About the Project Oakdale environment (Preview)

[This topic is pre-release documentation and is subject to change.]

Introduced in September, 2020, Project Oakdale is a built-in, low-code data platform for Microsoft Teams that empowers users to build custom apps, bots, and flows in Teams by using Power Apps, Power Virtual Agents, and Power Automate. Project Oakdale—built on Common Data Service—provides relational data storage, rich data types, enterprise-grade governance, and one-click solution deployment to the Teams app store. More information: Project Oakdale overview

The Project Oakdale environment is automatically created for the selected team when you create an app or bot in Teams for the first time or install a Power Apps app from the app catalog for the first time. The Project Oakdale environment is used to store, manage, and share team-specific data, apps, and flows. Each team can have one environment, and all data, apps, bots, and flows created with the Power Apps app inside a team are available from that team's Project Oakdale database.

Note

  • This is a preview feature.
  • Preview features aren’t meant for production use and may have restricted functionality. These features are available before an official release so that customers can get early access and provide feedback.
  • The capability to promote Project Oakdale environments to Common Data Service isn’t available during the public preview release; it will be available soon.

You can identify a Project Oakdale environment in the Power Platform admin center by using the Type column in the list of environments.

A Project Oakdale environment in the environment list

Licensing and restrictions

Note the following regarding access to Microsoft Power Platform apps in Teams.

  • Project Oakdale capabilities will be available as part of select Microsoft 365 subscriptions. See the Microsoft 365 licensing.

  • Teams can invite guests who can access the apps, bots, flows, and data in the Teams Project Oakdale database within their team. However, they won't be allowed to install, make, or edit apps. They can only discover and run apps in their team.

  • Apps created in Teams that use Project Oakdale will only be accessible in Teams and Teams Mobile, regardless of the user's license.

  • For any standalone Power Apps or Power Automate usage, which includes API access as well, the Project Oakdale schema will need to be promoted to Common Data Service.

  • No direct API access or pro developer experience will be provided, and only Power Apps embedded within the Teams client will be able to access the runtime.

  • Tenant owners and members will be allowed to create their first app template, create a blank table app for the team, or a bot.

  • Team owners will be allowed to delete a team associated with a Project Oakdale environment, which will trigger the deletion of that environment.

See also: Project Oakdale licensing FAQs

Environment lifecycle

This section provides a summary of key lifecycle operations that will be allowed with Project Oakdale environments.

Note

The Project Oakdale environment name is the same as the team name. You can filter the list of environments in the Power Platform admin center to show just Project Oakdale environments.

Operations Feature description Available in preview
Backup Automated backups and labeled backups can be taken. Admins can view them in the Power Platform admin center. Backups will be available for up to 7 days. Yes
Restore Only point-in-time restores to the same environment will be possible. Note: if the environment has been promoted, the point-in-time restore will only be available starting from the moment it was promoted. Yes
Copy Not available by default for Project Oakdale environments. No
Create Only through Teams. Note: these Project Oakdale environments will be limited to a 1:1 mapping to the Teams team it was created in and bound to the Microsoft 365 group associated with the team. No
Delete The environment can be deleted by the team owner. Note: the environment will be deleted automatically if the team it was created in is also deleted. Yes
Reset Not available by default for Project Oakdale environments. No
Promote Unlocks all the functionality of Common Data Service services for the environment. Yes

The lifetime of the environment will be tied to the team it was created in. If you promote an environment to Common Data Service, the 1:1 mapping isn't guaranteed because the environment can now be used by applications outside of Teams. The promoted environment is bound by the lifecycle rules associated with the Power Apps license and the configuration of the environment.

Some operations are blocked by default, such as the Copy and Reset operations. For scenarios where you need this capability, use Common Data Service environments. See the previous table for details.

Important

Project Oakdale environments won't be allowed to change types until the promote operation has been carried out on the environment. After the promotion is complete, the Project Oakdale environment will have the full capabilities found in Common Data Service. In addition to the standard termination of the environments, if the Microsoft Office license expires, there will also be an inactivity clause for these environments. Specifically, when an environment is unused for over three months, it will be disabled and ultimately deleted.

