Managing solutions has a new look (public preview)
Today we’re releasing the public preview of the updated solution explorer experience, which provides richer tooling to manage your solution as well as a myriad of updates that mean most makers will have all the tools they need to be successful, without ever needing to switch to the classic solution explorer.
This experience will soon become the default experience on the maker portal, but whilst we’re in preview if you run into any issues, you can disable the preview experience by toggling the switch on the solution list.
Navigating a solution
When opening a solution, you’ll now see that you navigate to a space dedicated to the solution with its own navigation. This dedicated experience will help you stay in context of the solution. To start there are three areas you can navigate to, let’s look at each:
This overview page gives you all the commands needed to manage the solution, such as Import/Export, Cloning, Publishing, as well as cards that help you manage the solution properties, solution health and a list of the recently updated objects in your solution.
Solution configuration pages are now accessible from here. The config page will open in a panel, allowing you to interact with the designated web resource.
The objects page is the heart of your solution, allowing you to create or add objects that make up your solution. To better help makers navigate around, there is a tree view of object types with the total count displayed per item. By default, the major Power Platform objects are represented here: Apps, Tables, Flows, Chatbots, as well as a way to search the tree. As you add other types to your solution, they will also appear in the tree.
Selecting a node in the tree will show you the list of objects, allowing you to interact with them as well as search, filter, and sort.
The history of operations for your solution are listed in this page, selecting a row will give you the details of the operation and allow you to diagnose any errors you may have run into.
New and Add existing menus
The number of different objects you can add to a solution is growing rapidly, so a flat list of objects to create or add to your solution was getting too long. A new experience for these menus is part of this enhancement, with a top-level menu that has the most used object types, expanding to object types that are used somewhat less frequently – and all other object types are alphabetized in a final overflow menu. Based on usage, we may promote or demote object types during the preview to make sure the most used are quickly accessible.
A powerful feature of objects in the Power Platform is their ability to depend on each other so that when you ship a solution you can take a dependency on another object, extending or changing the behavior of that object. Dependencies can become complex and understanding what dependencies exist is very helpful when managing your solutions.
To aid makers in discovering these dependencies, you can now see these dependencies for any object by selecting Show dependencies from the context menu or command bar, this will open a view that lists both dependent objects and required objects.
When deleting an object, you may receive a notification that you can’t delete the object because dependencies exist. You can now review these dependencies by selecting the action in the notification.
Dependencies also exist between solutions, especially when there a multiple managed solutions that layer to provide the complete experience to the end user. It can be very useful to understand how these solutions are inter-dependent. Selecting the Show dependencies command on the Overview page for a solution, or from the list of solutions, will give you a view into those dependencies and allow you to compare the changes by layer.
Many will ship a solution to another environment – during import the solution dependencies are checked, and if we find missing dependencies, we now show you the detail grouped by managed solution and those that are simply unmanaged objects in the source environment.
These views are especially useful to understand what other solutions need to be imported first and which objects in the source environment may have been missed when exporting. A future update will alert makers during export as well.
Workflows, Actions and Business process flows
Until now classic Workflows and Actions, as well as Business process flows, were not available to add to a solution without switching to classic or navigating to the Power Automate portal. All three types now have a quick create experience in the solution explorer.
When managing a table’s settings or adding a new table you will now have access to all the options available for a table, with the table configuration and primary column configuration split between two separate pivots in the panel.
Under Advanced options, the table properties are also grouped to provide more clarity on what they do: whether it be an option that affects the table, where the table shows up in other configurations, or whether the option impacts how rows of the table behave.
Some notable new options include creating and managing virtual tables, setting table color (either with a color swatch or hex code), and adding a web resource for the table image.
Another set of objects that can now be created and updated on the maker portal are web resources. You can also quickly access like types by expanding Web resources item in the tree view to pick from Code, Data, or Images.
Performance has been a key goal of the updated design. Productivity of our makers is a top priority, so we’ve focused on parallel loading of experiences, caching, and improving performance of server-side operations. Some examples of where you’ll see great performance:
- Tree view has a new dedicated API and loads in parallel to the rest of the experience
- Tables are loaded shortly after the solution has opened to make searching the tree instant
- Lists of objects are paged, with infinite scrolling that will load subsequent pages as you scroll down
- When you do need to switch to classic (which should be infrequent now) you will see ~10x improvement in load time as the request has been pre-loaded, caching the authentication which was what drove the long load times
- Solution objects are cached by solution and by object list, so you can navigate between solutions and between object lists in a solution and still see great performance
- Lists of items will check for new objects in the background as you move around the experience to avoid blocking, adding any newly found objects to the view as they are discovered