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Public preview of new custom connector enhancements

Headshot of article author Dana Martens

We’re thrilled to announce the Public Preview of two new custom connector features:

Service principal authentication

One of the key highlights is the introduction of service principal authentication. This feature enables you to authenticate as a service principal rather than using a user account. The advantage of this approach is that service principals do not rely on short-lived tokens that expire, making them an excellent choice for scenarios where you require continuous and uninterrupted access for automated processes, such as those within a Power Automate Flow. Using service principal authentication ensures that your automation remains unaffected even if the user associated with it leaves the company or becomes disabled. Custom connectors supporting OAuth 2.0 with Azure Active Directory as the identity provider can now be configured to enable service principal authentication. It’s as simple as checking a checkbox, and your custom connector will seamlessly support Service Principal Authentication, similar to some of our standard connectors like Azure Key Vault.

Enable service principal authentication
Service principal authentication option in a connection

When service principal authentication is chosen, you can provide the necessary values for Client ID, Client Secret, and Tenant ID:

Service principal authentication connection parameters

IMPORTANT: While Power Automate already has support for service principal authentication, this is not yet supported for Power Apps. For more information, click here.

Environment variables in policies

Environment variables play a vital role in facilitating application lifecycle management (ALM) scenarios, particularly when migrating an application or Flow between Power Platform environments. In this context, the application or Flow remains identical except for a few critical external references differing between the source and destination environments. Previously, environment variable support in custom connectors was limited to certain fields like Host, Base URL, and security properties. Now, we’ve expanded the scope of environment variables to include custom connector policies as well. You can reference an environment variable using the syntax:


Environment variables in a custom connector policy

We value your feedback and encourage you to explore these enhancements. Your input is invaluable in helping us refine and improve these capabilities further.