I am passionate about Power Platform and very excited about the new Microsoft Power Pages capabilities introduced in the fall of 2022 that extend the reach of the low-code revolution outside the firewall. In this blog, I will explain the new Power Pages, the core features and benefits, and how licenses and overall costs are calculated with specific examples.
What Is Microsoft Power Pages?
Microsoft Power Pages is a new feature in Microsoft Power Platform that allows users to easily create low-code web pages and apps, like landing pages, surveys, dashboards, portals, intranets, blogs and more.
Power Pages is designed to empower anyone, regardless of their technical skills, to build engaging and interactive web experiences using data from various sources, such as Microsoft Dataverse, SharePoint, Excel and more.
While Power Pages is new, the underlying technology used by Power Pages isn’t. Power Pages now replaces the PowerApps Portal (formerly Dynamics 365 Portals/AXD) which has been around for many years and used by thousands of organizations worldwide.
Power Pages works by providing a drag-and-drop interface where users can add and customize various components, such as text, images, buttons, forms, charts, maps and more. Users can also employ formulas and expressions to add logic and functionality to their pages, including validating inputs, performing calculations or displaying conditional content. Users can also connect their pages to various data sources and services like Microsoft Dataverse, SharePoint, Excel, Outlook, Teams and others to access, display and manipulate data in real-time.
Power Pages is integrated with Microsoft Power Platform, which means users can leverage the capabilities of other Power Platform products (Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents) to enhance their web pages and apps. For example, users can embed Power Apps or Power BI components into their pages or trigger Power Automate flows or Power Virtual Agents bots from their pages. Users can also use Power Platform connectors to integrate their pages with hundreds of external services and applications, including Twitter, Facebook, Mailchimp and Salesforce.
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Power Pages Capabilities
Power Pages is powered by Microsoft’s AI and cloud services and integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 and other popular tools.
Some of the features of Microsoft Power Pages are:
- Drag-and-drop interface: Easily design your website by dragging and dropping elements, including text, images, videos, maps and forms. You can also customize your website's layout, colors, fonts and animations with a few clicks.
- AI-powered content: You can enrich your website with AI-generated headlines, captions, summaries and recommendations. You can also use AI to optimize your website for SEO, accessibility and performance.
- Cloud hosting and security: You can host your website on Microsoft's secure and reliable cloud and enjoy fast loading speeds, automatic backups and SSL encryption. You can also connect your own domain name and email address to your website.
- Integration and collaboration: You can integrate your website with Microsoft 365 and other popular tools, such as Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, Power BI, Dynamics 365 and more. You can also collaborate with others on your website and share feedback and comments in real time.
- Analytics and insights: You can track and analyze your website's traffic, engagement and conversions with Microsoft's analytics and insights. You can also use Microsoft's AI to get personalized suggestions and insights on how to improve your website and reach your goals.
Power Pages Benefits
Power Pages is more than just a website builder. It is a powerful tool that can help you:
- Create engaging web experiences: You can use Power Pages to create web pages that are responsive, interactive and personalized. You can choose from various templates and themes or start from scratch and customize every element. You can also add rich media, such as images, videos and maps, to make your pages more attractive and informative.
- Connect to your data and logic: You can use Power Pages to access and display data from various sources, like Microsoft Dataverse, SharePoint, Excel and more. You can also use Power Apps to create custom forms, workflows and logic that interact with your data and web pages. You can even use Power Automate to automate tasks and processes across your web pages and data sources.
- Share and collaborate with ease: You can use Power Pages to publish your web pages to the web with a single click. You can also share your web pages with your colleagues, customers or partners and control who can view or edit them. You can also use Power BI to embed analytics and insights into your web pages and use Power Virtual Agents to add chatbots and conversational AI to your web pages.
Power Pages is a game-changer for any organization that wants to create web pages that are data-driven, dynamic and delightful. Whether you want to create a landing page, a portfolio, a data-driven website a blog, a survey or anything else, Power Pages can help you do it faster and easier than ever before.
As an example, organizations have used Power Pages to create websites for scheduling, self-service, tracking, invoicing, interactivity and information gathering.
- Grant application portal
- Scheduling portal
- Customer self-service portal
- Partner self-service portal
- Supplier invoicing portal
- Application for services
- Issue tracking portals and many more
Power Pages Security
Power Pages implement several governance and security features that help organizations protect sites from common security risks, including Denial of service DDoS protection, Dynamic IP restrictions, HTML encoding and Edge caching and web application firewall thru Azure FrontDoor.
Organizations can add authentication capabilities that leverage Microsoft Azure B2C functionality and allow users to connect using multiple identity providers (social identities) and well-known identities, including Azure Active Directory “AzureAD”. Administrators can set permissions throughout the site and distinguish between:
- Anonymous users: Typically partners, suppliers, customers and external stakeholders who can access the site without authentication.
- Authenticated users: Typically partners, suppliers, customers and external stakeholders who can access the “secured” area of the site and usually do not have an account in the organization’s internal Azure AD.
Within a site, functionality can be limited for anonymous users so that any data-driven operations are restricted to only authenticated users and even different roles and security profiles within the site. For instance, a manager can have more access than a regular individual within the site)
Power Pages Pricing and Licensing
Prior to the Power Pages, PowerApps Portals were considered expensive, even cost-prohibitive. With Power Pages, Microsoft has aligned pricing and licensing with industry standards and similar solutions.
Organizations can license Power Pages sites based on the number of authenticated and anonymous users visiting each site in a given month, either by purchasing packs of users or using a pay-as-you-go model. User packs are more predictable but will force you to use them even if not all users use them, whereas pay-as-you-go offers more flexibility. Microsoft also offers three tiers of user packs based on commitment and minimum number of users per month. The tables below summarize the options:
|Name||Users Per Pack||Minimum Packs||Pricing MSRP Per Pack||Pricing MSRP Per User|
|Pay as you go||$0.30||$0.30|
Anonymous users can view site contents in browse mode but cannot access some features, such as the ability to edit or add data to a Dataverse table. Customers can purchase anonymous user capacity in 500-user increments, with a tiered discount as required user capacity increases. A pay-as-you-go option requires an Azure subscription and charges an organization for each anonymous user visiting each site in a calendar month.
|Name||Users Per Pack||Minimum Packs||Pricing MSRP Per Pack||Pricing MSRP Per User|
|Pay as you go||$4.00||$4.00|
Authenticated users must sign in through an identity provider implemented on a site. Each authenticated user costs more than an anonymous user but has access to additional functionality based on their authentication. As with anonymous users, a tiered discount makes each user less expensive as more are added; pay-as-you-go users are available for about twice the cost of a Tier 1 pack.
Lastly, internal licensed users who already hold licenses for other services (like PowerApps per-user/per-app or Dynamics 365) and are provided with intrinsic use rights for Power Pages. These users are not double-counted when accessing a site as an authenticated user.
Users are counted per site, not per tenancy, so if a user visits multiple pages from multiple sites, they are counted once for each site they access.
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