Microsoft PowerApps has created an offering to allow you to build PowerApps that are public facing! They have named it PowerApps Portals.
If you’re already familiar with PowerApps, then you know this is big news. If you are still new to PowerApps, then know that it is a low code platform designed to allow ‘citizen developers’ to create apps quickly and to solve business problems without the need for expensive, time consuming enterprise IT solutions.
Who can use PowerApps Portals
Unlike most PowerApps, a portal is a standalone, external-facing portal. It can be consumed by the public and does not require users to authenticate with a company Azure Active Directory (AAD) account. Any company can create a PowerApps portal, see the licensing section for more detail.
Users are categorized into one of three categories:
Internal User An employee licensed with PowerApps per-app or PowerApps per-user add-on.
External User (Authenticated) A B2B or B2C user who obtains secure access to personalized data by utilizing authentication mechanisms such as Azure AD, LinkedIn, etc.
Anonymous User An unauthenticated user who views public web pages powered by the portal.
Anonymous use has never been possible before, and external authentication was only possible via Azure AD trusts – so this is a significant development!
We need to provide an example of how a company would use a PA portal. Could it be a patient admissions form for a hospital or clinic? Could it be an app for citizens to report potholes to a council with geolocation?
How are PowerApps Portals Licensed
PowerApps portals are provisioned on demand. Each portal instance consumes 1GB of available Common Data Service database capacity. Usage licensing varies based on the end user.
For more detail on licensing and costs, see our article on Microsoft changes licensing model for PowerApps and Flow
Internal User Internal users will leverage PowerApps per-app or per-user licenses.
External User (Authenticated) External users will use a per-login licensing model. More detail is below. Each login is a 24-hour day pass to a single PowerApps portal.
Anonymous User Anonymous users will use a per-page-view model.
Per Login Model
PowerApps portals that require authentication for external users will need to purchase appropriate login capacity based on anticipated usage volumes.
Note that each login is a 24-hour pass so if an external user logs in once or multiple times during a 24-hour period, it counts as one login for licensing purposes
There are three planned tiers of per-login licenses. Tier 2 and tier 3 will be released on December 19th, 2019, whereas the entry tier is currently available. As a note, tier 3 licenses are only available to Microsoft Cloud Service Providers (CSPs).
The logins are based on monthly volume and do not roll over to the next month (use or lose) so be sure to align usage with peak monthly volume. Microsoft is currently allowing reasonable overages but does not state specifics on what it finds to be reasonable.
Finally, the minimum logins per portal is 100 logins per month. This means that per-login licenses should be purchased only when logins exceed 100 logins per month.
Per Page View Model
The per-page-view model should be selected for public facing PowerApps that do not require authentication. Each unit of this license covers 100,000 page-views per month.
The SKU name is PowerApps Portals page view capacity add-on.
Unused page views do not roll over to the following month and like per-login licenses, reasonable overage is covered.
Finally, each portal gets 50,000 page-views per month included. This means that per-page view licenses are required when page views exceed 50,000 views per month.
Internal Users Model
Internal users are handled via the PowerApps per-app or PowerApps per-user licenses. Additionally, users with Dynamics 365 enterprise licenses can use portals that are mapped to Dynamics 365. For more detail on licensing, see our article on Microsoft changes licensing for PowerApps and Flow.
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Microsoft PowerApps and Flow Licensing Guide
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