Our Power Platform Admin team recently discussed the possibility of the automatic cleanup of inactive environments. For the Sandbox and Production environments, we tried to come up with a definition of what we believe is an “inactive environment”. The definition we could think of would combine two main components: a user activity in the environment, at minimum, login, and/or automation “activity” – jobs turned on which are running on a schedule.
With the Dataverse for Teams inactive environment auto clean-up (I know it’s there because I regularly get notifications):
, we would expect there is a generic definition of the inactive environment that exists somewhere.
I asked the Microsoft CoE team via GitHub if there are any tools currently available to clean up non-Teams environments. They said it’s in a backlog somewhere and asked me if we’ve got our own “inactivity” definition. We couldn’t come up with something which covers every valid scenario. Practically, we gave up, leaving it to time-based notifications asking environment owners to confirm that the environment is still needed.
Today I woke to discover many tweets about the upcoming Developer environment auto clean-up functionality for inactive environments. I thought it was funny as it means it’s happening now and we have to go back to review the related governance processes again.
Definition of activity (by Microsoft)
Power Platform calculates a single measure of inactivity for each environment. The measure accounts for all activity by users, makers, and admins across Power Apps, Power Automate, Power Virtual Agents, and Dataverse.
Most create, read, update, and delete operations on the environment—and its resources that a user, maker, or admin initiates—are considered “activity”.
Most read operations like visits to the home page, solution explorer, Power Apps or Power Automate designer are not considered as activity.
Here are some examples of the types of activities that are included in the measure:
- User activity: Launch an app, execute a flow (whether automatic or not), chat with a Power Virtual Agents bot
- Maker activity: Create, update, or delete an app, flow (desktop and cloud flows), Power Virtual Agents bot, custom connector
- Admin activity: Environment operations such as copy, delete, back up, recover, and reset
Activity includes automated behaviors such as scheduled flow runs. For example, if there’s no user, maker, or admin activity in an environment, but it contains a cloud flow that runs daily, then the environment is considered active.
So, what else do you need to know about the environment’s inactivity clean-up automation existing today?
|Environment Type||Subscription based||Inactivity based||Availability||Inactivity Time||Doco Link|
|Dataverse for Teams||X||GA||90 days||https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/power-platform/admin/inactive-teams-environment|
|Developer||X||PP – Apr 2023|
GA – May 2023
Currently, there is no auto clean-up for Prod and Sandbox environments based on the user or automation inactivity. Let’s imagine Microsoft introduces some following the existing inactivity definitions for Developer and Teams environments. Will it work for all business scenarios?
Real-life business scenario with an active environment with an inactivity time of more than 90 days
One of my current customers uses Power Apps to recalculate tenant bulk bills based on water usage and tenancy occupancy. Tenant letters get issued for the tenants based on the processed bills. Bulk bills are loaded into the system quarterly. It could be more than 90 days until a user uses the app and runs automation.
Keep a scheduled weekly job running to simulate the environment activity.
What’s really missing for me is an admin choice and configurable options for inactivity for all types of environments.
Yes, admins got options to recover environments. Yes, they are notified multiple times via email to action. Am I still worried about my Prod and Sandbox environments being disabled in the future? Yes, but I hope we have friendlier governance in the future.
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