One of the challenges of working on Power Apps with multiple developers is that you can accidentally overwrite each other's work. This is a common challenge whenever you develop in a "shared" development environment. You can communicate and coordinate at all times to avoid losing progress but that's not an ideal solution. Luckily for professional developers, there are some tools you can use to collaborate in a more effective way.
Each developer can create their own personal environment instead of using a shared environment where everyone develops in parallel.
You can use the built-in copy environment feature if your personal environment is within the same tenant. If your personal environment is on a separate tenant, then you can export the desired solutions manually or use the Power Platform CLI and then import those solutions into your personal environments. These customizations are applied to the target environment when you're exporting and importing solutions, but no data is imported, unlike when you use the copy feature.
Once every developer has their own environment, you can establish a process for moving changes from the shared environment back into the personal environment and changes from the personal environment back to the shared environment.
Shown below is a visualized example of this process. This diagram was developed during our internship program by Brendan Moore.
The following components are in the above process:
As a developer wanting to start work on a new feature, you will need to follow the following steps on the diagram:
Depending on your needs, you may want to introduce multiple branches and pull requests into your process.
During our internship project, Brendan made this process more approachable for developers with different levels of experience by wrapping each of these steps in PowerShell scripts which guides developers through. Read these additional resources if you're interested in learning more:
It can be hard to collaborate on Power Apps with other developers. Sometimes you can overwrite each other's work or break things; however, each developer can safely make their changes by using personal environments instead of a shared development environment. They can then merge their work together into the shared environment. A developer can track changes to solutions using git and move solutions between environments using the Power Platform CLI and SolutionPackager tool.
The Power Platform team has been developing more tools, features, and documentation for professional developers to get the most out of the Power Platform. Read this documentation on Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to dive deeper and author your own processes for developing Power Apps.
Former MetroStar Senior .NET Developer
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