Use a connection reference in a solution

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

A connection is a proxy or a wrapper around an API that allows the underlying service to talk to Microsoft Power Automate, Microsoft Power Apps, and Azure Logic Apps. It provides a way for users to connect their accounts and use a set of pre-built actions and triggers to build their apps and workflows.

A connection reference is a solution component that contains information about a connector. Both canvas app and operations within a Power Automate flow bind to a connection reference. You can import your connection reference into a target environment with no further configuration needed after the import completes. To change a specific connection associated with a canvas app or flow, you edit the connection reference component within the solution.

You can add a connection reference to a solution in a few different ways:

  • From the Solutions area as described in this article.
  • During solution import. More information: Import solutions
  • When you build your canvas apps and flows in a solution.


  • Canvas apps and flows handle connections differently. Flows use connection references for all connectors, whereas canvas apps only use them for implicitly shared connections, such as SQL Server. More information: Security and types of authentication
  • A connection reference is automatically created when you create new connections from the flow and canvas app designers.
  1. Sign in to Power Apps, and on the left pane select Solutions.
  2. Create a new or open an existing solution.
  3. On the command bar select New, and then in the list of components select Connection Reference.
  4. On the New Connection Reference pane, enter the following information. Required columns are denoted with an asterisk (*).
    • Display name: Enter a friendly name to help differentiate this connection reference from others.
    • Description: Enter text that describes the connection.
    • Connector: Choose from the following options:
      • Select an existing connector from the list.
      • Select New to create a new connection to use for this connection reference. Once your finished creating the connection, select Refresh to select your new connection from the list.
  5. Select Create.


While connection references are in preview, one connection reference can only be used within a maximum of 16 flows. If the same connection needs to be used in more than 16 flows, then create another connection reference with a connection to the same connector. There is no limit to the number of actions in each flow that can be associated with the connection reference.

See also