Changes to Dynamics 365 Portals

By 18th October 2019 November 8th, 2019 Product Updates

Microsoft have introduced significant changes to the way Dynamics 365 Portals are constructed, configured and licensed. We take a look at how the changes affect new and existing Portals.

Introduction to Portals

When Microsoft first introduced Portals following their acquisition of ADXStudio in 2015, they were heavily embedded within the Dynamics 365 platform, but with a browser-based page editor to perform content changes. This solution enabled powerful customer-facing portals to be created, although the construction experience was more functional than intuitive. Since this introduction, Microsoft have been steadily uncoupling the old ADXStudio code with an intention of having Portals stand alone from Dynamics 365 and to improve the overall user experience. These new changes are the latest step on this journey.

Moving to the Power Platform

Microsoft have placed great emphasis on their Power Platform, the home of Power Apps, Flow and Power BI and Portals have now become the latest addition to this suite of products. As Portal data can now be maintained in the Common Data Service (the underlying technology of the Power Platform), Portals are now open to all businesses, not just those using Dynamics 365.

Portal Licensing Changes

Previously, the Portal licensing model was rather restrictive and costly –

  • A free portal was available to Dynamics 365 Enterprise customers, but only if they had ten or more users.
  • Any additional portals that were required, even if used purely for testing, incurred an additional monthly cost per portal.

The new pricing model is centred more around usage, so there is now no cost for deploying a portal and multiple portals can be deployed at no additional cost. The usage pricing is as follows:

  1. For authenticated users, where named users log in to a Portal, the licensing model is based on logins. The entry level licence allows for 100 monthly logins at £150.80 per month across all deployed portals and additional logins can be purchased, if required, in bundles of 1000 or 5000. Each login provides a user with access to a single portal for up to 24 hours. Multiple logins during this period are still counted as a single login.
  2. For unauthenticated users, i.e. anonymous visitors to a Portal, the licensing model is based on page views. The entry level licence allows for 100,000 page views at £75.40 per month across all deployed portals and additional capacity can be purchased if required.

Internal users accessing portals are covered by licensing rights included with Dynamics 365 or Power Apps licences, so their usage doesn’t incur additional costs and usage is not counted towards the login/visitor capacities.

For up-to-date Portal pricing, visit our dedicated Portals page.

Maintaining and licensing existing Portals

For business who are already using Dynamics 365 Portals, they can already begin maintaining these via the Power Platform at make.powerapps.com. All existing Portals will show as an App that can be edited via the new Portal designer experience. The Portal designer makes it easier to edit content, add new pages and edit the page styling.

For licensing, all tenants with existing Dynamics 365 subscriptions receive an extension of portal licensing (under the current terms) of either 12 months from Oct 1, 2019 or until the expiration of their current Dynamics 365 subscription term, whichever is longer.

Summary

Microsoft have taken great strides in recent months to make their Portal offering as easy to implement and deploy. By decoupling Portals from Dynamics 365 and removing the additional costs for extra Portals, Microsoft have opened up the opportunity for Portal deployment for all businesses.

Should you require further information on Portals, you can refer to our dedicated Portals page, or simply get in touch with one of our team and we will be happy to assist.

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