Simplify environment administration in the Microsoft Power Platform with new CoE Starter Kit components for Environment Management

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An environment is a space to store, manage, and share your organization’s business data, apps, chatbots, and flows. It also serves as a container to separate apps that might have different roles, security requirements, or target audiences. More information: Microsoft Power Platform environments overview.

How you choose to use environments depends on your environment strategy and the apps you’re trying to build.  For example:

  • You might have separate development, test and production environments for your business import apps.
  • You might have shared environments for productivity use cases.
  • You might have temporary environments to support training events or hackathons.

Developing an environment strategy will be at the core of your administration and governance considerations for the Microsoft Power Platform. Security model, data exfiltration rules, and resource allocation (such as Dataverse capacity) are all affected by how you decide to manage environments.

Limiting environment creation as part of your environment strategy is beneficial to maintain control: both to prevent unaccounted capacity consumption and to reduce the number of environments to manage. If users have to request environments from central IT, it’s easier to see what people are working on.

However, because multiple steps (such as configuring security roles and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies) are involved in creating and setting up environments, admins run the risk of becoming the bottleneck.

If there is no system in place to carry out environment provisioning tasks and the demand for new environments is high (for example, in a large company with many projects in their backlog), admins risk slowing down projects.

New components added to the CoE Starter Kit’s Core Solution are designed to help admins simplify and automate their environment management strategy. The components make up a request management system specifically for environment creation. It includes:

  • An interface for makers (non-admins) to create new and view existing requests.
  • An interface for admins to review and approve or reject requests.
  • Automation of environment provisioning when a request is approved, which includes:
    • Creating the environment with the requested details
    • Provisioning the Dataverse database (if requested)
    • Granting permissions to the requested environment administrators
    • Updating the Data Loss Prevention policies to securely accommodate the new environment’s connectors (if requested)
  • Automation of environment cleanup (to avoid sprawl)
  • Email notifications for important request stage changes (submission, approval, fulfillment, rejection, and expiration)

Read the full environment creation request process used by the template in the documentation.

Get Started

Download and install the latest version of the Center oExcellence Starter Kit – Core Solution to access the new environment management components. Instructions: Set up the CoE Starter Kit.

To learn how to use the environment management components, go to How to use the Environment management components in the CoE Starter Kit documentation.

View the details of the new components in the Core components documentation.

Environment documentation for admins

Detailed documentation about Power Platform environments can be found here:

About the CoE Starter Kit

A Microsoft Power Platform Center of Excellence (CoE) means investing in and nurturing organic growth while maintaining governance and control. A CoE is designed to drive innovation and improvement, and as a central function it can break down geographic and organizational silos. A CoE can be a powerful way for an organization to align around business goals rather than individual department metrics. A key principle is to clarify why you’re setting up a CoE, what you aim to accomplish, and the key business outcomes you hope to achieve.

The CoE Starter Kit provides some automation and tooling to help teams build monitoring and automation necessary to support a CoE. It represents what we’ve learned from some of the largest organizations implementing Microsoft Power Platform.  This tool, built with Microsoft Power Platform, is intended to be just that: a starter kit for technology to enable your processes. It can help with the how, once you’ve established the what and why.

Disclaimer

Although the underlying features and components used to build the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit (such as Dataverse and connectors) are fully supported, the kit itself represents sample implementations of these features. Our customers and community can use and customize these features to implement admin and governance capabilities in their organizations.

If you face issues with:

  • Using the kit: Report your issue and feature requests here: aka.ms/coe-starter-kit-issues (Microsoft Support won’t help you with issues related to this kit, but they will help with related, underlying platform and feature issues.)
  • The core features in Power Platform: Use your standard channel to contact Support.
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