If the team is deleted, the Project Oakdale environment that was created will also be deleted. The Project Oakdale environment itself may be deleted from within the team by the team owner. A warning will be provided prior to allowing the deletion to go through, to ensure there are no accidental deletions.

User access to Project Oakdale environments

In an environment such as Teams that can be collaborative in the development and use of apps, bots, and data, it's important to understand how access is granted to the different types of roles within the service.

This section summarizes user access to Project Oakdale environments and resources.

User access requirements

For users to access Project Oakdale environment apps, bots, and data, they must:

Conceptual model

Every team in Teams is linked 1:1 to a Microsoft 365 group.

Microsoft 365 Groups supports two user membership types: owners and members. Members can be users from the customer's own tenant or from a guest tenant. Any user management (addition, removal, user type change) made in a team will be reflected in the Microsoft 365 group, and vice versa.

Access to a Project Oakdale environment and its resources (apps, data) will be restricted to users in the team. The Microsoft 365 group linked to a team will be automatically associated with the Project Oakdale environment, restricting access to users of that Microsoft 365 group. This Microsoft 365 Groups association with the Project Oakdale environment won't be editable until the environment is promoted to Common Data Service.

Role assignments

Persona Description Security role auto-assigned
Teams owner Owners can manage team membership and settings in the team. They have full access to the Project Oakdale environment's apps, resources, and data. They can perform environment maintenance tasks such as backup and restore through the Power Platform admin center. System Administrator
Teams member Members can view the Project Oakdale environment's resources, run all apps and resources, and create or update their own resources. They have full access to all data. Teams member
Teams guest Guests are people from outside the tenant that a team owner invites, such as a partner or a customer. They can view and run all resources in the team. By default, guests have full access to records they create and don't have access to other users' records. Teams guest
Global admin / Power Platform admin who isn't in the team These are tenant-level admins who manage the health and maintenance of the tenant's environments. They need not be members of the team, but through their tenant-level admin privileges they can perform environment maintenance tasks such as backup and restore for all Project Oakdale environments. They are set to the Administrative access mode as opposed to the Read-Write access mode if they aren't in the team, so they'll only have Administrative access to the Project Oakdale environments. They can be explicitly given Read-Write access by another admin who already has Read-Write access to the environment. System Administrator
Colleagues with access Colleagues with access are people in the tenant who aren't in the team but have been invited to run apps in the team. By default, colleagues with access have no access to data. Their data access rights can be granted based on the app or resources that they need to run. Note: when a colleague with access is invited to run apps in a team, the Microsoft 365 group association with the team's Project Oakdale environment will be automatically removed to allow app run access to the colleague with access. Common Data Service User
Dynamics 365 admin who isn't in the team (that is, isn't in the Microsoft 365 group) These admins won't have access to manage the health and maintenance of the team environment. No access, because a Project Oakdale environment will always have the team's Microsoft 365 group associated with it, and Dynamics 365 Service admins are excluded from environments for which they aren't in the associated group.

Note

Record sharing isn't supported in Project "Oakdale." You can't share a record with another user or team.

Project Oakdale environments settings and actions

To change settings for a Project Oakdale environment, go to Environments > [select a Project Oakdale environment] > Settings.

Project Oakdale environment settings

Users + permissions

You can specify users in an environment to provide access to Project Oakdale environment apps, bots, and data.

  1. In the Power Platform admin center, select Environments on the left pane, and then select a Project Oakdale environment.

  2. Select Settings.

  3. Select Users + permissions, and then select Users.

  4. You'll see a list of enabled and disabled users who are members of the Project Oakdale environment. You can select a user from the list to run diagnostics and view their access details and status.

    List of users in Project Oakdale environment

  5. Select + Add user to add a tenant user to the selected Project Oakdale environment.

    Add user to Project Oakdale environment

  6. Enter a name or email address of a user who meets the user access requirements to add the user to the Project Oakdale environment, and then select Add.

