for PowerApps portal
https://crmnamvoc1runtime.crm.dynamics.com/35d6dcc8-66e8-4245-935e-a82ad7a107bb/powerapps-portal

How much is it going to cost?
Perhaps the most complex question :). The portal is currently licensed as a $500/month/portal USD add-on. Hopefully some updates to this in the future.
Update from Charles Lamanna on Twitter: Consumption based pricing coming for both PowerApps portals and existing Dynamics 365 portals!!

We will share more next month with the full public preview, but Portals will support standard PowerApps licensing (P1/P2) for internal users as well as a new, consumption-like model for external (B2C) logins and anonymous users. That’s all I can say for now! :)— Charles Lamanna (@clamanna) June 10, 2019

How much is it going to cost?
Perhaps the most complex question :). The portal is currently licensed as a $500/month/portal USD add-on. Hopefully some updates to this in the future.
Update: Consumption based pricing coming!!

I have an existing portal, how will this impact me?
Your existing portals will continue to function exactly as they do today. Once your existing portal is listed in the make.powerapps.com interface you will be able to utilize the new PowerApps portal studio to manage it.

Can I still use the Dynamics 365/CDS model-driven app to manage my portal?
Yes, the Portal Management model-driven app is still delivered as a way to manage the portal content and associated entities.

Can I still use the front-side editor?
Yes, the front-side editor does remain as an option to manage your portal?

Checkout the blog on the PowerApps Blog for more details:
https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-powerapps-portals-powerful-low-code-websites-for-external-users/

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