Introducing the ALM Accelerator for Power Platform
Historically, getting started with Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) for the Microsoft Power Platform came with a learning curve and lots of time investment setting up ALM.
Based on our own learnings setting up ALM for the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter kit, we’re excited to introduce you to the public preview of the ALM Accelerator for Power Platform – a new reference implementation that is now also part of the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit.
What is the ALM Accelerator?
The ALM Accelerator for Power Platform includes a canvas app that sits on top of Azure DevOps Pipelines and Git source control. The app provides a simplified interface for makers to regularly export the components in their Power Platform Solutions to source control and create deployment requests to have their work reviewed before deploying to target environments.
The ALM Accelerator for Power Platform is a complement to the ALM guidance available under the Overview of application lifecycle management with Microsoft Power Platform. It was originally developed to facilitate ALM for the CoE Starter Kit team. We are now sharing what we’ve built for our own use and open sourcing it to help you understand how you can apply ALM patterns & practices with the Power Platform. You can use the ALM Accelerator as-is, customize it to meet your requirements, or as a reference implementation to see how we’ve addressed ALM scenarios.
To learn more, you can watch an overview video of the ALM Accelerator for Power Platform below.
We also have documentation to Set up ALM Accelerator for Power Platform components, Use ALM Accelerator for Power Platform components and videos of ALM Accelerator for Power Platform Walkthroughs (Preview).
Who should try out this component?
The ALM Accelerator provides a solution for setting up an enhanced ALM experience for both code first and low code developers. Within this single accelerator, we have provided both a simplified experience, for those who want to get started with ALM, as well as more advanced experiences for people who want more control over the ALM process. We expect the ALM Accelerator to be used by the Power Platform maker who is comfortable with using Power Platform solution management. For advanced makers with experience using Git, Azure DevOps, and basic ALM concepts (e.g., source control, pushes, pull requests, branching, merging, and CI/CD), we offer capabilities to allow them to work the way they want. To use the advanced maker capabilities, there is an expectation that you have foundational knowledge about those capabilities.
What is different from ALM Accelerator for Makers?
Originally, we announced ALM Accelerator for Makers, which makers can use to apply source control strategies by using GitHub and move solutions from development to test and production environments. It abstracted away some of the complexities of ALM, to help make it more approachable to low code developers new to ALM.
Since then, we have been working on improvements to bring experiences from that accelerator into a unified accelerator. We have also heard from customers who use Azure DevOps that they want a simplified experience as well.
Whether you are planning to set up ALM for basic or advanced scenarios, the new ALM Accelerator for Power Platform aims to help you with your ALM strategy.
For now, the unified experience supports only Azure DevOps using pipelines using Microsoft Power Platform Build Tools for Azure DevOps. However, we have plans to add support for GitHub workflows using GitHub Actions for Microsoft Power Platform in the future.
As part of this unification process, we will no longer be providing new enhancements to ALM Accelerator for Makers. If you have any issues or bugs with the older accelerator, please post them on GitHub; we’ll continue to address them.
You can get started by going to ALM Accelerator for Power Platform “ALM Accelerator for Power Platform” section in Microsoft Docs. You can learn more about our backlog of issues and enhancements in on GitHub . We have also turned on GitHub Discussions and would encourage you to ask questions there.
We would love your feedback!
Prior to this announcement, we’ve been building the ALM Accelerator out in the open on GitHub since March 2021. We’ve had several customers participate in our previous preview releases to help gather feedback. The feedback helped us evolve the accelerator to be more generic and flexible beyond how we were initially using it. We’re eager to get more feedback. We’d like to invite you to try out our public preview, help us make it even more flexible, and evolve it to meet your needs! If you have any new ideas, feel free to post them in GitHub !
Some of the underlying features and components used to build the ALM such as Canvas source code tool integrated with Power Platform CLI are in preview, and the kit itself represents sample implementations of these preview features. Our customers and community can use and customize these features to implement ALM capabilities in their organizations. However, note that this kit is also under preview until the dependent features are also generally available.