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The new feature aims to reconcile the differences between Canvas and Model-driven apps

Microsoft unveiled its public preview of Custom Pages this week. The move is an effort to meld its two different low-code Power App platforms.

The company’s principal program manager Adrian Orth detailed the preview in a blog post this week. “This is a big leap forward in the convergence of model-driven apps and canvas apps into a single Power App,” he writes. “This does not change the support for the stand alone canvas app but enables the new Power App converging model and canvas.”

Customers can use a custom page in places that support all pages including main area, dialogs, and the new app side pane. Orth says that this allows scenarios like a pixel perfect landing page with data pulled from across the organization. It also enables data driven pages that use a record’s data to change the experience. There can even be dialog to optimize specific business actions, and productivity tools that support the main tasks for the app.

“Better together” – Custom Pages and the Modern App Designer

Users can open custom pages from the sitemap for easy access or from existing model-driven app logic using the Client API. Custom pages can open other custom pages or model pages.  The custom page participates in the page stacking the browser or page back buttons.

The company first announced its Custom Pages at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit in May. They debuted along with Microsoft’s Modern App Designer.

The Modern App Designer (also in Preview) provides the ability to create or add existing custom pages. User can also employ the canvas designer to author the custom page which now sports an updated user experience. The command bar allows save and publish directly from main experience.

“Public preview for custom pages is a big first step in converging model and canvas,” Orth continies. This, he says, “starts a journey that we can continue to build on.”  The feature rollout is already in progress for early stations, according to Orth, and will soon be available in additional regions.