Working with Solutions in PowerApps

After attending the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2019 in Atlanta, I thought it would be great to share what I learned about all the cool new features in the Power Platform.

Imagine you wrote an awesome app which customized and extended Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement, how would you package it for distribution?

Introducing Solutions in PowerApps

Solutions are containers to track the changes you make to PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and the Common Data Service. Solutions are also how you transport and install changes to target environments.

PowerApps

Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps are installed using solutions. Third party apps provided by Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) also use solutions.

In PowerApps, solutions are leveraged to transport apps and components from one environment to another or to apply a set of customizations to existing apps. A solution can contain one or more apps as well as other components such as entities, option sets, etc. You can get a solution from AppSource or from an independent software vendor (ISV).

Types of Solutions

Unmanaged

  • Used during development
  • Used to transport to other development environments
  • When the unmanaged solution is complete and you want to distribute it, export it and package it as a managed solution

Managed

  • Used to distribute to non-development environments
  • A managed solution is a completed solution that is intended to be distributed and installed

Solution Components

Solution components are categorized to track the individual items associated with the solution and there are more than 25 component types. Component types include entities, apps (model and canvas), Microsoft Flows, security components as well as developer assets. Some components are sub-components; forms, views, charts, and fields are all sub-component of entities. Reference data, however, is not included as a solution component.

Managed Solution LifeCycle

PowerApps

Let’s dive into an example of how quickly you can package your app/component as a solution:

1. Sign in to PowerApps and select Solutions from the left navigation.

PowerApps

2. Select New solution and then complete the required fields for the solution.

PowerApps

3. Enter Encore Device Order for Display Name and click on the Publisher dropdown.

PowerApps

4. Enter Encore Business Solutions for Display Name, enter ebs for Prefix and click Save and Close.

PowerApps

5. Click on the Publisher dropdown and select the publisher you created.

PowerApps

6. Enter 0.0.0 for Version and click Create.

PowerApps

7. Click to open the solution you created.

8. Next, we are going to add the existing canvas app into our empty solution. Click Add Existing | App | Canvas App. Add Existing is how you bring in assets that already exist and associate them with your current solution container.

PowerApps

9. Under Outside solutions, select your canvas app and click Add:

PowerApps

The solution now has the canvas app which can be installed to a different environment as a Managed solution.

PowerApps

Note: The solutioning experience is available only online and for environment version 9.1.0.267 and later. To check your version, please go to PowerApps admin center> Environments > select your environment > Details tab. For earlier version environments, selecting a solution opens it in the classic experience. Go here to read about known limitations.

Please contact us if you have any questions about working with solutions in PowerApps.

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