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ALM Accelerator and In-Product ALM with Power Platform Pipelines

Application Lifecycle Management in Power Platform can be achieved by various means –

  1. Create your own Azure DevOps Pipelines by using Azure Dev Ops Build Tool tasks for Power Platform.
  2. Create your own GitHub Workflows by using GitHub actions for Power Platform
  3. Install ALM Accelerator for Power Platform
  4. Use In-Product ALM with Power Platform Pipelines

While the 1st and 2nd option are targeted for the Advanced makers/Pro-Developers and requires knowledge in Azure DevOps and GitHub respectively, 3rd and 4th options helps the  New makers also who can benefit from the preconfigured package of ALM accelerator or In-Product ALM capabilities.

ALM accelerator is a solution that provides a simplified interface for makers to regularly export the components in their Power Platform Solutions to Azure DevOps and create deployment requests to have their work reviewed before deploying to target environments. It comes as a pre-packaged set of Azure DevOps pipelines with a Canvas App for makers and a Model Driven App for Admins at the front end. Individual developers can work in their development environment, then they check in their code in the Azure DevOps repository within their own work branch through this Canvas App and can deploy to Test or Prod when they are ready which will subject to approval. They can also import solution from source control using this Canvas App and create pull request to merge their changes into source control.

For Makers to use the features of the ALM Accelerator they need the following licenses

  • Power Apps Per User or Per App license
  • Azure DevOps Basic Plan

ALM Accelerator Process Flow

alm accelerator process flow.png

Links to Microsoft Documents related to ALM accelerator

Power Platform Pipelines is an In-Product feature that facilitates the Automated Deployment between the environments . 

 

Using this feature, 

  1. Admins easily configure automated deployment pipelines in minutes rather than days or weeks. 
  1. Makers have an intuitive user experience for easily deploying their solutions. 
  1. Professional developers can (optionally) run pipelines using their preferred tools such as the Power Platform command line interface (CLI). 

 

Links to Microsoft Documents related to Power Platform Pipelines

Features

Power Platform Pipelines

ALM Accelerator  

Source Control

No

Yes, Azure DevOps

Product Source

Microsoft Product

Open Source, built and managed by Microsoft Power CAT team.

Installation Complexity

Single click installation from Power Platform Admin Center

Multiple steps involved –

1.       App registration in Azure Active directory

2.       Install extensions in Azure DevOps

3.       Import and configure Power Platform Solution

Usage complexity

Simple

Require basic knowledge of Azure Dev Ops

Targeted for

Citizen Developers

Advanced Makers / Pro Developers/Code First Developers

Require Managed Environment

Host, Development and all target environments should be managed during GA, not a requirement during Public Preview

No

Supported with Default Environment

Yes during Public preview, No in GA

Yes 

License Requirement

While in GA, as it is part of Managed environment, all users require premium Power Apps/Power Automate license.

Power Apps Per User or Per App license and

Azure DevOps Basic Plan

Minimum environments 

2 – 1 Development, 1 Target

It is possible to have only 2 environments (Dev and Prod) or as many environments you want. Needs manual configuration in the Admin App

Preconfigure environment variables for target environment

Yes

Yes

Preconfigure Connection References for target environment

Yes

Yes

Use Service Principal for Deployment

No

Yes

Share Canvas Apps in Target

No

Yes

Update Flow ownership in Target

No

Yes

Update Dataverse Group Teams in Target

No

Yes

Share Custom Connector

No

Yes

Approval before Deployment

No

Yes, through Azure DevOps pull request or through Azure DevOps environment approvals

Extension possibility

No, as it is In-product

Yes, at it is Open source
Also, there are extensions points implemented directly in the pipelines that allows users to customize the pipelines with their own functionality.
There is also the option to “bring your own templates” to support customizations

Note: This comparison is valid as of December 2022, it will change as both the Products evolve.

This post was originally published on this site

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