The design goals of the light edition of Power Process are the same as the full edition. There is a difference between these editions of course and that is that the setup of the light edition is less complex and therefor easier to grasp and to implement.

This less complex setup does have a consequence: All users involved in the process can read all process data. Setting who is allowed to create, update and delete which data is possible with the light edition.

If this consequence is no issue, then it is advised to use the light edition instead of the full edition.

In general, one can say that the light edition of Power Process has less lists and less canvas apps compared to the full edition. The actual number of cloud flows is still related to the number of activities and will therefor not differ that much.

This content page has a focus on using SharePoint Online as the data store. When Dataverse is used as the data store, additional security options are possible like field-level security and who is allowed to read which process data.

Below, a logical view of the light edition of Power Process is given.

All main process data is stored in the main list (#1). Besides this main list, normally several additional lists are present (#5). Some will contain master data like generic settings or drop-down values and some lists will contain additional working data.

There is one main canvas app (#2) which is used by all users involved in the process. It is advised to use canvas components in this main canvas app to reduce the number of controls.

Data can only be change from the main canvas app but not directly. Cloud flows (#3) are used for this making sure that create, update and delete operations are only possible via the main canvas app and not directly in SharePoint. Changing master data directly in SharePoint is allowed for a small group like functional management.

The cloud flows which are triggered from the main canvas app (#3) must be as light-weight as possible so they can return data within the request time-out limit. Therefor, there are several of these cloud flows. Do include error-handling in these cloud flows. This makes the cloud flows a bit less light-weight but it is regarded as a best-practice.

There is a second set of cloud flows which trigger on changes in the main list (#4). This allows for asynchronous automations which can take longer than the request time-out limit.

In practice, the #3 cloud flows are used during, and to end, an activity and the #4 cloud flows are used to act on an activity end.

Detailed description

The logical view is described in more detail below.

#1 – Main list

The main list contains one record per process instance. A record contains all needed main properties as well as some system properties like status. A system property is a property that is not directly maintained by an user.

Often, process data can be grouped into parent data and child data. The main list contains all parent data. Child data is included in additional lists (#5).

All users involved in the process must only have read access to the main list.

#2 – Main canvas app

The main canvas app is used to:

  • trigger process instances.
  • act on process instances.
  • close process instances.

The functionality of the main canvas app is of course very process specific. In general, one can say that it includes the functionality:

  • of some simple help information and a link to a location with more extensive help information.
  • to start a process instance.
  • to act on activities like adding additional work data and approvals.
  • of overviews like “My forms” and “All active forms”.
  • to show all details of a process instance.
  • Adding structured data and unstructured data (files).

A professional canvas app is characterized by including error-handling and situations like:

  • Maintenance.
  • Time-out.
  • Detecting a version mismatch.
  • Deep-linking.

When in-place archiving is used, the amount of data in lists will grown in time which can lead to delegation issues. The main canvas app must therefor only be related to working data. Insights to working data and archived data is achieved via a Power BI report. When the amount of data can surpass the maximum data limit Power BI can handle, in-place archiving must not be used.

#3 – Instant micro cloud flows

This set of cloud flows are triggered from the main canvas app.

Because a cloud flow should give a response to the main canvas app as quickly as possible (at least within the request time-out limit), a collection of instant micro cloud flows must be created. Each instant micro cloud flow is related to an event in the main canvas app like submitting a form or uploading a file.

Error-handling must be built into the main canvas app to be able to inform the user when an error occurred. The instant micro cloud flows must therefor respond with data which indicates the success/failure of the instant micro cloud flow. Logic must be added in the main canvas app to act on this response as well as include the IfError function to handle unexpected errors.

#4 – Automated cloud flows

This set of cloud flows are triggered by data changes in the main list.

These cloud flows are asynchronous cloud flows that can run for a longer time of period.

In practice, these cloud flows are used to act on an activity end.

#5 – Additional lists

Additional lists can be grouped into supporting lists and secondary lists.

Supporting lists contain master data like generic settings, drop-down values or process specific data like who is involved how in which activity.

Secondary lists contain working data which is most often related to child process data.

All users involved in the process must only have read access to the additional lists. Functional management can have more permissions on some supporting lists.

Remarks

Technical management will – by default – have full control access to all data. This does not mean that they should change data in SharePoint directly. Changing data must still be done on a controlled way like putting the business solution is maintenance mode and waiting for the time-out to pass before changing data.

Instant micro cloud flows must be configured such that all users related to the process can run these cloud flows.

As with the full edition of Power Process, it is assumed that all users involved in the process have a Microsoft 365 license which allows the usage of Microsoft 365 Outlook, Power Apps, Power Automate and SharePoint Online.

It is assumed that all cloud flows run under an automation account. This is an Entra ID account not used by users but created specifically to be the owner of all cloud flows. This automation account must therefor be used for all implementation activities. The automation account always has full control to all data.