Setting up for Power Platform Dev Ops Pre-requisites


This blog post is part of a series of blog posts based on my experiences building a set of Dev Ops processes for deploying Power Platform solutions using Azure Dev Ops.

I recommend starting there if you have not read the first post in the series.

This post will discuss the pre-requisites required to set up Power Platform Dev Ops. Then it will show you how to setup these pre-requisites.

So, let’s get started!

Firstly, the process to deploying Power Platform solutions into an environment relies on a couple of things:

  • An identity to authenticate with the Power Platform environment
  • Access to the Power Platform environment
  • A connection to the Power Platform environment for Azure Dev Ops

The identity that we are going to use is an Azure Active Directory Application. If you do not know what one of these is, then read this. Briefly, it is like a service account and represents an application within Azure which can be given permission to access resources in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure.

I will refer to this Azure AD Application as the Power Platform Deployment Engine. This is the terminology that we use at iThink 365.

Secondly, this identity needs to be able to access the Power Platform environment, so we will discuss the steps to do that.

Finally, our Azure Dev Ops environment that is going to be running the build and release processes needs to be able to connect to the Power Platform environment using the Power Platform Deployment Engine. In Azure Dev Ops this is achieved using a service connection.

Setting up the Power Platform Deployment Engine (Azure Active Directory Application)

To set up the Azure AD Application, do the following: 

  • Choose the Azure Active Directory resource 
  • Click on Application Registrations 
  • Add a new Application Registration, click New Registration 
  • Fill in the details as shown in the screenshot below 
  • Name: Power Platform Deployment Engine 
  • Supported account types: Single Tenant
  • The redirect URL is optional. At iThink 365 we set up it up as our website,
  • Click Register when ready 
Steps to setup the Azure AD Application for the Deployment Engine

Next, set up the permissions that the app required: 

  • Browse back to the application 
  • Click API Permissions 
Setting up API Permissions

  • From the API permissions page 
  • Click Add permission 
  • Choose from the right-hand task pane “Dynamics CRM” 
  • Choose delegated permissions 
  • Choose user-impersonation 
  • Click add permission Graphical user interface, application, Teams

Description automatically generated 
  • Add another permission, this time for Microsoft Graph 
  • Find the User group 
  • Choose User.Read 
  • Click Add permission 

Once the permissions are set up then the permissions need to be granted for the tenant using admin consent. 

To achieve this you need an account with the Global Admin role assigned. 

  • From the API permissions screen
  • Click Grant admin consent for [tenant name] 
  • Sign-in and consent to the application. 

The last step is to create a client secret. 

  • Click Certificates and Secrets 
  • Click New Client secret 
  • Fill in a description and set the lifetime for 2 years 
  • Make note of the client secret that has been created as you will need it later.

The Azure AD Application configuration is complete. 

Setting up access to the Power Platform environment

The next step is to give the Power Platform Deployment Engine access to the Power Platform environment.

The process to do this has the following steps:

  • Add an application user to the Power Platform environment.
  • Set permissions for the environment for the application user.

Let’s get started.

To do this do the following: 

  • Click on the Environment name
  • Click Settings
  • Click Users + Permissions to expand
  • Click Application Users
Accessing the application users

From the application user screen click New app user.

  • Click Add an app
  • Search for the Power Platform Deployment Engine app
  • Select the app and click Add App
Add an application user
Search, find the deployment engine and add the application
  • Click security roles
  • Choose System Customizer
  • Click Save
Select the security roles
  • Click Create

The deployment engine now has access to the Power Platform environment. We have given the deployment engine the minimum access that we can however there are times when the deployment engine needs more permission. The time that I have seen more permissions is if security roles are deployed in solutions. If that is the case then give the deployment engine the System Administrator security role.

The setting up of the deployment engine will need to be repeated for each Power Platform environment that we are going to deploy to but also the environment that we are developing our solutions in.

Therefore, repeat the set up process for each of the Power Platform environments.

With all the Power Platform environments setup, the final step is to connect our Azure Dev Ops environment to the Power Platform environment using the deployment engine.

Connect Azure Dev Ops to the Power Platform Environment

The last step is that Azure Dev Ops is connected to the Power Platform environments using our Deployment Engine.

We will make an assumption that you have an Azure Dev Ops Project Collection setup already. You will also need to be an Azure Dev Ops Project Administrator for the project.

