You can use the community edition of Power Apps and Power Automate without the need for an Office 365 account. This sandbox environment can be quite useful if you want to get started or learn about Power Apps or Power Automate.
When I recently started with the Power Apps for Kids idea with Rory Neary, Daniel Christian and Reza Doranni, I thought that it would be great if there was an option for kids to play in their own environment.
This option is called the Free Power Apps or Community Edition of Power Apps.
The community edition of Power Apps
Have you sen some interesting Power Apps and you would like to try them out in your environment. But building a full Microsoft 365 tenant feels a bit like a large job?
To get started you should visit the Power Apps Community Plan site. This will get you to the following site ready for you to create your Community Edition of Power Apps.
Then click on the Start free button and you will be asked for a work email address.
Ok, this is a small problem. Kids might not have a work email address and you will find that if you use an email address that comes from outlook.com or something gmail like that you’re not going to be let through.
I’m however going to use another personal email address that I have. The email address has been given to my by my internet provider. This time I seem to be lucky. and I’m being asked if the email address was coming from a company.
Ok, I’m going to hit yes.
Important note: This might not be the right thing to do here as I’m not using a real company account . Therefore I would recommend that you do use a work email address that hasn’t been connected to Office 365 yet! In this post I’m only trying to document the steps.
The environment that is created for us shortly will only give you access to limited features. But to get started with Power Apps or Power Automate this is a great first step to take.
You will now get a final set of questions asked before you can complete the creation of the environment.
You will need the security code that is sent to you by email
And now your environment will be set up and your Free Power Apps and Power Automate is ready.
Free Power Apps
Your Free Power Apps should look like this now:
Free Power Automate
But you don’t just get Free Power Apps you will also get Free Power Automate
Free Admin Center
Now things might become a bit scary 😉
When you go to the waffle/9-dots menu you will see the admin option there.
When you are using a full blown Office/Microsoft 365 tenant you will find that you get this option when you are an admin and you are send straight through to the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. In the community edition I got the follow screen first:
Now the next steps will be something related to updating DNS and this is where you will be stopped if you can’t update your companies DNS.
My first screenshot in this post mentioned that this is the community edition of Power Apps and Power Automate. However the Free Power Apps version seems to only be available to companies who don’t have Microsoft 365.
It would have been nice if people without a job or kids could have an environment to play around with that doesn’t expire within short period of time. At the moment you would have to register a domain and have some email addresses using this domain created and you should be able to get the Admin Center configured as well.
I’m aware that you could create a Microsoft 365 Trial tenant of course. That that feels a bit like overkill when you try to get kids to play with Power Apps.