Advanced Development for RapidStart CRM Plus, or Dynamics 365. Part 8

Solutions

We are on the home stretch now. Now it is time to bring that tidiness from your Sandbox to your live environment. In this post we will prepare your “My Customizations” solution for transport and bring it home.

If this has been a major cleanup, you may want to be extra safe and create another sandbox and again copy your production environment to it. We typically call this sandbox UAT (User Acceptance Testing).  With complex, mission critical apps, this is the norm. Follow the steps below for your UAT environment. If all goes well, then repeat these steps for your Production environment. 

To begin, we’ll go back to https://make.powerapps.com/

Ensure you are in the correct development sandbox environment, select solutions in the sidebar, but this time don’t open your “My Customizations” solution. 

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Instead of opening our solution, we’re going to select it and click “Export Solution”.

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To be certain the everything is published we’ll select the “Publish” button. Once the publish has completed, we’ll select “Run” to have a scan done for any issues. This could take some time, but we’ve come this far being safe. If there are no issues from the Solution Checker, we can click “Next”.

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You will notice that it has incremented the version number, which you can change, as long as you don’t go lower. It has also defaulted to “Managed” and even says “This solution is moving to a test or production environment“, so that’s what we want. Why would you export to “unmanaged”… maybe for safe keeping of your development solution.

Exporting can take little time and when complete you will have an option to download a zip file of your “My Customizations” solution. You may want to save it somewhere handy as we will need it shortly.

So, let’s go back our UAT or Production environment by selecting it in the top right and go to Solutions in the sidebar.

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Now we will select “Import Solution”.

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Now we’ll browse to that handy spot and select the solution you exported earlier. Then click “Next”.

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You can accepts the defaults here and just click “Import” and the import will begin. During this process it will convert any unmanaged components that you added to the “My Customizations” solution to managed, which is what we want. Afterwards you can delete any other unmanaged solutions in production. Removing an unmanaged solution will not remove it’s components.

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If all goes well, you should see the success message and all of your solutions should be managed like shown above in the 50th and last screen shot in this series.

Summary

In this final Part 8 we transported your customizations from your sandbox to UAT and/or Production using a managed solution. This is the recommended practice from Microsoft and any knowledgable partner.

Now that everything is setup, future customizations will not only be organized and easy, but also safe. Going forward you will do all customizations in your sandbox solution and transport them to UAT and/or Production via a managed export of your sandbox solution. 

Nothing can guarantee that you will never have an issue, but these steps will mitigate many common ones.

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