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Power Portal and BC integration solution overview questions

Hi guys,


   I want to validate if some of these things I want to include in a solution are viable/supported and your experience on implementing similar solutions:

- I am looking to build a solution for a customer that should provide access to ~200 external users to create new records in CDS (which will in turn sync to Business Central -"BC" both ways) by using a new entity

- there will be a second entity that would need to display lines for external users, but only syncing from BC to CDS

- I am looking to using a custom connector but have questions around best approach from a license perspective, as I will also need 2 power automates to sync data between the systems and trigger some approvals (which I can achieve in different ways, depending on costs).

- chatbots, how easy are they to integrate with power Portals and capture the questions/responses triggered into a third entity?

My questions are:

- from what I mentioned above, if anything stands out as a wrong approach, please let me know

- is power portals mobile friendly? 

- can you integrate a canvas app into a power Portal and is it accessible to the external users?

- Azure AD B2C vs Okta (or other providers) - any experience, please share your thoughts on costs and complexity of implementation

- what advise you have on licensing costs and is using 2 login capacity add-ons for Power Portals sufficient, or do we need to purchase something for the power automate triggers as well? Alternatively can I use a canvas app and 2 model driven apps with 2 power automates to achieve the same thing for external users? 


Kind Regards,


New Member

I'll leave my original post but did some digging for what I knew from the standard NAV2016 CU7 - CRM integration when it was first introduced, which is the base of what we have now for Business Central and CDS and turns out that half the things I am asking there might be done in CDS and BC without any power automate, but I'll leave my thoughts in so you guys can comment on other alternatives/approaches.

Advocate I
Advocate I

Hello @robert_bu.

I am not experienced with Business Central, so I cannot answer the questions about data flow between CDS and BC.  But let me answer the questions I do know the answer to.


I have implemented a portal for somewhat the same purpose. We let the customers customer use a Partner Portal to update records in CDS. This works fine. New portal licensing will trigger license for these users because they are external users. 


Chatbot using Power Virtual Agent work really well with Power Apps Portals, and soon you will be able to add one to the portal using the Portal Design Studio. It is possible to use other kinds of chat bots as well; Power Apps Portals are essentially just another website built with HTML, CSS and JS like the rest. It's the data source and the configuring that set the portal apart from other products. Blog post showing how to implement here: Adding a Power Virtual Agent to a Power Apps Portal – ReadyXRM


Power Apps Portals are built on a front end framework called Bootstrap that is built on the modern web standard with responsive grid and is built mobile first. Put simply; yes, Power Apps Portals are mobile friendly out of the box. More information about the Bootstrap version used in portals her: CSS · Bootstrap 3.3.5 Documentation - BootstrapDocs


You can embed a Canvas app into a power apps portal. Look at this blog post for more information:  Embedding a Canvas App in a Power Apps Portal – ReadyXRM › 2019/11/26 › embedding-a-c... The Canvas app and the connector it uses need to be shared with the external users that need access to it. This can be a hassle to manage. Might I suggest just creating whatever user experience you need directly in the portal? 


Azure AD B2C is the preferred authentication provider. I have used it for most of the portals I have set up and I would not consider another option. It is a simplified way of implementing Azure AD B2C where you don't have to go into Azure at all. This feature is in preview and can be tested in a "early release" trial tenant. 


When it comes to licensing I am no expert - but as far as I know it is much cheaper to pay for user sessions in a power apps portal then to give users access to Model driven apps. 


I did a presentation of a big Partner Portal on an online conference a few weeks ago. If you want to see what you can do with a power apps portals this might give you a good idea of what you can do:


Hope this was helpful.

Good luck and have fun!

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