Power Platform Solution Deployment - Process, Issues and Fixes


In this article, we will see how we can deploy Power Platform components like Apps and Flows, along with connection references and environment variables with Solutions. What are some real-life issues and challenges in deploying Power Platform Solutions, and how to handle these challenges?

What is a Solution?

As per Microsoft's definition, “Solutions are used to transport apps and components from one environment to another or to apply a set of customizations to existing apps. A solution can contain one or more apps as well as other components such as site maps, tables, processes, web resources, choices, flows, and more. Solutions are the mechanism for implementing application lifecycle management (ALM) in Power Apps and other Power Platform products, such as Power Automate.”

Types of Solution

There are 2 types of solutions (managed and unmanaged). Unmanaged solutions are used in Development environments where you can edit the components like apps, flows, and environment variables within the solution. Managed solutions are used in UAT (User acceptance testing) and Production environments where editing of solution components is not allowed.

Solution structure.

When you create a solution, you can see the following fields. Display name (This can be changed later), Name (internal name), Created (Date when created), Version (the current version of solution), Managed (shows whether the solution in the current environment is managed or unmanaged. It is No in Development environment)

Power Platform Solution Deployment

Solution components

We can have all our components like Power Apps app, Power Automate flow, connection references, and environment variables inside a solution.

Below is the image of our Demo Help Request solution where we have 1 canvas app, 1 cloud flow, 2 connection references, and 4 environment variables.

It has the Display name of components, Name (internal name), Type, and Managed property. In the Development environment, Managed is No, but it will show Yes in a Production environment.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

Environment variables

For passing dynamic variables from one environment to another, we use environment variable. For example, SharePoint site, list, site URL, group ID, etc.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

When you create a new environment variable, you get the following Data Types:

  • Decimal Number: If you want to pass any numeric value through environment variables, use this data type. For example, if you are using SharePoint group ID in your flow and it is different in different environments, then you can use this type of variable.
  • JSON: If you want to pass any dynamic JSON value between environments.
  • Text: If you want to pass any dynamic string value between environments. For example, SharePoint site URL is different for different environments.
  • Yes/No: If you want to pass any dynamic Yes/No value between environments.
  • Data Source: When you are passing data sources like SharePoint as variables. We will cover it in detail in the next section.
  • Secret: For passing passwords etc.

Data Source Environment variables

This is a special type of environment variable. Here we get 3 predefined data sources.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

SharePoint, Microsoft Dataverse, and SAP ERP. I am going to give more information about SharePoint data source here. For SharePoint, you can add a variable of type Site where you can set the current value to the site of your current environment. Second, you can add a variable of type List where you can set the current value to list or library inside your SharePoint site.

SharePoint Site Variable

We can define it to use different SharePoint sites in different environments.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

Power Platform Solution Deployment


SharePoint List/ Library variable

We can define it to use the same name SharePoint List/ Library in different SharePoint site of different environments.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

Power Platform Solution Deployment



Deployment process

When we deploy a solution from the development environment to UAT or production environment, first, we remove the current value of all environment variables. So that when we deploy this solution in production we can set the production values for these environment variables. All these values are asked during the import of solutions in production. After all changes in a development environment, Publish all changes.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

Once published, export the solution. Select export as Managed. You can also set your version number.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

Once the export process is completed, you can download a zip file with all the exported components.

Import solution in production

Go to the Solutions section of your production environment. Browse and import the downloaded solution zip file.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

You will be asked to set connection references.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

Next, you will be asked to set the current values of an environment variable to production values, as you had removed these values before exporting the solution.

Power Platform Solution Deployment

Import issue 1. Environment variable value is not correct

Sometimes when you import a solution to your production environment, you may find that some of the string and decimal variables have the same value as those of the development environment. Since you have managed solution, you can’t modify your environment variables directly from your solution. For this, you must use Default Solution provided by the power platform. As per Microsoft's definition “This is a special solution that contains all components in the system. The default solution is useful for discovering all the components and configurations in your system.”

Power Platform Solution Deployment

You can go to Default Solution and click on Environment variables in the left pane. Here you can search for your variables and update the values.

Import issue 2. Flow status is Off after the import

Sometimes when you import a solution, your Power Automate flows in the solution and does not turn On. Its status is Off. This is mostly due to some static value inside flow that is not set as per your production environment. For this reason, when you’ll try to turn On your flow, it will throw an error. For this, you need to ask developers to check the flows and remove any static references of SharePoint lists or sites with environment variables. Republish and export the solution and then import it again. This will fix the issue, and your flow status will change to On.


In this article, we discussed what is Power Platform Solution, types of solutions, structure, and components of the solution. What are environment variables and Data Source environment variables. How to use SharePoint site and list variable. We also discussed the deployment process, like exporting solutions from the development environment and importing solutions in a production environment. Finally, we discussed post deployment issues and how to fix those issues.

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