PowerApps Environments

About a year ago, PowerApps evolved with the addition of Environments. This creates the necessary logical separation needed in most enterprise environments. You can think of these environments as logical containers that allow complete separation of security roles and audiences.

Now, do you have to use environments?

Well, you are using environments from the get-go. On creation you get a default environment. You can add additional environments as needed.

When do you want to use environments?

You can have separate environments for various stages in the SDLC. You can have a Development, Test, QA, UAT and Production environments, as needed.

In addition, due to scope limitation, you might need multiple environments for the same functionality. For example, let’s have a look at the scope of an environment. Each environment is related to a tenant, and a geographical region (geo). As such, if you’re running with a global deployment, you might want to use separate environments for each geo your application runs in.

Another aspect of environments is the ability to separate your data sources. Each environment has it’s own defined data sources. This is what allows you to have the separate environment for the SDLC stages.

Environment Permissions

By default, each environment has two permission roles defined. They are:

  • Admin – all administrative actions
  • Maker – manage resources


At this time, there is no ability to create your custom permission roles, as there would not be much to customize.

Managing Environments

The environment management is done from the Admin center. This is available at the following URL:


On the left side navigation, the first option is Environments. This displays a listing of your current environments, and allows you to create new ones as needed.


If we go to New Environment, on the top right side, we’re triggering the wizard for creation. Give the environment a name and select a Region. Selecting the correct region is essential, as this can not be changed at a later time, and it dictates the location of your services and data when using CDS.


The available regions include:

  • US
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • India
  • Japan

Once the creation completes, the wizard allows you to create a database in the environment (CDS). You can choose to do it in this step, or skip and create it later when needed. You do it later from the Database tab once you open an environment. The creation takes a little while, after which you can go to Open database to allow users to start working with the data model.


If you’ve played around and now you end-up with multiple environments you don’t need any more, you can remove environments by selecting an environment, and clicking on the Delete icon on the top left.


The resource available on an environment can be reviewed from the Resources tab. Here you can see the Apps and Flows related to your environment.

The Details tab is where you can rename an environment. Note that, as mentioned before, you can not change a region once selected.

Selecting an Environment

Working with PowerApps is done at:


When working in PowerApps, make sure you have the correct environment selected. You can do that from the top right Environment drop-down.


Now that we’ve got an understanding of environments and scope, we’re going to focus in future articles on CDS.


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