Architecting Your Next Power Platform Project

The Power Platform has emerged as a powerful suite of tools for building custom applications, automating workflows, and analyzing data. However, to harness its full potential, it is crucial to architect your Power Platform projects thoughtfully. A well-designed architecture sets the foundation for scalability, performance, security, and seamless integration with other systems. 

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the key considerations and best practices for architecting your next Power Platform project. Whether you’re a business professional, a developer, or an IT administrator, this article will provide you with valuable insights to maximize the success of your projects. 

From understanding the core components of the Power Platform to designing the data model, developing applications, and implementing robust testing and deployment strategies, we will cover it all. Additionally, we’ll delve into continuous improvement and maintenance, ensuring your Power Platform solution evolves with your business needs. 

By the end of this article, you will have a solid understanding of the architectural principles and practical steps required to build robust apps and automate workflows using the Power Platform. Let’s dive in and unlock the full potential of your next Power Platform project, empowering your organization with innovative solutions and streamlined processes.

Power Platform I

Understanding Power Platform Architecture

Understanding Power Platform Architecture is crucial for successfully architecting your next project. The Power Platform encompasses various components, including Power Apps, Power Automate, Power BI, and Power Virtual Agents, each serving a specific purpose in application development, workflow automation, data visualization, and chatbot creation.

When architecting your project, there are several factors such as data sources and connectors, security and permissions, scalability and performance, integration with external systems, user experience, and UI design, as well as governance and compliance or building blocks to consider:

  1. Dataverse: Dataverse provides a unified data platform within the Power Platform ecosystem. It offers a secure and scalable foundation for storing and managing data, ensuring consistency, and enabling seamless integration across Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI.
  2. Connectors: Connectors are pre-built integrations that enable communication between Power Platform components and external systems. They allow you to easily connect to popular services such as Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, SharePoint, Azure, and many others.
  3. Security and Governance: Ensuring proper security and governance is essential when architecting a Power Platform solution. This involves defining roles and permissions, implementing data loss prevention measures, enforcing data access controls, and complying with organizational policies and regulations.
  4. Scalability and Data Optimization: Ensure that your solution can handle increasing demands and scale as your user base and data volume grow. Design your solution with scalability in mind, considering factors such as the number of users, data throughput, and potential future expansion. Utilize efficient data models and consider using the Dataverse to maintain data integrity and streamline data management.


By carefully evaluating these considerations, you can ensure a well-structured and efficient Power Platform architecture that meets your organization’s requirements and enables seamless collaboration and productivity.


Preparing for Your Power Platform Project

Preparing for Your Power Platform Project is a crucial phase that lays the groundwork for a successful implementation. Before diving into development and deployment, it is essential to undertake thorough preparation. This involves:

  • Defining clear project objectives and scope: The objective of the project could be to develop a performance management system using the Power Platform that enables tracking and evaluation of employee goals, performance metrics, and feedback. The scope could include functionalities like goal setting, performance reviews, feedback collection, and reporting.
  • Identifying stakeholders and their specific requirements: Stakeholders may include HR managers, department heads, and employees. HR managers may require comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities, while department heads may need a user-friendly interface to set and track employee goals. Employees may desire a self-service portal to access their performance metrics and provide feedback.
  • Assessing existing infrastructure and data sources: The assessment would involve evaluating the compatibility of existing HR systems, such as an employee database or HRIS, with the Power Platform. It would also include identifying data sources, such as performance ratings, goal data, and feedback history, which will be integrated into the new performance management system.
  • Forming a competent project team: The project team could consist of a Power Platform architect, HR domain experts, developers, and a data analyst. The HR domain experts will provide insights into performance management processes, while the data analyst will ensure proper integration and transformation of performance data.
  • Establishing a realistic timeline and budget: The timeline could include milestones such as requirements gathering, design, development, testing, and deployment. The budget would consider factors like licensing costs for Power Platform components, development efforts, data migration, and training for end-users.


