If you’re attempting to use Solutions, AI Builder, certain Power Apps templates, etc. you may run into a situation where you’re working in an environment without a Dataverse (formerly known as Common Data Service) database. This will prompt you to create a new environment or database as a power user (if allowed).
You can add a database to your current environment, or create a new environment with a database. In this post, I’ll cover the steps to create a new environment.
To proceed with creating an environment, you’ll need a Power Apps per user plan or should be an admin. I’ll cover both methods below in the following sections. You can also see this detailed documentation on who is able to create new environments.
Create a new environment with a Power Apps per user plan
Once you’ve been licensed with a Power Apps per user plan, you’ll be able to create a solution and use existing or create new environments unless your admins have limited who can create new environments.
If you’re allowed, you can simply begin building your flow or app as you normally would, but now that you’re licensed appropriately, you’ll be able to choose to create a new environment in-context as you go. For example, let’s say there are no environments with databases you can use for a new Assets Checkout app you want to build from a template in Power Apps. Simply begin building the app from template, and choose to Create new environment when prompted.
Then in the panel that appears to the right, give the environment a name, choose a data region, and environment type. Then choose Create environment.
Choose whether you want to create a database with this new environment or create it without one. In this scenario, Power Apps is telling us we need a database so we’re going to choose to create our environment WITH a database. Click Create database.
Verify your currency and language. And if you’re creating a sample app (as we are in this scenario) you’ll also decide whether to bring in the sample data with that template. When satisfied, click Create my database.
Now as you’re building solutions in the Power Platform, you can switch between environments by selecting the name of the active environment and choosing the environment in which you wish to build (or utilize data from).
Now let’s create an environment from the Power Platform admin center as an admin.
Create a new environment as an admin in the Power Platform admin center
This is arguably the better method to use at an organization level to make sure your environments have a consistent naming convention, no efforts are duplicated, and boundaries are clear from one environment to another. With each environment potentially belonging to a different geography depending on how it was set up, this could be a significant compliance concern for some sectors. If you need to restrict environment creation to admins only, check out this other post. Otherwise, let’s proceed with creating a new environment for your users from the Power Platform admin center.
First, log in to the Power Platform admin center and choose Environments on the left nav if you’re not already there. Then, click New.
Name and describe your new environment, and choose the region in which its data needs to be stored. You’ll also choose type (Trial, Sandbox, Production, etc.). If this environment is going to be used to store and use data, you’ll want to also enable database creation (creates a Dataverse database). Click Next when ready.
Then choose the language, currency, and additional options (including restricting usage to a specific security group). Click Save when ready.
You (and/or your organization’s users whom are allowed to use the environment) will now be able to connect to the environment and any of the tables within its Dataverse database. This Dataverse connection can be used in Dynamics 365 apps, Power Apps portals and apps, and Power Automate flows.