  • Browse to your Azure Dev Ops environment.
  • Browse to your project.
  • Click Project Settings.
  • Choose Service connections 
  • Click new service connection 
  • Choose Power Platform 
  • Click Next 
  • Fill in the server URL which is called the Dynamic URL from the Power Platform environment you are connecting to. 
  • See Getting the URL to your Dynamics environment section above 
  • Fill in your tenant id (which is found by going to Choose Azure AD -> Properties) as the directory id 
  • Fill in the application id for the Power Platform Deployment Engine 
  • Fill in the client secret for the deployment engine which you made note of before. 
  • Fill in the name of the service connection.

We use the following naming convention for our service connections so that it is easy to see the different service connections.

  • Use Power Platform [Release Stage] Environment ([])
    • e.g. Power Platform Development Environment (
    • e.g. Power Platform Test Environment (
    • e.g. Power Platform Test Environment (
    • e.g. Power Platform Production Environment (
  • Click Save 

Repeat the service connection setup for each Power Platform environment. 

  • Click Save to complete the configuration of the service connection

You will now see the service connection for the Power Platform you have just created.

Repeat the process to connect to all the Power Platform environments that need to be deployed to.

Getting the URL to the Power Platform environment 

To get the URL for your Power Platform environment do the following:


The steps that we have been through have created all the pre-requisites for deploying Power Platform solutions using Azure Dev Ops.

In the next article, we will go through the process of setting up the build and release pipelines.

How to exclude content from Microsoft 365 Search


Recently I was asked by a customer using SharePoint to host all their insurance claim content how they could exclude the content from showing up in searches from their Microsoft 365 Intranet.

Search has evolved in Microsoft 365 with two engines, Microsoft 365 Search and SharePoint Search. Had it been configuring SharePoint search I would have no problem showing them how to do it.

With Microsoft 365 Search, I was sure there was a way as I remember hearing something about search configuration in the back of my mind but was not sure.

The issue was more important because they had switched off search within the site collection. So that the content did not display but this had some unexpected consequences.

Including, they could no longer find content associated with their claims application. List searching and filtering did not work anymore. This made administering the application difficult which had millions of associated files. Finally, if they later wanted to improve performance by using search to improve the experience for their teams then this would no longer be possible.

A solution was needed!

Fortunately, Microsoft’s effort in improving the Microsoft 365 Search configuration experience has made it possible to do what we want to do.

Let’s provide a bit of background.


So how can this be achieved?

Well, firstly, let us explain what needs to be configured. When you do a search from any of the Microsoft 365 search boxes for example in SharePoint or Teams you get a set of results as shown below.

Example Microsoft 365 Search from SharePoint Online

You can see a summary of search results but if you click on “Show more results” then this expands to a dedicated search results page. This results page allows you to refine the search across different categories (called search verticals) to make it easier to find the right resource. By default, these search verticals include things like filtering to just files, people, news, and images.

Example of a search result with search verticals.

We bring up the search verticals as this is how we will config Microsoft 365 Search to exclude content. We will also need to configure each of the search verticals as well to ensure that one of them does not bring unexpected content back.

Microsoft Search uses Keyword Query Language or KQL and it is possible to configure this to restrict the search results to a particular result set. More information on KQL can be found at


Now, with Microsoft 365 Search it is possible to configure the search and these search verticals to exclude content. So, how do we do this?

Firstly, the user to do this will need to have one of the following roles:

  • Global Admin
  • Search Administrator

Firstly, let’s say that the site content that we want to exclude is found on a site with this URL,

To do this do the following:

  • Click Show All
  • Click Settings->Search and Intelligence
  • Choose Customizations and then Verticals
  • Select the All Vertical and choose Edit
  • Click on Query and then Edit
  • Keep the name of the vertical and, click Next
  • Paste the following KQL as shown below.
  • Click Next

NOT (path:

Configure the Query for the Search Vertical
  • At the Filters click Next
  • Review the vertical settings, and click “Update Vertical”
  • Wait a few seconds
  • Click Done and go back to the vertical settings screen.

With this vertical completed now repeat the process for the other search verticals.

How long does this take to apply to Microsoft 365 Search?

In my experience, it can take up to 3-4 hours for the changes to take place.


So hopefully armed with this knowledge you can now configure your Microsoft 365 Search so that it excludes content without disabling search and making life harder for you and your admin teams when they are working with sensitive local content.