Power Automate Standards: Connection References

Power Automate Standards: Connection References
Table of Contents
• Use Connection References Instead Of ConnectionsRemove Duplicate Connection References From SolutionsDe-duplicate Connection References In EnvironmentsAssign Connection Ownership To Service Accounts

Use Connection References Instead Of Connections

Flow actions requiring authentication must use either a connection or a connection reference. Connections allow Power Automate to interact with other online services (SharePoint, Outlook, etc). Connections references do the same but they hold a reference to a shared connection instead of connecting directly themselves.

Always use Connection References to reduce maintenance efforts. Swapping out connections for a flow action must be done individually. Connection references can changed in one place and will update all connected flows. Fixing broken connections is much faster too.

Connection references in a managed solution can be updated without creating an unmanaged layer. Never directly edit flows in production and test environments to avoid introducing bugs.

Remove Duplicate Connection References From Solutions

There should only be one connection reference within a solution for each online service being accessed. Remove any duplicate connection references from the solution. The exception should be made when an online service must be accessed with multiple sets of credentials. For example, connecting to Outlook with two different Shared Mailboxes.

De-duplicate Connection References In Environments

In addition to removing duplicate Connection references inside of a solution, they must also be de-duplicated within an environment.

When multiple solutions are imported into an environment it is common for them to each include their own connection references.

Assign Connection Ownership To Service Accounts

A Service Account with the System Administrator security role should own the connections being used by connection references. This enables centralized management of connections under an account with elevated permissions.

Do not use a developer’s personal account as the connection owner. To change connection details another developer would have to login as the original developer.

Having a Service Principal own the connections would be ideal. However, Power Platform does not support the use of Service Principals under the Per User license. A more costly, yet higher capacity, Per Flow licensing plan is required.


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