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Know it All: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) with Microsoft Power Platform

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In the current digital era, companies are constantly searching for new technologies that will enable them to respond to customer requests more swiftly. One such cutting-edge technology that has grown in prominence and appeal is low-code development, which aids organizations in achieving their goals quickly and effectively. Microsoft Power Platform is driving a new era of AI-generated low-code app development. The importance of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) increases with the complexity of the apps your company develops and the degree to which their stability affects your business. ALM is not a key that works for every organization; depending on the solution being developed, it might differ from one organization to the next.

About Application Lifecycle Management with Power Platform:

ALM encompasses development, maintenance, and governance. The following disciplines are also included in it: Integration, Project management, Deployment, Release management, Testing, Maintenance, Requirements management, Software architecture, Development, and Governance. The cyclical software development process known as the application lifecycle includes the following stages: plan and track, create, build and test, deploy, run, monitor, and learn from discovery.

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Application Lifecycle Management for Dataverse, Power Virtual Agents, Power Automate, and Power Apps:

You may safely manage and preserve business application-use data and processes with Microsoft Power Platform’s Dataverse feature. Every environment that takes part in ALM needs a Dataverse database to use the Power Platform features and tools available to administer ALM. The method by which ALM is implemented is through solutions, which are used to export and import components between environments. Components include tables, columns, canvas and model-driven apps, flows, chatbots, charts, and plug-ins, among other things that can be incorporated into a solution.

Tools and Components needed to implement ALM:

Environments are containers where you can securely maintain and share business data. There can only be one Microsoft Dataverse database per environment. You can establish the following Power Platform environments with the help of the Power Platform admin center:

Sandbox: Any Dataverse non-production environment is called a sandbox. A sandbox environment is a low-risk location to create and test application improvements.

Production: The environment in which Flows, Applications, Chatbots, and many other software are utilized for their intended purposes.

Developer: With the Power Apps Developer Plan, you can utilize Power Automate for individual use, Dataverse, and Power Apps premium capability. The main goals of this plan are either learning objectives or creating and testing using Power Apps, Power Automate, and Microsoft Dataverse.

Default: Every tenant has a single default environment that is shared by all its users by default. The tenant identifies the client, who may be linked to one or more Microsoft subscriptions and services. A new user is automatically added to the Maker role of the default environment when they join up for Power Apps.

Solutions: Applications and their components can be moved between environments with the help of solutions, which can also be used to modify already-existing apps. They can be disassembled and checked into source control as source code for assets, or they can be packed as a unit to be exported and imported to different environments.

ALM for developers:

We can utilize the concept of Microsoft Power Platform to implement Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) for developers by utilizing the existing tools, APIs, and other resources.

Build Tools:

We can automate build and deployment processes for apps developed on Microsoft Power Platform by utilizing the Build Tools for Microsoft Power Platform. Among these tasks are Solutions that contain elements like Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Marketing, Apps for Canvas, Model-based applications, Models for AI Builder, and many others. The Microsoft Power Platform Build Tools are a set of Azure DevOps build tasks tailored specifically for the Power Platform. In this case, the need for manual tool downloads and scripts to manage the application lifecycle of apps developed on the platform is eliminated. Version 2.0 of Power Platform Build Tools is based on the Power Platform CLI and what it offers. PowerShell is the foundation of Power Platform Build Tools version 1.0. It is advised to perform essential security upgrades for earlier Power Platform Build Tools versions as required. Customers are strongly encouraged to upgrade to Power Platform Build Tools version 2.0 as soon as possible. One can install Microsoft Power Platform Build Tools from Azure Marketplace into your Azure DevOps organization. You need first to have a Power Platform profile that is authorized and has the necessary permissions before you can configure a connection using the service principal. The Dataverse environment expects a Microsoft Entra ID and its related applications user to be added. One can use the pac admin create-service-principal command to establish and configure the service principal for the Microsoft Power Platform Build Tools tasks. Using Microsoft Entra ID, this command first registers an application object and associated Service Principal Name (SPN). Subsequently, the application is added to the Microsoft Power Platform tenant as an administrator user. Upon success, the following four columns appear Power Platform TenantId, Application ID, Client Secret,  and Expiration.

The idea is to provide different ways to utilize Power Apps, Power Automate, and Microsoft Dataverse in the organization to help you create and practice healthy Application Lifecycle Management (ALM). The scenarios demonstrate how you can transition to a suggested, effective ALM implementation and span from users new to Microsoft Power Platform to those already using the platform but practicing unhealthy ALM. The scenarios can be ALM for a new project, Citizen development, Moving from a single production environment, Moving from unmanaged to managed solutions in your organization, Using DevOps to move from manual to automated ALM, Supporting team development, Embrace your citizen developers in the ALM process, Adding canvas apps and cloud flows to solutions by default for a healthy ALM which is still in the preview mode


Software development teams and supporting departments, such as operations and testing, may communicate and work together more efficiently because of the standard service offered by ALM technologies. The process involved in developing and delivering software in a timeframe can also be automated with this technology. To accomplish this, ALM brings together the disciplines that deal with every facet of the process to drive efficiency through software delivery that is repeatable and predictable. So, to conclude, ALM assists businesses in establishing and fulfilling project requirements. It enhances the development process by implementing regular, comprehensive testing. Throughout the software lifecycle, it also aids developers in modifying their goals and development procedures

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WRITTEN BY Sushma Uday Kamat



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