Restrict creation of new Power Platform environments to admins only

A person buried under a pile of boxes

Note: This post applies to traditional environments, not Dataverse for Teams environments. Thanks to Loryan Strant for adding that clarification.

As long as someone in your organization is on a Power Apps or Power Automate per-user plan, they may have permission to create their own environment (unless you’ve already limited it previously in your organization). These environments can be used and shared by Dynamics 365, Power Apps portals and apps, and Power Automate flows. Environments can house multiple Dataverse tables (which can also be provisioned by a power user with appropriate licensing). Power Platform apps and Dynamics 365 can then connect to, read from, and write to these tables which would likely be shared across multiple applications/processes.

For example, if Megan Bowen is licensed on a Power Apps per-user plan she would, by default, be able to create new environments as she wished. And with the right training and deployed best practices, this may not be an issue. But if training isn’t provided and users are creating environments left and right, it may be time to limit who can create them (regardless of their licensing) until proper training and governance can be deployed.

So if you wish to manage environments centrally and prevent environment sprawl, you will want to limit the ability of users in your organization so they can’t create their own environments. Doing this may slow their individual productivity, but could also prevent duplicated efforts, inconsistent data organizationally, scattered naming conventions, and more. As long as you replace this restriction with a formal and effective governance policy, request form, etc. it will minimize disruption to your colleagues’ productivity.

Ready to do this? Let’s go over the steps to limit Microsoft Power Platform environment creation and management.

Limit new environment creation via the Power Platform admin center

As a Power Platform admin, sign in to the Power Platform admin center.

Choose the Settings gear in the upper right corner and choose Power Platform settings.

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Then change Who can create production and sandbox environments to Only specific admins. As seen in the tooltip in the following screenshot, this limits creation to:

  • Global admins
  • Dynamics 365 service admins
  • Power Platform service admins and
  • Delegated admins

Click Save and you’re finished!

Note that this doesn’t remove existing environments or limit the abilities of their creator(s) to continue managing pre-existing environments. This setting will only apply to new environments and prevent additional unwanted sprawl.

Prefer to restrict environment creation and management via PowerShell? Check out this documentation.

Solution: SharePoint Asset Library app type missing when adding new app to site

If you’re wanting to add an Asset Library to your SharePoint site but not finding it available as an option, chances are the Video and Rich Media feature for that site collection isn’t activated. This feature enables the asset library which is basically a modified document library but with metadata specific to rich media that can be auto-extracted such as width and height of images, duration of video clips, etc. Asset libraries are good for storing your audio, video, and image content types.

To enable it (as a site collection admin) go to Settings > Site Settings and choose Site collection features from under the Site Collection Administration heading.

Then scroll down and look for the Video and Rich Media feature. Click Activate.

As the description says, this will “[provide] libraries, content types, and web parts for storing, managing, and viewing rich media assets, like images, sound clips, and videos.” Once activated, you’ll now be able to add the asset library to your site(s) in that collection.

SharePoint 2019 Solution: “Sorry, apps are turned off. If you know who runs the server, tell them to enable apps.”

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Without an App Catalog and a setting enabled, your users may run into the following error when attempting to access the SharePoint Store from the “Add an app” dialog:

“Sorry, apps are turned off. If you know who runs the server, tell them to enable apps.”

If you’ve run into this issue and are a farm admin, you can enable the app store and ability in SharePoint 2019 by following these steps. If you’ve already created the App Catalog site collection, skip to step 4.

1. Log onto your central admin server and open central admin

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2. Choose Apps > Manage App Catalog. Make sure the Web Application shown is the correct web application then click OK to create a new App Catalog (or enter a URL for one if you’ve already created one)

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3. Set the App Catalog site name and description, URL, admin, and then end users who should see apps in the catalog.

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4. Once you have an App Catalog, go back to Apps > Configure store settings.

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5. Confirm the Web Application shown is the correct web app, then change App Purchases to Yes. Save your changes.

Now when users who were granted access to view apps in the store choose SharePoint Store from the “Add an app” dialog, they’ll be able to get marketplace apps as well.

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