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Tips on how to manage your environments in the Power Platform: Part 3 – Monitoring

With the growing popularity and usage of the Power Platform in many organizations, we’ve seen that many of them are struggling to build an effective strategy that helps them manage theur environments. This blog post is the third and last one of a three-piece series on how to manage your environments in the Power Platform and concentrates on how to effectively build an environments strategy. Catch up on the series with part 1 and part 2

Our tips and tricks mentioned in the blog post will help you define a clear strategy and avoid chaos in your Power Platform environments. In this topic, we will discuss how you can monintor your environments in the Power Platform.

How to monitor?

Analysis information about the platform is scattered around different places and depends on the permission level you have:

  • Editors only
    • PowerApps Analytics
    • Power Automate Analytics
  • Admins Only (no more P licenses required)
    • Power Platform Admin Center
    • Power Apps Admin Center
    • Power Automate Admin center
  • Auditlog readers only
    • AuditLogs : limited retention (E3:90 days, E5: 1 year)

It’s important to build an effective strategy and to know what is living in your environment. Because of this, the default set-up of Microsoft doesn’t invite you to do a deep-dive monitoring.

Because of this, you could say, “Let’s build our own monitoring solution”. You can do so by getting the data using:

  • PowerShell cmdlets
  • Power Automate (Power Platform, PowerApps, Power Automate Connectors)

Once you get this done, you will have a solution which is able to do the following:

  • Track data over longer period
  • One place for admins to have insights

Lucky for us, we don’t need to start from scratch. We can use the Center of Excellence Starter kit (CoE), which is not a solution created by the Power Platform team.  A small group of engineers created a list of templates that are designed to help develop a strategy for adopting, maintaining and supporting the Power Platform, with a focus on Power Apps and Power Automate. You should see the Starter kit as a template from which you inherit your individual solution or it can serve as an inspiration for implementing your own apps and flows.

Center Of Excellence Power Platform SII

Center Of Excellence Power Platform SII

Center of excellence overview

Center Of Excellence Power Platform SII

In which data should you be interested

What data would you want to visualize? Questions in which you are interested might be the following:

  • Somebody builds his/her first PowerApp/ Power Automate
  • PowerApp/ Power Automate owner leaves the company
  • Somebody builds a lot of PowerApps/ Power Automate
  • PowerApp/ Power Automate is not used at all
  • PowerApp/Power Automate is used heavily
  • PowerApp/Power Automate uses connectors with access to sensitive data

With the CoE, you can have an answer to those questions and even adopt them into your strategy accordingly.

React

Based on the environment structure you have set-up, you might be interested in different kinds of information for each environment.

For example:

  • Personal productivity
    • Are the solutions shared?
    • Which solutions are heavily used or not used at all?
    • Do we have orphan solutions?
    • Who are the active makers?
  • Enterprise/shared environment
    • How is the performance?
    • What are the errors?

These questions are relevant for each environment you’re managing. For the personal productivity, we want to keep the environment clean and identify interesting  solutions, which are solutions that are often used and business critical. To this end, you might decide to migrate those solutions to production and let them be managed by your IT department.

For the enterprise environments, you have to take other things into account. Only a small group of users have the role with the most rights, but it is not relevant to see which users are the most active ones. The main goal is to have a smoothly running production with applications which are used.

Tip: Asking those questions is the biggest part of building a strategy and creating your environments.

Highlighted use cases with the CoE

With the CoE, we have an overview of highlighted use-cases which might be relevant for building a strategy:

  • App & Template Catalog: provide visibility to approved apps & templates
  • App Compliance: require additional information about apps before approval by admin, disable non-compliant apps
  • App Archival: remove unused apps
  • DLP Strategy: provide a view of the impact of DLP policies on PowerApps, disable non-compliantapps
  • Welcome mail for App makers, training app: provide guidance & training
  • Catalog tenant resources: provide a persistent, global view of Power Platform data & activity

PowerApps SII Belgium

As you can see, asking yourself the right questions can help you determine what data you need and how to interpret them. Want more information? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@sii.be.