These examples demonstrate how the different aspects of project management apply to a Power Platform project focused on managing employee goals and performance. According to Gustavo, our power platform specialist:

One of the key reasons for thorough preparation is to align the Power Platform project with the unique needs of your organization. For example, if your goal is to streamline and automate the approval process across departments, you need to identify the stakeholders involved and understand their requirements. By conducting thorough preparation, you can identify pain points and inefficiencies in current workflows, enabling you to design a solution that addresses these challenges effectively.

Moreover, a well-prepared Power Platform project enables you to make informed decisions about the components and features to include. Whether you need to build a custom application, automate business processes, create interactive dashboards, or develop chatbots, understanding the project objectives and stakeholders’ requirements allows you to select the appropriate Power Platform components and functionalities.

By investing time and effort in preparing for your Power Platform project, you can minimize risks, ensure a smoother implementation process, and maximize the potential benefits of the Power Platform within your organization. It sets the stage for a successful project that aligns with your organization’s goals and provides tailored solutions to specific scenarios, driving productivity, efficiency, and innovation.


Architectural Design and Planning

Architectural design and planning are critical steps in building a successful Power Platform project. During this phase, you will make key decisions regarding the structure and functionality of your application. Here are examples of topics that require careful consideration:

  1. Choosing the right Power Platform components: Deciding whether to build a canvas app or a model-driven app based on the complexity of your user interface requirements. For instance, you might choose a canvas app for creating a request approval process, while a model-driven app would be suitable for managing sales leads with complex data relationships.


Figure 1 – Canvas apps and forms around SharePoint or Canvas app with business-critical data (Dataverse or SQL)
Figure 2 – Model-driven Apps with extras( CRM apps, Customizations, integration, etc …. )









2. Defining the data model and database architecture: Determining how your data will be organized, choosing the right data sources(s), and structure within the Power Platform. For example, designing tables, relationships, and entity attributes for a customer relationship management (CRM) application.

3. Designing the user interface and user experience: Creating a visually appealing and intuitive interface for users. For instance, incorporating modern design principles to develop a user-friendly dashboard that presents sales data in a visually engaging manner.

4. Planning for integration with other systems: Identifying the need to connect your Power Platform application with external data sources or services (source: Stellium Consulting’s article on “How to Extend the Power Apps Platform”). For example, integrating with a third-party customer database to retrieve and display customer information within your app.

5. Setting up security and access controls: Defining user roles, permissions, and data access restrictions. For instance, ensuring that only authorized users can view or modify sensitive customer data within the Power Platform application.

By carefully considering these architectural design and planning aspects, you can create a well-structured and efficient Power Platform project that meets your organization’s unique requirements and delivers a seamless and user-friendly experience.


Developing the Power Platform Solutions

Developing the Power Platform Solution involves two crucial aspects: understanding the correlation between data sources and apps, choosing the right app(s), and automating processes with Power Automate.

  1. The correlation between data sources and apps – There are different scenarios where you might want to use SharePoint, File based data sources, Dataverse, or Database as your data source for Power Apps. Here are some examples:
  • SharePoint: This is a good option if you want to create a prototype or a customer demo quickly, or if you want to build a collaboration app or forms around SharePoint list and libraries. SharePoint also has a low licensing cost compared to other data sources.
  • File-based data sources: These include JSON, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. You can use them if you have simple data that does not require complex relationships or calculations. File-based data sources are easy to set up and use, but they have some limitations in terms of performance and security.
  • Dataverse: This is a cloud-based relational database that is optimized for Power Apps. You can use it if you want to build business apps (such as CRM apps) that involve business-critical data, complex data models, business logic, and security. Dataverse also offers faster development time and less technical skill compared to traditional databases.
  • Database: This includes SQL Server, Azure SQL, etc. You can use them if you need a high-performance, scalable, and secure data source that supports advanced queries and calculations. The database requires more technical skill and development time than other data sources, but it gives you more control and flexibility over your data.


