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tfraser
Advocate II
Advocate II

Issues with Custom Connectors in Solutions

Background

There seem to be a few known issues to do with the interaction between custom connectors and using solutions to move them to other environments as documented here:

Create custom connectors in solutions | Microsoft Learn

The one causing most issues (from the above link):

  • Custom connectors need to be imported first, before connection references or flows.
    • If your environment doesn’t contain the custom connector in a solution, import a separate solution that only the custom connectors. Do this importation before you import the actual solution because Azure needs to register the custom connector beforehand.
    • If you import a solution that contains custom connectors and flows, Azure won't be able to register the custom connector while it's registering your connection references or flows. This also applies to connection references for the custom connector that wasn't previously imported in a separate solution. If Azure hasn't registered your custom connector, the importation will fail, or you won't be able to start the import.

In addition, as described here - connectors don't initially work after importing Solved: Custom connector issues after exporting solution t... - Power Platform Community (microsoft....

We have found a workaround which is to import the custom connectors in their own unmanaged solution and not include them in any dependent solutions. After the initial import of the connector solution, we make a minor change to each connector (e.g. the colour), save, and then they work. However - this is a workaround, not a solution!

 

Additional Issue

However, in addition to the above issues, the solution behaviour is particularly unhelpful with this because if you try to add an existing connection reference to a custom connector to a solution e.g. to use in a flow, this will also add the custom connector to the solution. The workaround we've found is to add a new connection reference to the environment containing the flows that will use this reference then update the flows to use these new references.

This is far from ideal since it's not possible to import flows using custom connectors unless the solution containing the flow also contains the connection reference used by the flow.

One of the issues this results in is for, example, if we have multiple solution layers containing flows that use the same custom connector, each solution needs it's own connection reference for the flows in that solution to use, rather than having a solution containing just connection references that could be reused by many flows in many solutions.

Question

Are these known issues actually being addressed by Microsoft? Has anyone found any better ways of working with custom connectors and solutions that don't involve resorting to using pipelines, which requires additional cost for the relevant license tier?

4 REPLIES 4
Matthy79
Super User
Super User

Custom connectors are very special. I create 10 tickets only for custom connectors.

 

Yes, custom connectors should be deployed using a separate solution. I deploy it managed but for custom connectors that doesn’t really matter. The update thing is true, but I don’t think you have to change something and back anymore (but this used to be). Also the image wasn’t deployed but this also was fixed.

 

You don’t have connection references inside the custom connector solution and I never had the issue that the custom connector was added to my project solution.

 

  1. You create the connection to the custom connector.
  2. Inside the project solution you create a connection reference to that connection (if you want to reuse that reference you can add it to any other project solution but not to the custom connector solution)

We create our custom connectors in a different environment and also deploy our custom connectors to our dev environment managed.

 

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the response.

A bit more explanation about the issue with custom connectors and flows using connection references to that custom connector... this issue occurs either when I update a flow inside a solution to use a connection reference that doesn't yet exist in the solution.

What happens is that the connection reference is automatically added to the solution when I save the flow, but the custom connector is also added to the solution, which we don't want since it sits in its own solution. If we remove the custom connector from the solution it also removes the connection reference.

The workaround is to create the connection reference in the solution first, then update the flow to use that reference.

The limitation is that if we have flows in multiple solutions that require the same connection reference, we can't because we have to create a new reference for each solution, otherwise the custom connector gets added as well.

 

I never had that experience. I also don't have the issue that when I use a connection reference that is not in my solution- that it is automatically added. But of course there could be a problem when importing this solution into another environment (if that used reference is not part of the environment).

 

I don't know about such setting, but maybe you set something to automatically add needed objects to your solution. Maybe this works like "Add required objects".

 

What I can say is, that we use a lot of custom connectors and we never had the issue that the custom connector was automatically added to the solution.

Okay thanks for the input. If this isn't what others are seeing I will contact support and update this thread when I get a response.

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