Power Platform – Create and Manage Environments in Common Data Service (CDS)

Hi Everyone,

In this article we will discussed about environments in Common Data Service.

What is mean by Environments?

An environment is a way to create and manage instance of Common Data Service database.

An environments store, manage and share your data, apps and flows in Power Platform and also allows you to manage user access, security settings and storage that is associated with database.

We can install app which is created with Power Apps or flows and Power Automate into that environment.

Each environment is created under a Microsoft Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) tenant, and its resources can only be accessed by users within that tenant.

An environment is bound to geographic locations like United States. When we create database in that environment it’s create within datacentres in that geographical location. Any item that we create in that environment like connections, flows, gateways and many more are bound to their environment’s locations.

We can create one or more environments to manage solutions and data storage like environment for developer, testing, production depend on our organization needs. Also set up environments as per different geographic locations like one for India another for Europe, each have only one or zero instance of Common Data Service.

Create and manage environments

When we sign up for Microsoft 365, Power Apps, Dynamics 365 at least one environment is created automatically for us. Its default when we start working with common Data Service.

Steps for creating for new environment are as follow:-

  1. Sign in to the https://admin.powerplatform.microsoft.com or sign in to Office 365 then click on Power Apps-> Settings symbol and select Admin centers.
  2. Power Platform admin center opens, now from left side navigation panel expand Admin centers, there are four centers Dynamics 365,Power Apps, Power BI and Power Automates, select Power Apps.
  3. Select Environments.
  4. In below figure we will see default environment.
Fig.1 Power Platform – Power Apps – Environments

5. Click on + New environment highlighted in above figure.

6. Now fill the Name, Region and Type as Trial, Your license determines whether you can create environments.

Fig.2 Power Platform – Power Apps – Creating new environment

7. Now if we want to create database for this environment then select yes or no and click on Save. To create an environment with a database, you need 1GB available database capacity.

8. Our new Environment is created

 Types of environment –

  1. Production – It is used for permanent work in organization. It can be created and owned by an administrator or anyone with a Power Apps license, provided there is 1 GB available database capacity.
  2. Sandbox – These are non-production environments, which offer features like copy and reset. Sandbox environments are used for development and testing, separate from production. Provisioning sandbox environments can be restricted to admins.
  3. Trial – Environments are intended to support short-term testing needs and are automatically cleaned up after a short period of time. They expire after 30 days and are limited to one user. Provisioning trial environments can be restricted to admins.

Add users and manage their roles

After created an environment, users from Azure Active Directory which is associated with your tenant are automatically added to the environment. It takes several hours to add users it’s depend on users list.

An administrative user, who has been added to the Environment Admin role, uses the following steps to assign new groups or users to the environment and security roles within that environment:-

  1. Sign in to the Power Apps Admin Center.
  2. Now select Environment from left side panel.
  3. Select environment from list in which you want to add users.
Fig.3 Power Platform – Power Apps – Selecting environment

4. Select the Security tab. Verify that the user already exists in the environment by selecting to view the list of users in the environment., if user does not exist then add user by entering name or email address in text box as shown in below figure

Fig.4 Power Platform – Power Apps – Add user

5. Second way to add users click on Settings->Users + permissions-> Users.

Fig.5 Power Platform – Power Apps – Users + Permissions

6. Now click on +Add user enter name or email address of user and click on Add.

Fig.6 Power Platform – Power Apps – Adding users into environment

7. Wait for a few minutes to verify that the user has been added to the list of users in the environment.

After a user or group is added to the environment, you can add them to one or more roles by following these steps:

  1. Sign in to the Power Apps Administration Center.
  2. Now select Environment from left side panel.
  3. Select environment from list in which you want to add users.
  4. Select Settings ->Users + permissions -> Users.
  5. Select user from the list of users.
  6. Click on Manage Roles tab.
Fig.7 Power Platform – Power Apps – Managing roles of user

7. Assign one or more roles to a user by selecting the check box next to the role name.

Fig.8 Power Platform – Power Apps – Selecting roles for user

8. Select OK for updating user roles.

Here is a table to describe each of the predefined security roles that reflect common user tasks with access levels that are defined to match the security best-practice goal, which is to provide access to the minimum amount of business data that is required to use the app.

Security roleDatabase PrivilegesDescription
System AdministratorCreate, Read, Write, Delete, Customizations, Security RolesHas full permission to customize or administer the environment, including creating, modifying, and assigning security roles. Can view all data in the environment.
System CustomizerCreate (self), Read (self), Write (self), Delete (self), CustomizationsHas full permission to customize the environment. However, can only view records for environment entities that they create.
Environment MakerCustomizationsCan create new resources that are associated with an environment, including apps, connections, custom APIs, gateways, and flows that are using Power Automate. However, does not have any privileges to access data within an environment.
Common Data Service UserRead (self), Create (self), Write (self), Delete (self)Can run an app within the environment and perform common tasks for the records that they own. Note: This only applies to non-custom entities.
DelegateAct on behalf of another userAllows code to run as another user or impersonate. Typically used with another security role to allow access to records.
Fig.9 Power Platform – Power Apps – List of predefined security roles

Create a custom security role

You can also create custom security role as per your needs. When we create custom security role it only available for single environment in which we created and it’s not available for other environments.

For creating custom security role follow the below steps:-

  1. Please follow the above starting 3 steps of managing roles.
  2. Select Settings ->Users + permissions -> Security roles.
Fig.10 Power Platform – Power Apps – Creating security roles

3. Select on New and type Role Name.

Fig.11 Power Platform – Power Apps – New security roles

4. Add user security settings for each entity.

Fig.12 Power Platform – Power Apps – Settings for each entity

5. Save and Close.

Manage environment settings

Fig.13 Power Platform – Power Apps – Managing Environments

1. We can manage environment settings by selecting See all, Edit.

2. By clicking See all we can see all details about environment.

3. We can edit environment name by selecting Edit.

4. For deleting environment just click on delete symbol. All this operations shown in above figure.

Thanks for reading. If it’s worth at least reading once, kindly like and share. STAY SAFE STAY HEALTHY.

Snehal Sabadra

I am working on M365, Power Platform. I have three plus year experience as Assistant Professor. I like to learn new things to share a knowledge that’s why I am writing articles. Currently exploring the Power Platform which is my favorite.

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