2. Apps – Choosing the right App(s): Selecting the appropriate type of app based on your requirements is essential. Whether it’s a canvas app for creating custom interfaces and interactions or a model-driven app for data-driven scenarios, careful consideration should be given to match the app’s capabilities with your specific needs. This ensures a tailored and intuitive user experience that aligns with your business goals.

When it comes to choosing the right app(s) for your Power Platform solution, native components may not always provide the ideal solution for complex challenges. In such cases, there are two effective ways to extend Power Platform solutions: Power Apps Component Framework (PCF) and custom connectors.

PCF allows you to create and integrate custom controls, catering to unique user interface requirements and advanced functionalities. Additionally, custom connectors enable seamless integration with external systems or APIs.

To delve deeper into extending the Power Apps platform using PCF and custom connectors, I recommend referring to the comprehensive article on the Stellium Consulting blog titled “How to Extend the Power Apps Platform” source: Stellium Consulting’s blog. It provides valuable insights and guidance on leveraging these extension options for enhancing your Power Platform applications.

3. Automating processes with Power Automate: Power Automate empowers you to streamline and automate repetitive tasks and business processes. By creating flows and triggers, you can automate workflows, integrate data and services, and enhance productivity. From sending notifications and managing approvals to orchestrating complex business processes, Power Automate enables efficient automation, saving time and improving operational efficiency.

One of the best practices for developing Power Apps is to move some of the logic from the app to flows. This has several benefits, such as:

  • Code reusability: You can use the same flow for multiple apps or triggers, without having to duplicate the logic in each app.
  • Easier to unit test: You can test your flow independently from the app, using mock data or manual triggers, and verify that it works as expected.
  • Easier for collaborating: You can share your flow with other developers or stakeholders, and get feedback or suggestions on how to improve it.
  • Easier to debug: You can use the flow run history and the error details to identify and fix any issues in your flow logic.
  • Easier to maintain: Flows are more visual and less prone to spaghetti code than Power Apps formulas. You can also use child flows to modularize your logic and provide elevation of privilege when needed.


By focusing on developing the right apps and leveraging the power of Power Automate for process automation, you can create a robust and efficient Power Platform solution that enhances user experiences and drives productivity within your organization.


Testing and Quality Assurance

Testing and quality assurance are crucial aspects of Power Platform projects to ensure the reliability, performance, and user satisfaction of the developed solutions. Rigorous testing helps identify and fix issues, validate functionality, and ensure a seamless user experience. It involves various types of testing, such as:

  • Functional testing to validate the expected behavior: Functional testing in this scenario would involve ensuring that the goal management system accurately captures and tracks employee goals, enables progress updates, and generates relevant reports and notifications. Test cases would be designed to validate the system’s functionalities, such as creating goals, updating progress, and generating goal performance reports.
  • Integration testing to ensure smooth interaction with external systems: Integration testing would focus on verifying the seamless integration between the goal management system and other relevant systems, such as the HRIS (Human Resources Information System) or the performance evaluation tool. The testing would ensure that data synchronization and exchange between systems work correctly, supporting a cohesive employee performance management process.
  • Security testing to safeguard against vulnerabilities: Security testing for the goal management system would involve evaluating access controls, user permissions, and data encryption to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive employee data. It would include penetration testing to identify potential vulnerabilities and ensure that appropriate security measures are in place.
  • Performance testing to assess scalability and responsiveness: Performance testing would assess the goal management system’s scalability and responsiveness under different loads and user scenarios. It would involve simulating a large number of users creating and updating goals simultaneously to ensure the system can handle the expected workload and response times meet performance expectations.
  • Monitoring application performance and scalability: Continuous monitoring of the goal management system would involve tracking key performance indicators such as response times, server load, and database performance. This monitoring would enable proactive identification and resolution of performance issues, ensuring the system remains scalable and responsive.
  • Implementing proper version control and change management: Version control and change management would ensure that updates and enhancements to the goal management system are properly tracked, documented, and tested before deployment. It would involve using version control systems like Git to manage code changes and ensure proper deployment processes to maintain system stability.
  • Performing regular maintenance and updates to ensure long-term quality: Regular maintenance would involve applying updates and patches to the goal management system, addressing bugs and security vulnerabilities, and incorporating user feedback for continuous improvement. It would also include regular data backups and system checks to maintain the long-term quality and reliability of the application.


