How to create free development environment using Power Apps Community Plan?

Create free development environment using Power Apps Community Plan

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In our previous article, we have seen that there are lots of challenges with other types of environments created in PowerApps like Trial, Default, Sandbox with the free trial subscription. Whatever the limitation is, Microsoft will not stop us from learning, exploring Microsoft products like PowerApps, PowerAutomate – that is the reason Microsoft as a product-based company, ranks far more than other similar companies. In order to work with the full-fledge features of Power Platform, Microsoft has provided a free development environment for individual use under the Power Apps Community Plan.

If we want to explore and learn about PowerApps, Power Automate (Microsoft Flow), and the Microsoft Dataverse, the Power Apps community plan is the right plan for it. The Power Apps Community Plan gives us a free development environment for individual use, where we can achieve the below:

  • It allows us to explore the Power Apps and Power Automate with the full functionality.
  • It allows us to connect to any data source by using the 100+ out-of-the-box connectors or by creating custom connectors.
  • It allows us to explore on the Microsoft dataverse – a common data model.
  • It allows us to export and import the solution file from one environment to another environment.
  • The community plan environment does not allow sharing apps with other people, the scope of the app is limited to the individual – this is very important to remember.

Before we dive into creating the community plan (how to create a free development environment using the Power Apps Community Plan in the Power platform?), we will discuss the FAQ about the Power Apps community plan.

What is the eligibility to sign up for the Power Apps Community Plan?

Anyone with a work or school account can sign up for the Power Apps Community Plan. However, Microsoft especially recommends this plan for the below purposes:

  • If you want to -upskill and learn more about Power Apps, Power Automate, and Dataverse.
  • If you are interested in building business apps (Canvas Apps, PowerApps) and workflows to distribute on Microsoft AppSource.

How to sign up for the Power Apps Community Plan?

Well, it is very simple to sign up If you are an existing user of Power Apps with Office 365 or Dynamics 365 plan customers.

Open this link – https://powerapps.microsoft.com/communityplan

We will see the below page.

Power Apps Community Plan – Get a free environment for individual use

  • Learn and develop your Power Apps and Power Automate skills
  • Explore and create in a full-featured environment for development
  • Build apps on a single, extensible view of your data with Microsoft Dataverse
Power Apps Community Plan - Get a free environment for individual use
Power Apps Community Plan – Get a free environment for individual use

We can signup for the community plan in many many ways by clicking on any of the below links:

  • Try Free
  • Get started free
  • Existing users? Create an individual environment

I will go with the “Existing users? Create an individual environment” option as I have already a trial tenant. Or if you are new to this where you don’t have any test tenant, you can go ahead with the “Try Free” or “Get started free” option. The rest of the setup explanation is self-explanatory.

Signup process for Power Apps community plan
The signup process for Power Apps community plan

Choose your country to begin from the dropdown list. Click on the “Accept” button.

On the next screen, we will see the environment selection page.

Note:

  • If you don’t get to see the environment selection listed over the right-side panel, just click on the selected environment link on the top right-side ribbon menu (next to the web icon).
Environment setup in PowerApps - Power Platform
Environment setup in PowerApps – Power Platform

In the top right corner, we can see that there are two environments one is the default one another one is the community plan environment custom one.  Generally, the community plan environment’s name starts with the below format:

"<User Name>'s" "Environment" 
Example: Global SharePoint Diary's Environment

Note:

  • By default, there will be only one environment, ie. the default environment. In the coming section, I will explain how I have created the custom environment (community plan).

If you are the global administrator for your tenant – straightway open the PowerApps admin portal link from here – https://admin.powerplatform.microsoft.com/environments

Power Platform admin center - environment creation
Power Platform Admin center – environment creation

Notes:

  • Once we land on the PowerApps admin center page, we can see the “+ New” button to create the new environment.
  • Once the new environment creation is completed, the newly created environment will be displayed over here (environment dashboard).

How to create a new environment in the Power Platform admin center?

Once you log in to the Power Platform admin center, click on the “+ New” button.

Enter the below parameters:

  • Name – any valid text for the new environment name.
  • Select the type of the environment from the dropdown list, like Trial, Sandbox, etc.
  • Select the region from the region selection dropdown list (Local environments can provide quicker data access.).
  • Purpose – this is an optional parameter, you might enter something like a description for your reference.
Create new environment in Power Apps admin center
Create a new environment in the Power Apps admin center

Note:

  • For the database selection (Create a database for this environment?) parameter, select as No, because we cannot create the database with the trial tenant.

For the trial tenant if you select the “Create a database for this environment?” as yes, we will get the below error:

This environment can’t be created because your org (tenant) needs at least 1 GB of database capacity. Request ID: 53e1c554-3a72-4c5c-a631-7cebe8ce1bdf.

 

Once you click on the save button, we will see that the new environment has been created successfully and listed in the environments dashboard and we can see the successful message: “New environment Test Environment has been successfully created”

New environment Test Environment has been successfully created - Power Platform
New environment Test Environment has been successfully created – Power Platform

Notes:

  • We can see all environments from the environments dashboard.
  • Based on the type and name of the environment we can identify what type of environment it is, for example, the “Global SharePoint Diary’s Environment” is a community plan environment whose type is the developer.
  • With the global administrator account, we can manage all environments from here.
  • We can add the database to any existing environments list over here from this screen – if you increase your tenant database capacity – at least it needs 1 GB of database capacity.

How to delete the individual environment – the community plan environment?

The community plan individual environment can be deleted from the Power Platform admin center user interface as well as using the PowerShell command.

Remove the community plan individual environment using the PowerShell command:


Remove-AdminPowerAppEnvironment -EnvironmentName <environmentGUID_ID>

Note:

  • In order to delete the individual community plan environment, the user should be a Tenant-level admin role.

Summary: What we had here?

Thus, in this article, we have learned the below with respect to creating the community plan in Power Platform:

  • Introduction to community plan in Power Platform
  • Advantages of community plan in Power Platform
  • What are the things we can do using the community plan?
  • What is the eligibility to sign up for the Power Apps Community Plan?
  • How to sign up for the PowerApps Community Plan?
  • Power Apps Community Plan – Get a free environment for individual use
  • How to create a new environment in the Power Platform admin center?
  • How to fix the error “This environment can’t be created because your org (tenant) needs at least 1 GB of database capacity. “?
  • How to delete the individual environment – the community plan environment?
  • How to remove the community plan individual environment using the PowerShell command?
  • How to create a free development environment using the Power Apps Community Plan in the Power platform?
  • We also got to know whether the PowerApps free with Office 365 (Microsoft 365) or not?

See Also

You may also like the below PowerApps or Power platform articles:

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