The text discusses a refreshed perspective on the Power Platform Environment Strategy, moving from segmented environments to a more consolidated approach. The author once advocated for separate Development, Testing, and Production environments for each business department by geography but has reconsidered this strategy due to multiple drawbacks.
Key reasons for shifting strategies include: it was a pain to set up, difficult to monitor/control, and created challenges in development processes. As organizations grow, complexity becomes a necessary evil, but it should be minimized to be more manageable.
The author addresses the effort required to maintain multiple environments, from setting them up to dealing with updates, security, and governance. This need for maintenance can quickly become burdensome, especially as new connectors and components are constantly introduced.
Furthermore, monitoring tools lag behind, making it difficult to get a comprehensive view of the platform. Such complexity hinders visibility and adds unnecessary layers of challenges for Power Platform administrators.
The text suggests that shared environments, managed based on geographic location, can offer a better solution. These shared environments can be the foundation that still allows for scalability and directed growth. High-performing teams can be allocated their own environment stacks, with levels of responsibility tailored to their capabilities.
Lastly, the concept of pseudo-production environments is introduced. These are non-production environments that are used as if they were production, bypassing the stringent controls and governance typically involved in an actual production environment. The author outlines specific strategies to prevent the misuse of development and test environments as pseudo-production, such as implementing controls, automations, and monitoring.
The Power Platform by Microsoft is an integrated application platform that enables the rapid development of apps, workflows, and dashboards by connecting various Microsoft services like Office 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure. A critical aspect of utilizing the Power Platform effectively involves establishing an environment strategy that aligns with an organization's size, governance policies, and development practices. Environment strategies dictate how to segregate and organize the development, testing, and production phases of solutions. The right strategy can greatly influence the efficiency of the development lifecycle, the effectiveness of the controls, and the scalability of solutions within the enterprise. A transition towards shared environments indicates a trend towards collaboration, ease of maintenance, and enhanced governance that enables development teams to focus more on creating value rather than navigating through administrative overhead.
David Wyatt revisits his original approach to Power Platform environment strategy in a recent blog. Initially, he recommended distinct development, testing, and production environments for each business department, separated by geography. However, over time, he's found drawbacks to this method such as the complexity, difficulty in monitoring and controlling, and development challenges.
Creating and maintaining individual environments became overly time-consuming, with tasks ranging from setting up security groups to configuring Data Loss Prevention policies. Moreover, these environments tend to proliferate, increasing the difficulty in platform monitoring and exacerbating complexity. The Power Platform currently lacks robust native monitoring tools, requiring additional resources like the CoE (Center of Excellence) kit to fill the gap.
Wyatt also expresses concerns over developer environments. These environments could quickly become disorganized, and unlike truly isolated development spaces, they can be shared like production environments, leading to governance issues. The administration required to manage access across numerous environments adds further complexity, especially for those supporting multiple development teams.
In version 2 of his strategy, Wyatt advocates for consolidation. He suggests shared environments by geography, adding more as necessary. This approach allows for scalability and is foundational, supporting future expansions. High-performing teams, particularly in IT, can eventually have their dedicated environment stacks, but with proper governance and security checks in place.
An environment strategy for Power Platform involves planning and managing different places where apps, data, and solutions can be stored, tested, deployed, and shared across an organization. This strategy ensures that the Power Platform resources are organized in a way that maximizes efficiency, security, and compliance with the company's governance policies. By implementing a thoughtful environment strategy, businesses can effectively manage user access, data segregation, resource allocation, and lifecycle management while developing and deploying Power Platform applications.
In Power Apps, there are primarily two types of environments you can create: Production and Non-production. Production environments are designed for hosting live applications and data that are in active use by end-users. They are intended for apps that are fully developed, tested, and ready for deployment. Non-production environments, on the other hand, include Trial and Sandbox environments that are used for development, testing, and training without affecting the live production environment.
The Power Platform consists of four key components: Power BI, Power Apps, Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow), and Power Virtual Agents. Power BI is a business analytics service that provides interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities. Power Apps is a suite to build custom apps with little to no coding. Power Automate is a tool designed to automate workflows between services and apps. Lastly, Power Virtual Agents allow users to create custom chatbots for engaging with customers and employees.
The main difference between a Power Platform environment trial and a sandbox lies in their purpose and duration. Trial environments are typically used for evaluating or learning about the Power Platform features. They are temporary and usually expire after a set period (e.g., 30 days). On the other hand, sandbox environments are persistent environments used for development, testing, and experimentation during the app lifecycle. They can be refreshed, reset, or deleted as needed and are not subject to a fixed time limit like trial environments.
Power Platform Environment Strategy, Power Platform Architecture, Power Platform Governance, Power Platform Administration, Power Platform Deployment, Power Platform Best Practices, Power Platform Environment Planning, Power Platform Customization Strategy, Power Platform Environment Management, Power Platform Environment Optimization