Introducing ITA Web Starter: Customizable Online Portal Solutions
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Sep 24, 2023 12:00 PM

Introducing ITA Web Starter: Customizable Online Portal Solutions

by HubSite 365 about Alex Shlega [MVP]

Microsoft Power Platform Consultant/Solution Architect, Business Applications MVP

External Blog Post
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Discover how to launch your custom website utilizing NextJS and Power Platform by Microsoft experts, without breaking the bank!

Summary of Blog Post by Alex Shlega [MVP]

Alex Shlega in his blog detailed the reasoning behind his drive to establish an own portal on his terms rather than settling for Power Pages in Power Platform. This desire mainly arises from his need for a cost-efficient web solution which may not hold true with Power Pages, especially when used by small-scale entities or semi-personal websites.

He points out a notable flaw in Power Pages being its absolute linkage to Power Platform / Microsoft Dataverse, thus advocating for the flexibility of other options.

Alex has eventually setup treecatsoftware.com, utilizing NextJS intertwined with Power Platform to offer rudimentary portal functionality, fortified with Redis cache. This system operates on Docker containers, positioned on his small workstation PC, safeguarded by Cloud Flare.

  • The front-end comprises of Next JS site boasting core facilities: Authentication, ability to submit/post requests, comment on posted requests, and attach files to requests. Additionally, it exists an API layer.
  • On the Power Platform “backend” side, a model-driven app allows him to manage requests, comments,files and a couple of Power Platform solutions offers HTTP trigger flows use as a form of the API.

The blog concludes that despite not being on par with content management systems or Power Page's low coding, he views the project as a learning curve, open to improvement and extra features addition moving forward.

Further Discussion

This blog post addresses the practicality of creating a self-hosted web portal compared to conventional web services like Power Platform. Alex Shlega's approach offers an innovative yet complex solution utilizing a variety of systems such as Redis cache, Docker containers, and Cloud Flare to ensure efficiency and security.

His platform provides basic portal functionalities, like authentication, requests issuing, commenting on requests, etc, all run on a lesser-sophisticated workstation. He compares this solution to content management systems and platforms like Power Pages, indicating its thorough independency in terms of management and configurability.

This may offer web developers and small businesses frugal and high-control alternatives to existing web services, so they won't have to compromise due to financial constraints, control limitations, or both. It's a concept with potential to be widely adopted, provided adequate documentation and feature updates.

Read the full article I always wanted to have a portal on “my terms”, so here goes ITA Web Starter

Learn about I always wanted to have a portal on “my terms”, so here goes ITA Web Starter

This blog post discusses the author's desire to create a personal web portal that wouldn't require a hefty investment, highlighting the reasons why Power Pages in Power Platform might not be an ideal solution for everyone. The author cites the costs associated with Power Pages and its connection to Power Platform/Microsoft Dataverse as potential hindrances, particularly for small organizations or semi-personal sites.

The author shares their personal project - a new website for treecatsoftware.com, which is a combination of NextJS and Power Platform, supplemented with Redis cache, running on Docker containers, and protected by Cloud Flare.

  • Find source code on: github.com/ashlega/itaintboringweb
  • The website consists of several core features, including authentication, ability to submit/attach files/add comments to requests, and an API layer.
  • The Power Platform “backend” comprises a model-driven app that allows interaction with requests, comments, and files, and numerous HTTP trigger flows used as API forms.

With this setup, the author leverages the Power Platform Application Lifecycle Management for deploying flows to different environments, thus eliminating the need for a separate deployment process.

 

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"Microsoft specialist", "Microsoft professional", "Microsoft proficient expert", "Expert in Microsoft platform", "Specialist in Microsoft technologies"