Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform

So often people edit apps and flows in production environments just to make them work. In this post I will look at why you shouldn’t and how to disable editing.

Managed vs unmanaged solutions

Within the Power Platform we have managed and unmanaged solutions. And you migth already know that managed solutions stop you from making modifications to some things in solutions, however deploying managed solutions doesn’t stop anybody from editing your flows and apps.

If you don’t know the difference between managed and unmanaged solutions then please have a look through the Microsoft documentation on this subject.

Exporting and deploying a managed solution

Once I’ve exported my solution as a managed solution I can see version 1.0.0.3 in my solution store of my envrionment

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate image 19

When I open this solution i can se that I have an app and a flow inside:

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate image 20

And there is even a yellow warning telling me:

You cannot directly edit the components within a managed solution. If the managed properties for solution components are set to allow customization, you can edit them from another unmanaged solution

First of all I would question if the message is right as we will see further down this post.

Editing the flow

I’m going to open my flow and then using the Edit option I’m going to edit my flow. Notice i’m in my production environment where I deployed my managed solution.

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate image 21

I can now make a change to my flow and my flow can be saved.

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate image 22

And when i look at the solution layers of my flow I will see quite quickly the start of future trouble.

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate image 23

Within the Solutions layers we now have an unmanaged layer.

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate image 24

Unmanaged layers

Unmanaged layers are updates that are made as part of the default solution. When we open the default solution we will see that our test flow is included there.

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate image 25

Another important thing to note is that when you update your flows through the next version of a managed solution the unmanaged layer will remain in place. leaving you with the feeling that the solution is failing to deploy.

So, how do we avoid these unmanaged layers and how do we disable editing of flows (and apps).

Disable Editing of flows and apps

We will have to go back to the unmanaged version of the solution in our development environment. Then find the flows and apps in the solution and select Managed properties.

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate image 26

Then we will see a pane appear with all the managed properties available. The Allow customizations managed property is the one that you want to disable.

Disable Editing by disabling Allow customizations

After customizations have been disabled and you export and import your solution again, you will find that you can edit your flow but you can’t save the flow. you will see the following message appear when you try to save your flow:

Flow process ‘e2a54582-4378-ec11-8d21-6045bd0f24d1’ cannot be updated because the managed properties of this solution component do not allow customizations.

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate image 28

Now all there is left to do is remove that unmanaged layer that someone might have created and we have an healthy solution.

Avoid the need for editing flows and apps

So far we have seen that it is possible to disable editing of flows and apps, but very often I find people editing flows (less often for apps) to make them work in an environment. Especially flow makers whio are less focused on solutions based development.

Therefore I thought that it would be useful to give a few tips and tricks on how to make your flows working multiple environments without there being a need for editing them.

  • Avoid any hard coded environment specifics
  • Use Environment variables ( e.g. if you point towards a SharePoint site and list)
  • Develop your flows with multiple environments in mind
  • Deploy your solutions frequently so that any hard coded elements are identified early on.

Continue Reading Pieter Veenstra’s Article on their blog

Disable editing of your production apps and flows in the Power Platform

So often people edit apps and flows in production environments just to make them work. In this post I will look at why you shouldn’t and how to disable editing. Within the Power Platform we have managed and unmanaged solutions.

Blog Syndicated with Pieter Veenstra’s Permission

Author: Pieter Veenstra

Share This Post On