    Add a user settings

  7. Select Refresh to see the added user in the list.

Microsoft Teams Integration

Tenant admins can select Microsoft Teams Integration to enable embedding model-driven apps into Teams. After making this selection, users can use model-driven apps in Teams without using customer engagement apps (Dynamics 365 Sales, Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Dynamics 365 Field Service, Dynamics 365 Marketing, and Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation).

Important

Model-driven apps can execute code that may not be generated by Microsoft. Make sure that the code for the apps in this environment are from a trusted source.

Delete a Project Oakdale environment

To delete a Project Oakdale environment, select it from the list of environments and then select Delete.

Delete a Project Oakdale environment

Promote a Project Oakdale environment to production

Select Promote to production. See Promotion process.

Capacity limits

The consumption of capacity by Project Oakdale environments won't count towards the tenant's capacity limits. Instead, we'll provide a pool of capacity for Project Oakdale environments, which will be separate from the tenant's Microsoft Power Platform Common Data Service capacity pool. Capacity won't be transferable between these two pools.

Per-environment limits on Project Oakdale environments: Each Project Oakdale environment provides 2 GB of combined database and file storage, with a portion of this amount reserved for system use. To see the consumption of each Project Oakdale environment in a tenant, go to the Power Platform admin center (https://aka.ms/ppac), then to Resources > Capacity > Microsoft Teams Capacity.

Project Oakdale environment capacity

Tenant-wide limits on Project Oakdale environments: Each tenant will also have limits related to Project Oakdale environments defined in the following table.

Unit Service limit
Project Oakdale environments 5 + 1 per 20 eligible office seats (up to a maximum of 500 environments)
This limit on the number of environments can't be extended further. Should more instances be needed, consider deleting unused environments or promoting to environments to Common Data Service.
Max Project Oakdale environment storage per tenant 10 GB + Project Oakdale environments × 2 GB (up to a max of 1 TB).
This storage limit can't be extended further. Should more storage be needed, consider promoting environments to Common Data Service.
Max Project Oakdale environments API calls API requests in Microsoft Power Platform consist of various actions that a user makes across various products.
For more information about API calls and the per-user limits available, go to Microsoft Power Platform request entitlements.

Enforcement

The following actions will be taken when customers approach and exceed the environment-level or tenant-wide Teams limits.

Environment-level enforcement actions

Note

These environment-level enforcement actions won't be in place for the preview, but will take effect at general availability.

When a Project Oakdale environment in a team approaches or reaches the 2 GB capacity limit, the following actions will be taken:

  • At 80 percent of the limit, the Teams users will see in the Teams maker experience a message informing them the capacity limit is about to be reached. At this point, customers are encouraged to either reduce storage usage or contact their admin for other options.
  • At 100 percent of the limit, any existing apps will continue to work and existing apps can be updated. However, new apps, bots, and flows can't be created or installed as a result of having reached the capacity limit.

Tenant-level enforcement

Note

These tenant-level enforcement actions will take effect in the preview starting in mid-October 2020.

When a tenant approaches or reaches their tenant-wide Teams limits described earlier, the following actions will be taken:

  • At 80 percent of the limit, a notification that capacity is reaching its limit will be sent to the Power Platform center admin. The admin will be encouraged to consider reducing storage usage or promoting some of the Project Oakdale environments.
  • At 100 percent of the limit, the creation of new Project Oakdale environments will be blocked. Any users attempting to create a new Project Oakdale environment will be prompted to contact the tenant admin as the result of the capacity limit being reached. Additionally, new apps and flows won't be allowed to be created or installed in an existing Project Oakdale environment.

As mentioned for the environment-level enforcement, any existing apps will still be able to function as expected.

Promotion process

Important

The capability to promote Project Oakdale environments to Common Data Service isn’t available during the public preview release; it will be available soon.

The high-level flow and business rules for promoting a Project Oakdale environment follow.

A tenant admin will be allowed to promote a Project Oakdale environment to a Common Data Service database environment. A typical flow is as follows:

Project Oakdale environment promotion process

  1. Within a team, the Teams user chooses to create an app by using the new integrated Power Apps app creation experience in Teams, or by installing an existing Project Oakdale environment-based app. At this point, a Project Oakdale environment is provisioned for that team.

