Assigning User Roles for Model Driven Apps

Tyler Hoffmann / June 04, 2019
Assigning User Roles for Model Driven Apps
At the time of this writing I have been having trouble following Microsoft’s direct instructions on how to assign roles to users for model driven PowerApps. In short, once I’ve finally made it to the user management page where I’m supposed to be able to manage roles for users, the button for managing user roles is flat out missing from the UI. No matter what I tried I couldn’t get the button to show up. I’ve written this post to inform people of the issue and how I’ve managed to work around it. While I hope the issue is resolved soon, below is an overview of the steps I take that produce the issue as well as the steps taken to work around the issue.

To start out with, Microsoft has published documentation on how to share a model driven app. Within the official documentation we encounter the issue within the “Assign security roles to users” section.

Microsoft starts out by saying “From the Share this app dialog” – I believe what they are referring to is when you are within the maker portal at https://make.powerapps.com and you’re looking at the Apps page, you select your model driven app and click the Share option. This pops up a dialog titled “Share this app.”



After you click the share option and the dialog pops up, “Step 2” presented in the dialog is to “Assign users to the security role.” Microsoft instructs us to click the Security Users link within this step and to assign users the security role from the user management page that the link takes you to. What we find instead is that when we select the users we want to assign roles to, there is no option to manage roles which then prevents us from being able to assign users to those desired roles. Also notable, the screen we are brought to is using the unified interface while Microsoft’s screen shot shows the classic web interface!



After banging my head on this one for a bit where no matter what I tried the button would not show up as described, I decided there must be another way. What I found was there was at least one other place that linked still to the user management page built on the classic interface rather than the unified interface.

Rather than being specific to each individual app, security roles which are assigned to users are effective across the whole environment and can even span multiple apps within the same environment. It makes sense that we might be able to manage security roles from the location where we manage environments which would be the PowerApps admin center at https://admin.powerapps.com. If we navigate to the PowerApps admin center, select our environment, and then navigate to the security tab, we do find a button for assigning security roles!



When I clicked this button, I was redirected to a system page built on the classic interface for user management, just like it shows in Microsoft’s documentation. Upon selecting a user I was able to manage roles as expected.



With roles assigned I was able to proceed through the rest of Microsoft’s documentation without any issue.
I’ve encountered this issue recently in a few environments that only have PowerApps / CDS environments. I did test this in an environment that has a Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement instance and found that the issue does not exist because in that case the link still takes you to the functional classic web interface instead of the broken unified interface screen for managing users. 

Finally, for those of you who are content memorizing / hacking together your own URLs to get at system pages, the URL you’d be looking for is: https://[EnvironmentName].crm.dynamics.com/main.aspx?pagetype=entitylist&etn=systemuser. I could have saved myself some time by putting two and two together regarding the classic interface and coming up with the above link without needing to push a button to get there, but knowing that there is a reliable place to click to get to this page is more ideal anyway.

Unfortunately, we all know that at some point the classic interface will be completely retired and the above work arounds to get us there will either point to the unified interface or stop working altogether. I'm hopeful that Microsoft will have that screen fully functional by then.
 
Tyler Hoffmann
About the Author


Tyler Hoffmann
Software Engineer

Tyler is a software engineer for Heartland Business Systems who works with all aspects of Dynamics 365. As a developer at heart, Tyler specializes in writing .NET and JavaScript customizations for Dynamics 365 and is enjoying getting his hands dirty with PowerApps and Flow. In addition to writing code, Tyler also has extensive experience with the implementation, configuration, and administration of Dynamics 365 and its supporting services. 

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