Overview of tools and apps used with ALM

This article gives a brief overview of the tools and apps used with application lifecycle management (ALM).

Power Platform admin center

The Power Platform admin center provides a unified portal for administrators to manage environments and settings for Power Apps, Power Automate, and model-driven apps in Dynamics 365 (such as Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Customer Service). From the admin center, administrators can manage environments, data integration, gateways, data policies, and get key Microsoft Power Platform metrics through Common Data Service analytics, Power Automate analytics, and Power Apps analytics.

More information:

Power Apps

Power Apps is part of a suite of apps, services, connectors, and data platform that provides a rapid application development environment to build custom apps for your business needs. Using Power Apps, you can quickly build custom business apps that connect to your business data stored either in the underlying data platform (Common Data Service) or in various online and on-premises data sources, such as SharePoint, Excel, Office 365, Dynamics 365, SQL Server, and so on. More information: What is Power Apps?

DevOps

DevOps is the combining of two historically disparate disciplines: software development and IT operations. The primary goal of DevOps is to shorten the software development lifecycle and provide continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) with high software quality. You can use Power Apps build tools to automate common build and deployment tasks related to Power Apps if your DevOps platform is Azure DevOps. This includes synchronization of solution metadata between development environments and your version control system, generating build artifacts, deploying to downstream environments, provisioning or de-provisioning of environments, and the ability to perform static analysis checks against your solution by using the Power Apps checker service. More information: Microsoft Power Platform Build Tools for Azure DevOps overview

Version control system

A version control system is a category of software tools that help record changes to files by keeping track of changes committed to software code. A version control system is a database of changes, which contains all the edits and historical versions of a software project. Version control systems allow you to maintain a single "source of truth" and recall specific versions when needed. Git is a popular example of a version control system.

Important

Notice that source control applies both to Common Data Service solutions and "traditional" source code. Common Data Service solutions should always be part of the source code and never stored solely in Microsoft Power Platform environments. More information: Getting started: What is Git?

Configuration Migration Tool

The Configuration Migration Tool enables you to move configuration and/or reference data across environments. Configuration/reference data is different from user and transactional data and is used to define custom functionality in apps based on Common Data Service. More information: Move configuration data across environments and organizations with the Configuration Migration Tool

Package Deployer

Package Deployer lets administrators or developers deploy comprehensive packages of relevant assets to Common Data Service instances. Packages can consist of not only solution files, but also flat files, custom code, and HTML files. Common Data Service provides you with a Visual Studio template for creating these packages that can be used with the Package Deployer tool or with PowerShell to deploy them to a Common Data Service instance. More information: Create packages for the Package Deployer

Solution Packager

Solution Packager is a tool that can unpack a compressed solution file into multiple XML files and other files, so they can be easily managed by a source control system. More information: Use the Solution Packager tool to compress and extract a solution file

Power Apps CLI

Microsoft Power Apps CLI is a simple, single-stop developer command-line interface that empowers developers and app makers to create code components. More information: What is Microsoft Power Apps CLI?

PowerShell modules

With PowerShell cmdlets for administrators, app makers, and developers, you can automate many of the monitoring, management, and quality assurance tasks that are only possible manually today in Power Apps or the Power Apps admin center.

  • Online management API module. The online management API PowerShell module is used to manage Common Data Service environments.

  • Package deployment module. The package deployment PowerShell module is used to deploy packages to Common Data Service environments and Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement(on-premises) deployments.

  • Power Apps checker module. The Power Apps checker PowerShell module interacts with the Power Apps checker service so you can run static analysis jobs and download the results.

More information: Power Apps PowerShell overview

See also

Implementing healthy ALM