These examples demonstrate how different testing, security, performance, monitoring, version control, change management, and maintenance practices apply to a project focused on managing employee goals and performance.

This involves systematically testing each functional aspect of the application to ensure it behaves as intended. For instance, if you have developed a Power App to track inventory, functional testing would involve verifying that users can successfully add, update, and delete inventory items, calculate stock levels accurately, and generate reports. Through functional testing, any issues or discrepancies can be identified and addressed to ensure the application functions are flawless and meet the desired requirements.

Implementing a robust testing strategy and conducting thorough quality assurance measures are vital to delivering high-quality Power Platform projects that meet stakeholder expectations.


Deployment and Release Management

Deployment and release management play a critical role in ensuring the successful implementation and continuous improvement of Power Platform projects. Efficient deployment strategies, such as version control, change management, and deployment pipelines, are essential for maintaining consistency and minimizing risks during the release process.

Stellium Consulting has published a valuable article titled “ALM Accelerator for Power Platform” that offers insights into accelerating application lifecycle management (ALM) for Power Platform projects. This article provides valuable guidance on implementing effective deployment and release management practices, enabling organizations to streamline their processes and ensure smooth transitions from development to production environments.


Improvement and Maintenance

Continuous improvement and maintenance are key aspects of successful Power Platform projects. Once the initial implementation is complete, it is important to gather user feedback, monitor application performance, and address any issues or enhancement requests. By continuously iterating and improving the solution based on user feedback and evolving business needs, organizations can maximize the value and effectiveness of their Power Platform applications.

Regular maintenance activities such as monitoring security vulnerabilities, updating connectors and dependencies, and ensuring data integrity are essential for the long-term success and sustainability of the solution. Continuous improvement and maintenance practices ensure that the Power Platform solution remains reliable, secure, and aligned with the changing needs of the organization.

However, it also introduces challenges related to governance, data security, and maintaining standards across the growing number of applications developed by citizen developers. Balancing the benefits of citizen development with proper governance becomes a crucial consideration to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the Power Platform within an organization. – Check out more about this topic here.



Architecting a Power Platform project is a critical process that requires careful consideration and planning. By understanding the Power Platform architecture and following best practices, organizations can harness the full potential of the platform to build powerful applications, automate workflows, and analyze data effectively.

Throughout the article, we explored various aspects of Power Platform project architecture, including understanding the components, preparing for the project, architectural design and planning, development, testing, deployment, and continuous improvement. Each stage contributes to creating a robust and successful Power Platform solution.

It is essential to choose the right apps, leverage custom components like PCF for extended functionalities, and automate processes with Power Automate. Additionally, organizations should focus on testing and quality assurance to ensure a reliable and user-friendly experience. Deployment and release management, along with continuous improvement and maintenance, are key to maintaining the solution’s performance and adaptability over time.

By implementing the best practices outlined in this article, organizations can maximize the benefits of the Power Platform, enhance productivity, streamline workflows, and drive innovation. With a solid architectural foundation, the Power Platform becomes a valuable tool for transforming business processes and enabling digital transformation.

Remember, the journey doesn’t end with the initial implementation. Continuous monitoring, user feedback, and proactive maintenance ensure that the Power Platform solution remains effective, secure, and aligned with evolving business needs.

Embrace the power of the Power Platform, architect your next project with precision, and unlock new possibilities for your organization’s growth and success. If you need help with Architecting a Power Platform project don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We have a team of Power Platform specialists ready to help!

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