In amongst all the announcements at Build recently, you may have heard about a new member of the Power Platform being launched: Power Pages. You can read the docs here, and there’s a good, detailed video overview here, but here’s a quick summary of what it is:
Microsoft Power Pages is a secure, enterprise-grade, low-code software as a service (SaaS) platform for creating, hosting, and administering modern external-facing business websites. Whether you’re a low-code maker or a professional developer, Power Pages enables you to rapidly design, configure, and publish websites that seamlessly work across web browsers and devices.
So what? I’m not a web designer and I’m pretty sure most of you aren’t either, so why blog about it here? Most data and BI people don’t need to build web sites… do they?
Well I was playing around with it and noticed one important detail:
It has built-in support for embedding Power BI reports into the web sites you build! You can read more about this here and here. What’s more, it supports all forms of Power BI embedding (which can be an extremely confusing subject): as well as the use of Power BI Embedded, for sharing reports with external users, you can use regular Power BI Premium, Secure Embedding (which doesn’t need Premium), and Publish to Web for sharing with the general public. It also supports embedding of reports and dashboards (though not paginated reports) and also more complex security scenarios if you have the relevant web development skills.
As someone with no web development skills whatsoever it was very easy for me to build a web site with a Power BI report embedded into it:
When would this be useful? I talk to a lot of people who want to share Power BI reports with external users. You can use Azure B2B for this, although it doesn’t give you the smooth experience a custom-built web site does – but using a custom-built web site of course requires you to actually build that web site, and not everyone has a web developer available to do this work. This is where I see Power Pages being extremely useful: self-service web development for self-service data people, letting you share data securely outside your organisation quickly and easily.