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Simplify administration with Environment Groups in Power Platform

In this blogpost, we will learn to simplify administration and environment management using Environment Groups in Microsoft Power Platform. Prior to beginning, ensure that you subscribe to CRM Crate for staying current in the Power Platform field.

Simplify administration with Environment Groups in Power Platform

Environments in Power Platform are like individual worlds within the Power Platform universe. They’re like separate playgrounds where you can develop, test, and run your apps, automations, and workflows without affecting your main production environment.

Think of them as different rooms in a house. Each room serves a different purpose, and you can customize each room according to your needs. Similarly, in Power Platform, each environment can have its own set of apps, data connections, security settings, and users.

For example, you might have a development environment where you build and test new apps or workflows, ensuring they work as expected before deploying them to a production environment where your end users will interact with them. Environments also help with organization and security. You can control who has access to each environment, ensuring that sensitive data is only accessible to authorized users. Overall, environments in Power Platform provide a structured way to manage your applications and resources, allowing you to innovate and iterate safely.

What are Environment Groups in Power Platform?

Coordinating Power Platform across a vast array of environments, from hundreds to tens of thousands, is a substantial hurdle for IT teams in both startups and enterprises. In a way similar to folders, environment groups are crafted to assist administrators in structuring their environments into organized groups, categorized by criteria like business units, projects, and locations.

Administrators have the option to implement a range of rules across groups, enabling them to manage multiple environments efficiently, minimizing manual work and maintaining uniformity. For instance, rules can be applied to areas such as security, licensing, compliance, and other aspects. In this initial version, six essential functionalities of Managed Environments are presented as rules.

Sharing controls for canvas apps

In Managed Environments, admins can limit how broadly users can share canvas apps.

AI-generated descriptions

If your app is in a managed environment, you can use AI to help you create a description for your app.

Solution checker enforcement

You can use solution checker in Managed Environments to enforce rich static analysis checks on your solutions against a set of best practice rules and identify problematic patterns.

Maker welcome content

In Managed Environments, admins can provide customized welcome content to help their makers get started with Power Apps. When you add your own help content, it replaces the default Power Apps first-time help experience for makers.

Usage insights

Administrators can enable this feature to get analytics about your top apps, your most impactful makers, and inactive resources you can safely clean up are distilled and delivered to your mailbox once a week.

Extended backup retention

Administrators can extend the backup retention period beyond seven days, to a maximum of 28 days.

Managing different pockets of environments within your tenant can be done in several ways using environment groups. For instance, multinational corporations might set up an environment group for each geographic region to guarantee adherence to legal and regulatory standards. Alternatively, you can organize environment groups based on departments or other specific criteria.

How to create a new Environment Group & set environment rules?

Power Platform tenant administrators have the flexibility to create as many environment groups as they require to fulfill their organization’s requirements. Follow the below steps for creating a new Environment Group under your tenant.

  1. Log in to the Power Platform Admin center.
  2. Navigate to Environment groups in the sidebar.
  3. Click on New group on the Environment groups page.
  4. In the Create group window that pops up:
    a. Enter a name for your group in the Name field, like Personal Productivity.
    b. Provide a short description of the group in the Description field.
    c. Click on Create.

Once the environment group is created, Power Platform tenant administrators can promptly proceed to add environments or configure the rules for the group as shown below.

Simplify administration with Environment Groups in Power Platform

Please remember that before deleting a group, you should remove all its environments and ensure there are no developer environments associated with it. If the group still has environments, a warning will appear that prevents you from deleting it.

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