  2. Over time, the data stored in the Project Oakdale environment will grow and eventually reach the capacity limit that these environments have (2 GB). At this point, existing apps will continue to operate but new applications won't be allowed to be created or installed. Customers will be directed to contact a tenant admin to promote the Project Oakdale environments to Common Data Service and obtain more capacity. Alternatively, a Teams user can request that the admin promote the environment because they want to use a certain feature in Common Data Service.

  3. Admins will review the request from the Teams user and make the decision to promote the environment from Teams to Common Data Service. At this point, the admin will go to the Power Platform admin center environments view to execute the promotion.

    Note

    To successfully carry out the promotion, the tenant must have at least as much available capacity as the size of the Project Oakdale environment that's being promoted. After its promotion, the consumed capacity of the promoted Project Oakdale environment will start counting towards the tenant's capacity. If an attempt is made to promote a Project Oakdale environment when the tenant doesn't have enough capacity, the promote operation will be blocked and an error message will be displayed.

  4. Admins will be given a message with the implications of promoting and asked to confirm the action.

  5. If the admin confirms, the promotion will go forward. As the promotion progresses, various notifications will be provided as the operation transitions through the various states.

After promotion, the following applies to the newly promoted environment:

  • The promoted environment's lifecycle will no longer be tied to the lifecycle of that team. If the team is deleted, the promoted environment remains.
  • Any apps running on the environment will require Microsoft Power Platform (Power Apps, Power Automate) licenses to be accessed.
  • The apps can run inside and outside of Teams.
  • All existing apps will be associated with the promoted environment (Common Data Service) and can take advantage of the extended set of entities.
  • The promoted environment capacity will start counting against the tenant's Common Data Service capacity.
  • The Microsoft 365 Groups association will become editable.
  • Team owners are assigned the System Admin roles on their environment and can access the environment by using the Power Platform admin center.
  • Adding a new Teams Template app to the former team won't create a new Project Oakdale environment for the team.

Ability to govern Project Oakdale in Teams

With the public preview release of Project "Oakdale," the ability to create apps or bots with the new Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents apps is enabled by default in Teams. Admins can enable or disable it for specific users by using the Teams apps permission policies in Teams.

In your Teams admin center, you can use Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents applications available under Microsoft Apps to enable or disable these new capabilities for specific users. More information: Manage app permission policies in Microsoft Teams

In addition to the new experience of creating apps or bots with Power Apps and Power Virtual Agents, users can now use sample apps to instantiate Teams apps (and associated Project Oakdale environments). These sample apps are part of the public preview. Available sample apps are listed here. You can enable or disable these apps for specific users by using the Teams apps permissions policies. For example, for app permissions policies under Microsoft Apps in the Teams admin center, you'll find Employee Ideas, Inspection, and Issue Reporting sample apps.

Note that when the Power Apps app is disabled, users won't have access to any standalone apps that you pinned in their Teams channels with the Power Apps app. For users to continue using standalone apps in the Teams experience even after the Power Apps maker experience has been turned off for them, you can use the new Built by your colleagues catalog entry point to pin standalone apps to Teams channels or a user's personal scope. This action only needs to be performed once: it updates the experience for all members of the team, allowing them to use existing apps they already had access to. We recommend that if you choose to disable Power Apps for any user in your tenant, you advise them that they can use the Built by your colleagues catalog to restore the standalone apps they were using before in Teams channels.

Known issues

  • The Run diagnostics" feature in the Power Platform admin center for team owners, members, and guests who don't have Azure Active Directory admin roles like Global Admin, or Power Platform Admin assigned, will show an alert that no security roles have been assigned directly to them. Security roles are auto-assigned by the SYSTEM for Team personas, so this alert can be ignored.
  • Teams environments currently show as created by "SYSTEM" within the Power Platform admin center. After this issue is fixed, existing environments will be retroactively updated to display the correct creator.
  • Team owners and members who trigger Teams environment creation can temporarily see the newly created environment in the Power Platform admin center. After this issue is resolved, team owners will be able to successfully administer their environment and team members won't be able to see the environment in the admin center.

Power Apps and Teams
Power Automate and Teams
Power Virtual Agents and Teams